Thierry Neuville scores a last-gasp win!
Nicolas Gilsoul & Thierry Neuville © DPPI

Thierry Neuville scores a last-gasp win!

31/03/2019

The final act of the CORSICA linea – Tour de Corse provided a final twist. After a nail-biting special Thierry Neuville clinched victory in front of Sébastien Ogier and the unlucky Elfyn Evans whose hopes of victory were shattered in the last stage because of a puncture.

Summary: Sunday 31st March  

Even if Thierry Neuville finished the rally in first place, which he already occupied this morning, the Belgian experienced a whole range of emotions in the closing minutes of the event. In the day’s opening stage, Evans banged in a stunning time giving him back the lead in the race. With Neuville 11.2 seconds behind it looked as if it was all over bar the shouting before the 19-km Power Stage. While the WRC stars arrived one by one at the finish the final twist occurred. Evans was the victim of a puncture on the right-hand front wheel of his Ford Fiesta WRC and his lead melted away. The Welshman finally saw the flag in third place as Sébastien Ogier also took advantage of this incident to slip into second spot on the Ile de Beauté. Kris Meeke, always quick in the Power Stages, won this special again, which awards world championship points. Behind Neuville, Ogier and Evans, Dani Sordo and Teemu Suninen rounded out the top five. Ott Tänak, slowed by a puncture, came home sixth in the Tour de Corse losing the championship lead to Neuville.

In the French camp

Ogier, who had been having problems with the setup of his Citroën C3 WRC throughout the rally, did more than just limit the damage with second place. The Frenchman is now only two points behind Neuville who will be first out on the road in Argentina next month.  Sébastien Loeb came home eighth after a difficult rally (offs, unsuitable setups). Local driver, Olivier Capanaccia, put on a stunning performance by clinching 16th place in his Skoda Fabia R5. As it is often the case, ‘Manu’ Guigou drove a great rally in his Renault Clio R3T and won the 2-wheel-drive category.

The Équipe de France FFSA Rallye incumbent, Adrien Fourmaux, didn’t meet with much luck on the Ile de Beauté as he suffered the consequences on his mistake in the first leg and had to make do with ninth place in WRC2. The young driver from the north of France still finished first of his fellow countrymen in his category.  

Final classification  

  • Neuville/Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) in 3h22m59s0
  • Ogier/Ingrassia (Citroën C3 WRC) + 40s3
  • Evans/Martin (Ford Fiesta WRC) + 1m06s6
  • Sordo/Del Barrio (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) + 1m18s4
  • Suninen/Salminen (Ford Fiesta WRC) + 1m24s6
  • Tänak/Järveoja (Toyota Yaris WRC) + 1m40s0
  • Lappi/Ferm (Citroën C3 WRC) + 2m09s1
  • Loeb/Elena (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) + 3m39s2
  • Meeke/Marshall (Toyota Yaris WRC) + 5m06s3
  • Latvala/Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) +6m44s6

Follow us on Twitter