WRC Corsica: Sebastien Ogier dominates opening day and extends lead

World Rally Championship leader Sebastien Ogier will head into Saturday with a lead of 33.6 seconds over Thierry Neuville, after winning three out of four stages in Corsica on Friday

Although he started the afternoon loop with a lead of 21.2s, Ogier said he drove the first stage of the afternoon - the second pass through La Porta-Valle di Rostino - with the "same level of attack" as in the morning.

Ogier won that stage, going 10.3s faster than Neuville, and extended his advantage to over 30 seconds.

Neuville then edged Ogier in the final stage, but only by a tenth of a second.

After the stage, Neuville admitted that he had to accept he couldn't beat Ogier this weekend and needs to focus on keeping hold of second place.

Neuville took second place from Citroen's Kris Meeke on the third stage of the day and increased his advantage to 5.1s by the end of the shorter Piedigriggo - Pont de Castirla run.

Meeke's team-mate for this weekend, Sebastien Loeb, was Ogier's closest challenger after the opening stage of the rally, but his Citroen C3 slid off the road on the very next stage, which prematurely ended his day.

Loeb has confirmed he will return to the rally on Saturday "just for fun".

Ott Tanak is the leading Toyota driver in fourth overall, ahead of his team-mate Esapekka Lappi, who leapt from seventh to fifth place after winning the final stage of the day.

He demoted the M-Sport Fiesta of Elfyn Evans to sixth position, as the Welshman continues to adapt to working with former WRC champion co-driver Phil Mills, while his regular co-driver Daniel Barritt recovers from a Rally Mexico crash.

Part-time 2018 Hyundai driver Dani Sordo ended the day in seventh place, ahead of Jari-Matti Latvala.

Sordo's Hyundai team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen bemoaned an understeering i20 as he struggled to ninth overall on the opening day.

The third M-Sport Fiesta of Bryan Bouffier completed the top 10.

Asphalt specialist Jan Kopecky leads the WRC2 category ahead of Yoann Bonato in the Citroen C3 R5, which is making its competitive debut this weekend.

