First thrills!

First thrills!


A raft of sporting and extra-sporting fringe events took place on Thursday 6th April in conjunction with the Che Guevara Energy Drink Tour de Corse in the Bastia service park and in the centre of Ajaccio at the eagerly-awaited Start Ceremony.

Summary of Thursday 6th April

The first day of the Che Guevara Energy Drink Tour de Corse was a very busy one. After scrutineering came the FIA press conference, the autograph sessions with the crews without forgetting the Shakedown. The final test session for the French round of the World Rally Championship took place a few kilometres from the Bastia-Poretta airport where the hub of the rally is situated. Even if the times set by the drivers in this shakedown are not really indicative of those they’ll set in the race, the three fastest were Sébastien Ogier, Hayden Paddon et Kris Meeke.

This gave Nicolas Deschaux, President of the FFSA, and Malcom Wilson, the M-Sport boss, the opportunity to assemble a few hours before the start, the drivers entered in Fords who have been through the Federation’s training scheme.

All the crews then crossed the Ile de Beauté from north to south in the direction of Ajaccio for the Starting Ceremony. Between 18:00 and 21:00 the 78 crews who had passed scrutineering and administrative checks followed one another on the starting ramp on the Place Miot before heading for the Parc Fermé. It was an exciting moment for the drivers in the Équipe de France FFSA Rallye, local lad Pierre-Louis Loubet and Yohan Rossel from the Garde region who are being looked after over the four days by Nicolas Bernardi, the FFSA national coach.

The Starting Ceremony of the Che Guevara Energy Drink Tour de Corse is now over and the start of the of the fourth round of the World Rally Championship

will be given tomorrow for the first leg in the south of Corsica comprising 120,64 kilometres of special stages!

Numerous professional and amateur drivers have taken the start of the 60th Tour de Corse. It’s a mythical rally that’s been on the WRC calendar since 1973 and has counted for the French Rally Championship since 1956. I’m delighted that the first day between Bastia and Ajaccio has been such a popular success. I’d like to thank all the entrants at the start as well as the people involved alongside us in the organisation of the Che Guevara Energy Drink Tour de Corse, who this year have again allowed us to put on an enormous sporting spectacle that lights up the whole of the Île de Beauté. The members of the steering committee and myself from the Federation are especially determined to follow the performances of the drivers we’re backing in the context of the Équipe de France FFSA Rallye,” Nicolas Deschaux, President of the French Motor Sports Federation.

Programme: Friday 7th April
ES1-3 Pietrosella-Albitreccia (31,20 km) : First car at 09:22-14:11

David Serieys, the 2017 Tour de Course Director gives his analysis:

The first stage has been shortened and its route modified. Compared with the 2016 event the first 26 km have been replaced by a new 7,4 km section. After changing tyres in Porticcio the crews will follow a twisty, bumpy road section measuring 7,4 km near Agosta, which joins up with the 2016 route at the Pietrosella hairpin. They will then follow a very narrow road with a worn surface as far as the famous Col de Bellevalle hairpin, where the road rises very abruptly.Then comes a change of pace on the climb up to the Bisinao village on a wide section with strings of quick corners. Their next challenge is a narrow, twisty road with several surface changes as far as the Albitreccia hairpin.”

ES2-4 Plage du Liamone – Sarrola-Carcopino (29,12 km) : First car at 11:14-16:03

David Serieys, the 2017 Tour de Course Director gives his analysis:

The Plage de Liamone will be the major attraction at the start of the stage. Straight away the drivers will have to tackle a very quick uphill section on the way to Casaligione with its very tight hairpin, which always poses a problem.Then comes a change of pace and profile with a wide, twisty road leading to Pont de Furcina and then a string of quick corners and an uphill climb along a narrow winding bumpy road to the Calcatoggio hairpin.The road is very narrow and twisty so getting the apexes right will be a difficult task. The crews will cross the villages of Sant’ Andrea d’Orcino and Cannelle along a road that poses another technical challenge and brings them to the Sari d’Orcino hairpin. The next section is much wider and climbs uphill to Col de Sarzoggio followed by a pretty tricky downhill run to Sarrola-Carcopino, the end of the second stage.

Activities/entertainment Friday 7th April

Porticcio – Place Saint Laurent:
08:50-09:30: 1st tyre change in the Tyre Fitting Zone.
13:39-14:09 : 2nd tyre change in the Tyre Fitting Zone.

Bastia – Place Saint Nicolas :
17:30-19:30: kart track open to over 7 year olds.
19:15: autograph session with the drivers racing in the World Rally Championship.

Bastia Poretta – Exhibitors Village /Service park:
10:00-23:30: free access for everybody. Meeting with the WRC teams, musical entertainment, merry-go-rounds and attractions, games and competitions, tasting sessions of local products.
20:23: cars return to the service park.
20:45: meeting with the crews.
21:18: cars lined up in the parc fermé.
21:30 : Bande à Part ». Free concert

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