Evans leads Tour de Corse Rallye de France

The top-ten of the newest round of the World Rally Championship has an unusual look about it tonight with Elfyn Evans taking an 18 second lead at the end of the first day following a crazy final Friday stage which saw frontrunners Sebastien Ogier and Robert Kubica dropping to 10th and fifth respectively after torrential rain caused floods and landslides, the cancellation of SS2 and delaying SS3.

Conditions were extremely wet and muddy when the third stage got going, and many drivers struggled for confidence, Ogier not among them and he looked set to surge clear with early split times half a minute clear of his Volkswagen team-mates. But he picked up a puncture and had to stop to change a wheel, although under way again in less than two minutes, but the delay forced him down to 10th.

Kubica was among the drivers who lost time simply because they did not feel comfortable pushing hard in the conditions. Conversely, M-Sport's Evans, Hyundai's additional driver Kevin Abbring and World Rally Championship returnees Stephane Sarrazin and Bryan Bouffier all thrived. Evans was quickest on the stage by 10s over second-quickest man Abbring, half a minute clear of the best of the VWs.

Jari-Matti Latvala is third, 22.9s off the pace, and 16s clear of Mads Ostberg's Citroen, with Kubica another 1.5s back. Sarrazin and Bouffier did not make up so much ground, but progressed to sixth and ninth, split by Andreas Mikkelsen and Kris Meeke.

Pos ..... Driver ..... Team ..... Car ..... Gap

1 Elfyn Evans M-Sport World Rally Team Ford 46m48.5s
2 Kevin Abbring Hyundai Motorsport N Hyundai 18.7s
3 Jari-Matti Latvala Volkswagen Motorsport Volkswagen 22.9s
4 Mads Ostberg Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT Citroen 38.8s
5 Robert Kubica RK World Rally Team Ford 40.3s
6 Stephane Sarrazin First Motorsport Ford 43.1s
7 Andreas Mikkelsen Volkswagen Motorsport II Volkswagen 44.5s
8 Kris Meeke Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT Citroen 47.0s
9 Bryan Bouffier M-Sport World Rally Team Ford 1m04.8s
10 Sebastien Ogier Volkswagen Motorsport Volkswagen 1m13.2s

2nd October, 2015