Tour de Corse WRC Pace Report

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Tour de Corse Summary

Thierry Neuville took victory in a very dramatic Tour de Corse thanks to a strong drive with a bit of misfortune for his strongest competitors. Elfyn Evans and Ott Tanak both had near flawless drives but lost their leads to punctures.

Sebastien Ogier demonstrated his champion strength by wrestling his Citroen to second overall despite no stage wins. Dani Sordo and Teemu Suninen also had strong and consistent results, only Sordo losing a podium position to brake problems.

Sebastien Loeb, Kris Meeke and Jari-Matti Latvala had the ‘luck’ of the punctures and were out of contention from early on. Esapekka Lappi had a truly dreadful time trying to convince his Citroen to respond to his wishes.

Rally Tour de Corse Info and Targets

Tour de Corse Driver Analysis

Tour de Corse Pace Chart for WRC Drivers
Tour de Corse (Rally Corsica) Pace Heatchart. Competiton was mostly close but for punctures!

Thierry Neuville – Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC

  • Overall Classification: 1st
  • Time: 3:22:59.0
  • Expected Classification (xC): 3rd
  • Average Pace: +0.2s/km
  • Rally Time Rating: 98.98%
  • Stage Wins: 3/14
  • Best Pace: Three stage wins, SS12 the highlight
  • Notable Time Loss: None.

Thierry Neuville and Hyundai deserves a lot of credit for this win. History, despite a win, suggests this car is not favourite here and the testing they put in clearly paid off. As for Neuville’s driving, he made no mistakes and was strong throughout the rally. For me his best individual performance was the stage win on the second pass of SS12, the monster 47km of Castagniccia. Only Ogier came close here but he put the likes of Evans, Tanak and Meeke to shame as he propelled into the rally lead. Sunday’s stages weren’t so kind and whilst the misfortunes of Evans may have won him the rally, he had to be in the position to gain.

Sebastien Ogier – Citroen C3 WRC

  • Overall Classification: 2nd
  • Time: 3:23:39.3 (+40.3)
  • Expected Classification (xC): 5th
  • Average Pace: +0.3s/km
  • Rally Time Rating: 98.3%
  • Stage Wins: 0/14
  • Best Pace: Both runs of Castagniccia.
  • Notable Time Loss: None

Citroen boss Pierre Budar admitted the car wasn’t strong enough for Corsica. Add in the fact Ogier won no stages and a look at how Lappi did with the same car makes this second place look incredible. Again, there were faster drivers but they had the punctures and Seb positioned himself to gain. He probably won’t get the recognition deserved for this drive and if he does win the championship this year, it will be thanks to drives like this.

Elfyn Evans – Ford Fiesta WRC

  • Overall Classification: 3rd
  • Time: 3:24:05.6 (+1:06.6)
  • Expected Classification (xC): 2nd
  • Average Pace: +0.4s/km
  • Rally Time Rating: 97.85%
  • Stage Wins: 4/14
  • Best Pace: Most stage wins and strong all over
  • Notable Time Loss: Puncture on the Power Stage cost the win.

Heartbreak at the last minute for Evans who did not put a foot wrong all rally. He said the puncture on the Power Stage happened on a straight which suggests he could have avoided it but it’s too early to tell. The result cannot detract from the performance though, up until the Power Stage his average pace was +0.1s/km. And if you play ‘what if’ with Elfyn, you must also play with Ott Tanak. And Ott would most likely have won.

Tour de Corse gPace chart showing overall time lost to fastest stages.
Tour de Corse gPace chart showing overall time lost to fastest stages.

Dani Sordo – Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC

  • Overall Classification: 4th
  • Time: 3:24:17.4 (+1:18.4)
  • Expected Classification (xC): 7th
  • Average Pace: +0.4s/km
  • Rally Time Rating: 97.65%
  • Stage Wins: 1/14
  • Best Pace: Stage win on SS9 Castagniccia against strong competition.
  • Notable Time Loss: Brake issues on Saturday afternoon for the remainder of the rally, costing him a certain podium. Also affects the xC calculation so we must restore some credit to the driver.