Leading positions

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Sebastien Ogier, J.Ingrassia M-Sport Ford WRT Ford 1h19m39.0s
2 Thierry Neuville, N.Gilsoul Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT Hyundai 33.6s
3 Kris Meeke, P.Nagle Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT Citroen 38.7s
4 Ott Tanak, M.Jarveoja Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota 44.2s
5 Esapekka Lappi, J.Ferm Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota 1m13.5s
6 Elfyn Evans, P.Mills M-Sport Ford WRT Ford 1m13.8s
7 Dani Sordo, C.del Barrio Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT Hyundai 1m14.4s
8 Jari-Matti Latvala, M.Anttila Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota 1m25.0s
9 Andreas Mikkelsen, A.Jager Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT Hyundai 1m29.2s
10 Bryan Bouffier, X.Panseri M-Sport Ford WRT Ford 1m44.8s
11 Jan Kopecky, P.Dresler Skoda Motorsport II Skoda 4m28.0s
12 Yoann Bonato, B.Boulloud Citroen 4m48.8s
13 Ole-Christian Veiby, S.R.Skjaermoen Skoda Motorsport II Skoda 5m35.9s
14 Stephane Lefebvre, G.Moreau Citroen Total Rallye Team Citroen 5m38.4s
15 Pierre-Louis Loubet, V.Landais Hyundai 5m45.3s
16 Fabio Andolfi, S.Scattolin ACI Team Italia Skoda 5m53.7s
17 Gus Greensmith, C.Parry Ford 6m37.4s
18 Hiroki Arai, G.MacNeall Tommi Makinen Racing Oy Ford 6m42.3s
19 Andrea Nucita, M.Vozzo Abarth 9m42.1s
20 Raphael Astier, F.Vauclare Abarth 10m37.5s
21 Mauro Miele, L.Beltrame Citroen 10m58.7s
22 Terry Folb, C.Guieu Ford 11m54.7s
23 Jean-Baptiste Franceschi, R.Courbon Ford 12m05.6s
24 Francois Fraymouth, R.Felicelli Peugeot 12m08.4s
25 Emil Bergkvist, O.Floene Ford 12m44.2s
26 Callum Devine, K.Moriarty Ford 12m52.3s
27 Dennis Radstrom, J.Johansson Ford 12m53.8s
28 Ken Torn, K.Jarveoja OT Racing Ford 14m00.1s
29 Lukasz Pieniazek, P.Mazur Printsport Oy Skoda 14m03.1s
30 Louis Antonini, P.Chiappe Ford 14m10.5s
31 Philippe Gache, N.Riviere Abarth 14m26.4s
32 David Holder, J.Farmer Ford 14m30.7s
33 Pierre-Marc Nannucci, A.Nesta Renault 14m34.4s
34 Cedric Cardi, Y.Roche Renault 14m57.8s
35 Bugra Banaz, B.Erdener Castrol Ford Team Turkiye Ford 15m05.9s
36 Tom Williams, P.Hall Ford 15m48.8s
37 Luca Bottarelli, M.Fenoli ACI Team Italia Ford 15m51.1s
38 Armando Pereira, R.Tutelaire Ford 16m36.4s
39 Enrico Oldrati, D.Fappani Ford 17m19.2s
40 Nicolas Ciamin, T.de la Haye Hyundai 17m21.1s
41 Paul-Andre Mariani, S.Paoli Peugeot 17m34.0s
42 Emilio Fernandez, J.Riquelme Ford 17m43.7s
43 Julien Filippi, S.Damerval Citroen 17m54.6s
44 Umberto Accornero, M.Barone Ford 17m55.0s
45 Deividas Jocius, D.Zvicevicius Peugeot 18m30.2s
46 Laura Salini, M.Peretti Citroen 18m53.7s
47 Romain Rouanet, C.Boursinhac Renault 19m15.3s
48 Alberto Sassi, M.Lamecchi Renault 19m25.4s
49 Mathieu Franceschi, B.Manzo Ford 19m47.7s
50 Amaury Molle, R.Herman Peugeot 19m56.6s
51 Eric Filippi, F.Mazotti Renault 20m02.6s
52 Nicolas d'Ulivo, A.Paolini Renault 20m14.4s
53 Alain Mari, J-D.Cesari Renault 20m27.0s
54 Dirkjan Schram, A.Moncada Renault 20m33.2s
55 Sebastien Loeb, D.Elena Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT Citroen 21m07.9s
56 Patrice Launay, S.L.-Bourlois Volkswagen 21m15.1s
57 Florian Picchioni, R.Barthelon Citroen 21m28.7s
58 Camille Gubernati, G.Romani Honda 21m32.5s
59 Romain Defendini, G.Gherardi Peugeot 21m38.2s
60 Andrea Modanesi, M.Menchini Abarth 21m47.1s
61 Kathia Renucci, F.Gordon Ford 22m02.7s
62 Guillaume Lafitte, A.Lafitte Renault 22m08.3s
63 Lilian Schlosser, C.Bony Peugeot 22m19.6s
64 Julius Tannert, J.Heigl ADAC Sachsen Ford 22m31.9s
65 Xavier Donati, F.Ciavaldini Ford 23m37.2s
66 Claude Bensimon, I.Barbe Ford 24m25.3s
67 Bouchta Bernous, P.Costa Citroen 25m16.1s
68 Alain Vauthier, S.Nollet Ford 25m46.5s
69 Vincent Legrand, J.Serra Renault 26m30.4s
70 Raphael Villoresi, F.Gabbiati Renault 28m39.0s
71 Thierry Agostini, X.Nanni Renault 28m45.5s
72 Dai Wei Yein, T.Yu Hsieh Peugeot 29m33.2s
73 Maxaens Laullon, J.Troin Renault 29m34.6s
74 Aurelien Lafont, Y.Vernhes Peugeot 29m39.8s
75 Michel Branca, G.Forns Mitsubishi 30m23.9s
76 Paul Gardere, G.Dutreuil Citroen 32m11.5s
77 Nil Solans, M.A.Ibanez Ford 32m23.3s
78 Takamoto Katsuta, M.Salminen Tommi Makinen Racing Oy Ford 32m23.3s
79 Alain Di Paolo, F.Morillon Citroen 34m10.8s
80 Thomas Argenti, A.Gorguilo Skoda 34m37.4s
81 Pierre Kemp, J-M.Kemp Renault 35m12.1s
82 Guillaume Couval, O.Belot Renault 37m28.4s
83 Marc Valliccioni, M-J.Cardi Porsche 37m42.1s
84 Patrick Marchand, P.Guerrieri Peugeot 38m08.8s
85 Michael Coufranc, S.Szys Renault 41m20.1s
86 Robert Larose, R.Roosen Renault 50m32.7s

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