A Year, A Picture: Tour de Corse 1977
Jean-Pierre Nicolas, with a Ford Escort, stands alone against the Italian armada © DPPI

A Year, A Picture: Tour de Corse 1977

12/07/2013

The XXIth edition of the Tour de Corse, the fifth one in the World Championship, takes place at the beginning of November 1977 and totalizes no less than 136 crews at the start. Bernard Darniche wins for the second time.

Italy is the nation to follow during the 1977 Tour de Corse. After a year 1976 marked by ups and downs, the Fiat 131 Abarth is finally competitive. Bearing a colossal budget, the Torinesi carmaker, with its subsidiary Lancia, manages to position seven of its vehicles in the Top 10 (among which the first fifth places), four of these crews being Italians!

For the first time since 1973, Porto-Vecchio is reintegrated to the loop Ajaccio-Ajaccio (the southern city being the nerve center of the competition) run on Saturday 5th  November as the first leg, while the second loop on Sunday 6th November goes through Bastia.

A total length of 1350 kilometers, the 1977 layout induces Sandro Munari, the future World Champion, into making a mistake in the third special stage. The Transalpine’s retirement is however filled in by his compatriots or teammates. Jean-Pierre Nicolas stands alone, with his Ford Escort, to counter the Italian armada, but has to surrender at the end of the competition after a mechanical problem.

With no less than 6 special stages winners over a total of 13 sections, this Tour de Corse is quite disputed. The Frenchman Bernard Darniche finally wins for the second time after the 1975 edition, again with an Italian car, but with a Fiat this time.

The final podium of this 1977 Tour de Corse is composed of:

  1. Bernard Darniche – Alain Mahé (Fiat 131 Abarth)
  2. Raffaele Pinto – Arnaldo Bernacchini (Lancia Stratos HF)
  3. Fulvio Bacchelli – Bruno Scabini (Fiat 131 Abarth)

Relive the intensity of this 1977 Tour de Corse by watching this reportage from the British TV:

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