Regroup – Meeke leads the overall standings
Regroup Porticcio © Agence S Presse

Regroup – Meeke leads the overall standings

07/04/2017

Kris Meeke leads the overall standings after the first two stages of the rally. While the crews are in Porticcio for the regroup, the Citroën driver is ahead of Sébastien Ogier by 8.9sec and Thierry Neuville by 17.2sec.

Date: Friday 7th April
Section: 1
Regroup Porticcio
Weather: Sunny and dry

1. OGIER / INGRASSIA – FORD FIESTA WRC
We will do what we’ve been doing.

2. TANAK / JARVEOJA – FORD FIESTA WRC
The second stage was quite clean and a bit like racing but the first one was not so easy. The first was a small slippery road, I think it had been raining as it was quite damp. We just need to push a bit.

10. LATVALA / ANTTILA – TOYOTA YARIS WRC
I’m not stressed, I know that I’m not the most confident when there is dampness and mixed conditions. On the second stage I tried more, but I know my driving is not at the level that it has been. The way that I drove the previous style doesn’t work so well in this car so I have to change some more. The moment of braking and going on the throttle is where I need to concentrate. I think it’s partly to do with the active central diff and now you have more power. I feel that we can improve, we have to remember that we had a fantastic start to the season and yet we have to remember there is still a lot more learning to do. We have a very good car, it has potential but we have to test and experiment more.

6. SORDO / MARTI – HYUNDAI I20 COUPE WRC
The last one the feeling was good but we lost a lot of time. In the last one I tried hard to be close to the battle but it’s difficult to know why there are not good times, we’ll try this afternoon. Maybe we can adjust the damper clicks, not a big difference but we’ll try. I will try to catch Ott and it’s a little bit more difficult than I expect. Everybody is fast, I try to keep pushing and modify something on the car.

7. MEEKE / NAGLE – CITROEN C3 WRC
Paul Nagle: It’s been a great morning especially after Monte-Carlo, I think the team was a bit apprehensive. The stages have been quite dirty but Kris has been doing well and it’s been fantastic. For us, it’s been just a bit more hard work, two hard rallies at the start of the year but it’s all been fantastic. Kris has been very relaxed, a bit of a panic about his nose at the start of the stage but all OK. I think we have three or four changes to the pacenotes from the first run. The stages will have a lot of gravel on the road now but we’re not going to change the car. The gravel crew is doing a very good job. Kris Meeke: It’s been satifying, we did come out here a little apprehensive but Monte is very different. We simply were not prepared for it. We had a day and a half to test for this rally and everything seems to have gone in the right direction and I’m happy. I don’t normally have a nose bleed on a rally, there was a lot of breathing through my mouth but it was OK, I’m fine. I’m really happy with the car and the tyres, it’s going to be hotter this afternoon. There was some mud pulled out this morning and hopefully the crews can get us the information for the second run through this afternoon.

5. NEUVILLE / GILSOUL – HYUNDAI I20 COUPE WRC
We would be happy if we were leading but it is not bad. Clearly we have to improve a bit, there is a small gap we have to find but we have to work on the car. It’s all about confidence and settings. If you can get a certain extra feeling, it just seems to be confidence. We are not far away but we can improve. You have to react much quicker in these cars and the codrivers have to work much harder but I enjoy it a lot. The car is more precise, doing much more what you want, it makes it more easy that way but on the other hand the speed is much higher so you have to work on it that way.

8. BREEN / MARTIN – CITROEN C3 WRC
Scott Martin: We’re really happy, Craig is driving within himself, you can do it in a test all day but doing it on a Corsica stage on a rally, it’s not so easy. We’ve had some good times and we can build on that. Craig Breen: It’s been good, it’s something that was identified on the test. It’s something to do with my braking and I think I carried it over from karting, I just need to be a bit smoother. We’re just pouring the concrete now to make this style stick and then we can build on that. The support is fantastic, it’s hard to get out here so it’s good to see family and friends around. I’ll throw my hat into the ring for the fight for fourth and see what I can do.

4. PADDON / KENNARD – HYUNDAI I20 COUPE WRC
When it’s dry my confidence is growing on tarmac, the dirt on the road is enough to kill the confidence. The second stage wasn’t too bad. At the end of the day we’re doing the job that the team asked us to do, we’re getting good times and keeping it on the road. At the end of the day I’m realistic and I know that I won’t set the world on fire on tarmac yet. The extra speed does affect the pace notes and the way you approch corners.

31. CAMILLI / VEILLAS – FORD FIESTA R5
I took a cut and just damaged the wheel rim so it was OK for the second stage.

3. EVANS / BARRITT – FORD FIESTA WRC
It’s not been ideal. We lost our hydraulics, we’re probably going to have to nurse it through the next stages. We’re going to try and do what we can but it’s unlikely I’d say. It’s not ideal.

9. LEFEBVRE / MOREAU – CITROEN C3 WRC
The car is really nice and I have good confidence with the car. I only had one day testing which is very short. My last tarmac rally was Rally Germany so it is a long time but I am happy to be here.

32. MIKKELSEN / JAEGER-SYNNEVAAG – SKODA FABIA R5
There has been more free time than I’m used to over the last couple of months so I’ve been concentrating on the fitness. I’ve been doing the recce on all the rallies but it’s even better to do them and I’m very grateful to Skoda. I hope that something will be organised for me in the WRC very soon. It’s not all about this year and next year. We are standing on the outside and can look at all the cars and see where the best place is to be for the WRC in the future. It’s very difficult to go very fast without a gravel crew, if I try to drive as I normally do then it’s dangerous as I don’t know the grip on the corners.

33. KOPECKY / DRESLER – SKODA FABIA R5
On the first stage we were loosing the power steering and then we lost it completely. The steering rack is broken and it’s something on the inside. It’s quite difficult to drive this car without power steering. We will see, talk a bit with the team and decide if we continue or not.

35. BERGKVIST / SJOBERG – CITROEN DS3 R5
We had some more struggles but we have made some improvements to the car which has improved this for sure. The morning loop was a lot of learning for us. I’m still struggling to find a perfect setup but it’s all the time an improvement and I’m looking forward to the rest of the rally. We will try to make some small adjustments. We can do some clicks and raise the car, all the drivers are on the same tyres.

38. VEIBY / SKJAERMOEN – SKODA FABIA R5
The first stage was quite tricky. The guys have been pulling out some gravel, it was a tricky, tricky first stage. The second stage I got more rhythm and it was good. It’s only my second rally with R5. It’s been a real pleasure to step up to R5, Sweden was really good for us, it’s something different to come here and we have to learn this. You don’t carry the speed you want into the corner as you don’t know how it looks on the exit of the corner. On the recce we marked some spots where we think there will be gravel after cuts.

36. BOUFFIER / GIRAUDET – FORD FIESTA R5
I’m struggling a lot and driving like a chicken. It’s not possible to do anything yet, we try to make changes but we only tested for 25km before the rally.

40. LOUBET / LANDAIS – FORD FIESTA R5
I don’t have any more brakes at the rear of the car. The brakes pedal is just loose. I don’t have any luck on Tour de Corse. Next service is tonight in Bastia, I don’t know if I can continue.

44. ROSSEL / FULCRAND – CITROEN DS3 R5
I’m still not totally satisfied with my driving, even if was better on stage two. We are still not ready to fight with the best in our class.

84. SARRAZIN / RENUCCI – HYUNDAI I20 R5
I’m very happy with that morning because on dirty roads and having had very little tests, I’m at the same pace as the ones that are used to this championship. I’m suprised by my times. I have a good feeling with the car even if I’m still discovering it.

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