SS1 – Kris Meeke sets the pace!
Kris Meeke & Paul Nagle © Agence S Presse

SS1 – Kris Meeke sets the pace!

07/04/2017

Kris Meeke is the first leader of the Che Guevara Energy Drink Tour of Corsica 2017 after his fastest time in this inaugral stage. The Citroën driver set a time of 19min56sec5, ahead of Sébastien Ogier by 5.7 seconds, Thierry Neuville by 11 seconds, Ott Tanak and Dani Sordo tied at 13.9 seconds. Seventh time for Jari-Matti Latvala at 22.4 seconds while Juha Hanninen, his teammate at Toyota, opens the list of retirements after hitting a bridge. Eleventh fastest time on the special stage, Andreas Mikkelssen set the reference time in WRC2. The Skoda was ahead Eric Camilli by 2.2 seconds, Jan Kopecky by 19.7 seconds and Pierre Louis Loubet by 23.9 seconds. It should be noted that Stéphane Sarrazin, not registered in WRC2, is in the midst of the championship regulars by achieving the 3rd fastest time of the RC2 class, Mikkelssen 6.5 seconds behind.

Date: Friday April 7th
Section: 1
Special Stage: SS1 Pietrosella – Albitreccia 1 (31.2 km)
Weather: Sunny, 12C at the start.
Road Conditions: Clean and dry with some damp areas over the last 4km under the trees.

1. OGIER / INGRASSIA – FORD FIESTA WRC
I didn’t drive well on the bumpy section, I took it a little bit easy. The end of the stage was a bit tricky with the damp sections.

10. LATVALA / ANTTILA – TOYOTA YARIS WRC
There is a dampness toward the end of the stage and I wasn’t confident enough. I had quite a lot of understeer and I was hesitating as I didn’t have the confidence.

2. TANAK / JARVEOJA – FORD FIESTA WRC
When the tyres get some temperature it starts to understeer and you lose the feeling. The end of the stage was not easy.

6. SORDO / MARTI – HYUNDAI I20 COUPE WRC
In some places I didn’t feel very confident. In some places it was a little bit damp but it was OK.

5. NEUVILLE / GILSOUL – HYUNDAI I20 COUPE WRC
The last part is very slippy and it’s getting very dirty. I guess the cars behind will be slower. I tried to drive well but I’m not 100% happy with the car yet. Some understeer and I jumped out of the line a few times.

7. MEEKE / NAGLE – CITROEN C3 WRC
[KM: Nose bleed] I enjoyed it, the car is working fantastically. What can I say, I thank my team for the hard work they put in on our test. I went to blow my nose before the start of the stage and it started bleeding.

8. BREEN / MARTIN – CITROEN C3 WRC
I changed my driving style completly. I’m refining that but Kris had the Weetabix this morning. Not too bad. I’m trying to smooth my driving up a bit, my braking was not too agressive. I have to thank the guys for their help on that.

3. EVANS / BARRITT – FORD FIESTA WRC
The grip is really, really low for us. We have to just keep going and see what we can do. The stage is nice but it would be nice to do it on full attack.

4. PADDON / KENNARD – HYUNDAI I20 COUPE WRC
It’s normally dry but there are enough damp patches to really throw your confidence. Where there are cuts, it’s mud being dragged onto the stage.

9. LEFEBVRE / MOREAU – CITROEN C3 WRC
We enjoyed it. The start was very good, but the last part was very slippery. I think it was not too bad.

31. CAMILLI / VEILLAS – FORD FIESTA R5
I hit on the right corner but we finished the stage and it’s not difficult to drive. A lot of smoke from Hanninens car.

32. MIKKELSEN / JAEGER-SYNNEVAAG – SKODA FABIA R5
It’s impossible to really commit and we have no gravel crews. It’s changed from the recce and every corner you have to back off a little bit because of gravel. It’s not easy to drive in the changing conditions.

33. KOPECKY / DRESLER – SKODA FABIA R5
I don’t have power steering, it started in the middle of the stage and now it’s over.

34. SUNINEN / MARKKULA – FORD FIESTA R5
A difficult stage. The beginning was quite OK. Hanninen was stopped and the rear of the car was smoking.

36. BOUFFIER / GIRAUDET – FORD FIESTA R5
It was a bad start, I had a very bad feeling with the car. It’s a shame, it’s a very nice stage. We’ll work a bit on the setup, I also lost a little bit of the brakes. I’ve had better starts.

35. BERGKVIST / SJOBERG – CITROEN DS3 R5
The first time for me here. A lot of places were more slippery than I thought, a lot of understeering but a long time until service so I have to live with it.

38. VEIBY / SKJAERMOEN – SKODA FABIA R5
This one was not easy at all. The last 10km I was very nervous, I was very careful and took it carefully on the last sections.

40. LOUBET / LANDAIS – FORD FIESTA R5
I lose my brakes at the end of the stage. I have to go to cool my brakes.

41. TEMPESTINI / BERNACCHINI – CITROEN DS3 R5
I started to feel some problems with first and second gears. We will see, it’s not changing from first to second and second to third.

43. KOCI / KOSTKA – SKODA FABIA R5
I was very tricky. It’s not easy. We do not have a good setup today but it’s OK, we’ll get used to it.

11. HANNINEN / LINDSTROM – TOYOTA YARIS WRC
[Hit a bridge and broke a wheel on the rear, right hand side of the car] We went wide and hit a bridge. A suspension arm bent and a few hundred meters after that there was a fire on the rear and it took a long time to fix that.

21. DUMAS / CHIAPPE – PORSCHE 997 GT3 RS 4.0
It was OK, we nearly went off when I made a mistake. We hit a rock but there was no puncture so we are OK.

22. DELECOUR / SAVIGNONI – ABARTH 124 RALLY
It was not going so well. The hard compound is a bit too hard, it’s difficult to get the tyre warm. I hope the next stage will be better.

84. SARRAZIN / RENUCCI – HYUNDAI I20 R5
It’s a good start. I had a problem, I forget to find my concentration! I was just a passenger, I have not done any rallys in six months. Let’s wait for the coffee.

85. MANZAGOL / PATRONE – FORD FIESTA R5
Not a bad start, difficult conditions for the last 10km.

61. ASTIER / VAUCLARE – PEUGEOT 208 R2
No brakes. I don’t know, it’s broken, no pressure.

101. SOLANS BALDO / IBANEZ SOTOS – FORD FIESTA R2
Really, really difficult. It’s slippery in some places. We try to push a bit, it’s the first stage of the junior championship.

102. FOLB / GUIEU – FORD FIESTA R2
I’m not very happy. It was the first stage and a lot of stress this morning, not a good stage. The car is OK.

104. CIAMIN / DE LA HAYE – FORD FIESTA R2
It was not easy, the road was really dirty. I thought it would be cleaner and it was not easy with the tyres.

106. DUGGAN / CONWAY – FORD FIESTA R2
It’s a positive start. It didn’t feel like it went that well. I’m looking forward to the next one. I’ll just keep things nice and calm, it’s a long rally and see how we go.

107. WAGNER / PARENT – FORD FIESTA R2
The stage is difficult, it’s good.

108. NIINEMAE / VALTER – FORD FIESTA R2
That was a very hard stage, coming down the hill at the end I could not find any grip – it was very difficult.

109. VAN WAY / ROBERTS – FORD FIESTA R2
Not very well, I got seasick and had to keep it clean for a bit. I’ll get some fresh air now, it’s a long rally.

112. CAREAGA / BUSTOS – FORD FIESTA R2
It’s rather difficult, it’s my first tarmac event an try to get to the finish line.

Follow us on Twitter