WRC Tour of Corsica: Jari-Matti Latvala wins ahead of Elfyn Evans

Jari-Matti Latvala took his third World Rally Championship win of the 2015 season in Corsica, and only his second career win on asphalt, beating Elfyn Evans by 43.1 seconds

WRC Tour of Corsica: Jari-Matti Latvala wins ahead of Elfyn Evans

Volkswagen driver Latvala took the lead away from Evans on Saturday's final stage and never looked like conceding it from that point on.

Evans was sublime on Friday. He was 10s faster than anyone else through the wet and treacherous SS3, which gave the Welshman an overnight lead of 18s over Kevin Abbring after the young pair had jumped from sixth and seventh to first and second overall.

Latvala was dominant on Saturday's opening stage, though, taking 21.2s out of Evans's lead and bringing the overall gap down to just 1.7s heading into the afternoon.

He eventually snatched the lead away on SS6, despite suffering gearbox issues. Latvala made it back to service for a new gearbox and headed into Sunday with only a 2s lead, but was clearly on a charge.

After the morning loop it became clear that there would be no stopping Latvala and Evans's first WRC win would elude him.

The Finn emerged 32.7s ahead of Evans in second, with Mikkelsen breathing down the M-Sport Ford driver's throat in third.

Heading into the powerstage the gap between the two was 9.8s and it seemed as though Mikkelsen would snatch second place away from Evans when he came through the second split 8.3s up.

Evans wasn't ready to give up, though, and he pulled out a brilliant end to the stage to secure his second WRC podium, and his best result to date.

Kris Meeke was locked in a tight battle with Kevin Abbring over fourth for much of the rally, before Abbring had a crash midway through SS8 and was forced to retire.

Hayden Paddon was able to hold on to fifth place ahead of Mads Ostberg. The Kiwi was down in 15th and almost a minute off the pace on Friday, but was able to find his rhythm and be consistent for the remainder of the rally to fight his way ahead of Ostberg on SS8.

Dani Sordo completed his remarkable comeback following a puncture on SS3 to steal seventh place away from Bryan Bouffier on the powerstage.

Past Corsica winner Bouffier impressed on his return to the WRC. He was able to jump ahead of and keep fellow Corsica winner Stephane Sarrazin behind in ninth.

A struggling Ott Tanak completed the top 10.

World Rally champion Sebastien Ogier collected the powerstage win but it could have been much better had he not picked up a puncture on SS3. He also suffered a gearbox problem on his way to parc ferme on Friday night and had to rejoin under Rally2.

It was a similar missed opportunity for Robert Kubica, who shared the lead with Ogier on Friday but picked up a puncture on SS5 to rule him out of contention. He also secured points on the powerstage by going second quickest.

Julien Maurin took the WRC2 victory ahead of Esapekka Lappi. Eric Camilli completed the top three almost four minutes down on the leaders, with early leader Craig Breen only 6.8s behind in fourth.

LEADING FINISHERS AFTER SS9:

-

LEADING POWERSTAGE TIMES:

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Sebastien Ogier, J.Ingrassia Volkswagen Motorsport Volkswagen 10m23.2s
2 Robert Kubica, M.Szczepaniak RK World Rally Team Ford 8.6s
3 Jari-Matti Latvala, M.Anttila Volkswagen Motorsport Volkswagen 10.2s
4 Dani Sordo, M.Marti Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai 12.9s
5 Andreas Mikkelsen, O.Floene Volkswagen Motorsport II Volkswagen 14.0s

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WRC Tour of Corsica: Jari-Matti Latvala pulls away from Elfyn Evans

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