Teemu Suninen – Ford Fiesta WRC

  • Overall Classification: 5th
  • Time:  3:24:23.6 (+1:24.6)
  • Expected Classification (xC): 6th
  • Average Pace: +0.4s/km
  • Rally Time Rating: 97.55%
  • Stage Wins: 0/14
  • Best Pace: Consistent all rally to a great overall result for a finish-not-compete rally.
  • Notable Time Loss: More s/km lost on both Castagniccia passes than shorter stages.

Ott Tanak – Toyota Yaris WRC

  • Overall Classification: 6th
  • Time: 3:24:39.0 (+1:40.0)
  • Expected Classification (xC): 1st
  • Average Pace: +0.5s/km
  • Rally Time Rating: 97.28%
  • Stage Wins: 3/14
  • Best Pace: Very strong up until the puncture where his average pace was less than +0.1s/km. No surprise to see his xC also agrees he should have been first.
  • Notable Time Loss: The puncture on SS11 where he had to stop and change the wheel. Also it’s clear there was no gamble to catch Suninen afterwards. His gpace line is near flat before the puncture but has a downward trend after.
Tour de Corse pace chart day-by-day.
Tour de Corse Daily Pace

Esapekka Lappi – Citroen C3

  • Overall Classification: 7th
  • Time: 3:25:08.1 (+2:09.1)
  • Expected Classification (xC): 10th
  • Average Pace: +0.5s/km
  • Rally Time Rating: 96.79%
  • Stage Wins: 0/14
  • Best Pace: He finished in the top 10! Mediocre.
  • Notable Time Loss: He had a few moments but in reality these cost nothing. He is fortunate the three drivers behind him had issues else he would most definitely have been last. Citroen’s admission the car was not up to standard gives the driver a little bit of credibility.

Sebastien Loeb – Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC

  • Overall Classification: 8th
  • Time: 3:26:38.2 (+3:39.2)
  • Expected Classification (xC): 9th
  • Average Pace: +0.8s/km
  • Rally Time Rating: 95.26%
  • Stage Wins: 0/14
  • Best Pace: None/Finished but not as bad as Lappi.
  • Notable Time Loss: A puncture and wheel change on the opening stage, several minor moments and offs. This combination of driver and car does not work and if anything is making his glory years with Citroen look better.

Kris Meeke – Toyota Yaris WRC

  • Overall Classification: 9th
  • Time: 3:28:05.3 (+5:06.3)
  • Expected Classification (xC): 4th
  • Average Pace: +1.1s/km
  • Rally Time Rating: 93.78%
  • Stage Wins: 3/14
  • Best Pace: Stage wins, including another Power Stage.
  • Notable Time Loss: A puncture and wheel change on the opening stage. A knock on SS5 damaged a wheel and caused a slow SS6. Motivation lost for SS13.

Jari-Matti Latvala – Toyota Yaris WRC

  • Overall Classification: 10th
  • Time: 3:29:43.6 (+6:44.6)
  • Expected Classification (xC): 8th
  • Average Pace: +1.3s/km
  • Rally Time Rating: 92.10%
  • Stage Wins: 0/14
  • Best Pace: Some good stages on Friday.
  • Notable Time Loss: Punctures and wheel changes on Friday and Saturday. Self declared loss of confidence. Possible lack of motivation on Saturday? The heatmap goes pale green at best over the weekend.

For the full Tour de Corse results check out WRC.com. If you have enjoyed this analysis report and want to see more, take a look back at the Rally Mexico analysis, or move on to the Rally Argentina Analysis. Disagree or want to add to anything I’ve said? Let me know on my personal Twitter @WRCStan or the @PushingPace handle. I’d also very much appreciate if you let your grandmother and other rally fans know of this article via the usual buttons below. Feature image credit to Thierry Neuville twitter.

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