2015 World Rally Championship | Tour de Corse
Written by Michael Vettas | Images by Michael Vettas and André Lavadinho
Rally de France | Heat 2 – The second day of Rallye de Corse brought better conditions with Elfyn Evans leading a major rally for the first time in his career followed closely by Kevin Abbring in second place and Latvala in third.
Yesterday’s downpours was replaced by sunshine which left exposed parts of the road dry yet shaded areas were still damp with a slippery layer of slim. There was a lot more grip today although the conditions proved just as tough.
The day began later than scheduled due to the cancelation of the first stage, again due to landslides similar to the second stage on day 1. This meant that only two stages would be completed today, the 36km Francardo – Serano stage and the 48km Muracciole – Col De Sorb stage which is arguably the most picturesque stage on the WRC calendar.
Images by Michael Vettas and André Lavadinho
The morning began with Evans holding on to his lead ever so slightly, unfortunately for Abbring he lost almost 10 seconds in stage 5, dropping two places to fourth overall. Latvala continued to push hard through the morning to win the stage and move into second outright just 1.7sec behind Evans. Mikkelsen put in a strong performance moving into third position overall to be 26.1sec behind Latvala.
The second and final stage of the day saw Ogier drive brilliantly to win the stage outright while Latvala suffered gearbox issues having to switch to the manual gearshift system. This cost Latvala valuable time but he still maintained his first position over Evans by a mere 2 second with Mikkelsen in third a further 28 seconds behind.
Latvala said “I had a problem with the gearbox shifting down and I lost my rhythm. It was difficult under braking because I couldn’t trust the gears. I had to use the manual shift but we got through and now we need to change the gearbox.” Latvala continued.
Evans, “I didn’t have the same rhythm today, I went well in some places but not in others and it was difficult to be confident, but it’s all still to play for tomorrow,” he said.
Final Day Preview
After an overnight stop in Porto-Vecchio, Heat 3 tomorrow will comprises of three more stages covering 94.91km. The final 16.74km stage includes the live TV Power Stage with bonus points for the fastest three drivers.
The question is, can Evans win his first ever WRC event? Or will Latvala win his 3rd event of the season and move one step closer to winning the last three events as he stated at the last round.
Mikkelsen won’t let either of them relax as he too will be striving to win his maiden WRC event.
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