Thierry Neuville wins Tour of Corsica

After producing a controlled perfromance on the Tour of Corsica, Thierry Neuville gave Hyundai its first World Rally Championship victory of the season and his also on the fourth WRC ropund of the season.
Saturday's loose gravel stages and narrower roads suited the Belgian's style and on the last stage of the morning, Novella, they overcame Sebastien Ogier's M-Sport Ford Fiesta for second, before Kris Meeke's Citroen retired from the lead with engine woes, giving Neuville a lead he wouldn't lose. The Belgian had won this event in 2011 driving a Peugeot 207 S2000 before it was a round of the WRC.

Ogier held second behind Neuville after Meeke's C3 WRC expired, but he dropped time on the final stage of Saturday, his Fiesta relegated to rear-wheel-drive and no paddleshift with hydraulic issues before more problems on Sunday with added electrical dramas, the Frenchman reporting the car had "no power, anti-lag or handbrake" at the end of the event.

Despite losing second to Dani Sordo on the penultimate stage, Ogier won the place back on the powerstage to finish 54.7s behind Neuville. Sordo kept the Toyota of Jari-Matti Latvala at bay, but Latvala stole fourth from Craig Breen - the sole remaining Citroen - by 0.1s on the powerstage, scoring the Finn the powerstage victory and the five championship points that go with it.

Breen took fifth despite doing the whole Novella stage on Saturday with no intercom and is sixth in the championship points despite missing Mexico and doing Monte Carlo in an older-spec car. Hayden Paddon was the last WRC car in the top 10 in sixth, continuing his asphalt development.

Ott Tanak finished just outside the top 10 after he crashed on Friday and then suffered a spark plug issue on Saturday. Juno Hanninen's Toyota had myriad problems, crashing on Friday before setting top three stage times on Saturday. Citroen's Stephane Lefebvre and DMACK's Elfyn Evans crashed on Saturday morning.

Andreas Mikkelsen returned to WRC2 to take victory for Skoda by a margin of 1m06.3s as he continues his attempts to get back in a WRC seat. Teemu Suninen, M-Sport Fiesta R5 driver, was second with Yohan Rossel third, while Nil Solans opened the Junior World Rally Championship season with a victory.

Final Top Ten Positions
Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Thierry Neuville, N.Gilsoul Hyundai Motorsport 3h22m53.4s
2 Sebastien Ogier, J.Ingrassia M-Sport World Rally Team 54.7s
3 Dani Sordo, M.Marti Hyundai Motorsport 56.0s
4 Jari-Matti Latvala, M.Anttila Toyota Gazoo Racing WRC 1m09.6s
5 Craig Breen, S.Martin Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT 1m09.7s
6 Hayden Paddon, J.Kennard Hyundai Motorsport 2m16.3s
7 Andreas Mikkelsen, A.Jager Skoda Motorsport 8m10.7s
8 Teemu Suninen, M.Markkula M-Sport World Rally Team 9m17.0s
9 Stephane Sarrazin, J-J.Renucci Sarrazin Motorsport 9m23.6s
10 Yohan Rossel, B.Fulcrand Citroen 12m57.1s

9th April, 2017