Latvala wins Tour de Corse Rallye de France

Volkswagen driver Jari-Matti Latvala took his third World Rally Championship win of the 2015 season in Corsica, beating Elfyn Evans by 43.1 seconds after taking the lead away from Evans on Saturday's final stage, however Evans was sublime on Friday, 10s faster than anyone else through the wet and treacherous SS3, giving 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.

But Latvala was dominant on Saturday's opening stage, taking 21.2s out of Evans's lead and bringing the overall gap down to just 1.7s heading into the afternoon, eventually snatching the lead away on SS6, despite suffering gearbox issues but he 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 depriving Evans of his first WRC win and 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.

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 and 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.

Final Results:-
Pos ..... Driver ..... Team ..... Car ..... Gap

1 Jari-Matti Latvala Volkswagen Motorsport Volkswagen 2h39m46.7s
2 Elfyn Evans M-Sport World Rally Team Ford 43.1s
3 Andreas Mikkelsen Volkswagen Motorsport II Volkswagen 46.3s
4 Kris Meeke Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT Citroen 1m33.4s
5 Hayden Paddon Hyundai Motorsport N Hyundai 1m53.6s
6 Mads Ostberg Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT Citroen 1m59.8s
7 Dani Sordo Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai 2m10.4s
8 Bryan Bouffier M-Sport World Rally Team Ford 2m12.8s
9 Stephane Sarrazin First Motorsport Ford 2m39.3s
10 Ott Tanak M-Sport World Rally Team Ford 3m43.0s

4th October, 2015