Neuville wins Tour of Corsica rally as Ogier finishes second
- Author: Arturo Norris Apr 09, 2017,
Apr 09, 2017, 17:20
France's four-times world champion Sebastien Ogier finished second, 54.7 seconds behind, for the M-Sport Ford team to increase his overall lead.
"It's been a good day", said Meeke, 37.
Kiwi driver Paddon had two eights and two sevenths in the four stages held on day one of the Tour de Corse on the French island of Corsica, the fourth and first full-tarmac round of the WRC season.
The Belgian won the event in 2011 in a Peugeot 207 S2000 when it wasn't part of the WRC, the first win as a pairing for Neuville and Gilsoul.
He had taken the lead on the last stage of Saturday morning, when he claimed second from Ogier and Citroen's Kris Meeke retired from the lead with an engine problem.
More problems followed on Sunday morning for Ogier who added electrical dramas to his woe, the Frenchman reporting the auto had "no power, anti-lag or handbrake" at the end of the event.
Spaniard Dani Sordo was in third place for Hyundai, 18.8 seconds behind Ogier.
"They were two tough stages this afternoon with a lot of road pollution but I enjoyed them", Meeke said.
Toyota driver Jari-Matti Latvala cursed the brake-feel on his Toyota, the Rally Sweden victor lying 10.7s behind Craig Breen in fifth.
That netted Latvala the powerstage victory and the five championship points that go with it. Even though he won the season-opening Monte Carlo Rally, he is still getting accustomed to the auto.
Hayden Paddon was the last WRC auto in the top 10 in sixth, continuing his asphalt development.
Ott Tanak, the second M-Sport Fiesta, is 13th and joins Hanninen well down the order as he struggles with a suspected spark plug issue on his Fiesta.
Breen is the sole remaining Citroen after Stephane Lefebvre crashed out on SS5, although he could return under Rally2 tomorrow.