WRC

Tour de Corse Subaru Review

McRAE & THE 555 SUBARU ON WINNING FORM Tour de Corse - Leg 1 - 4 May, 19:07 -0100 In spite of pouring rain and treacherous conditions the 555 Subaru World Rally Team crew of Colin McRae and Nicky Grist are on winning form and ...

McRAE & THE 555 SUBARU ON WINNING FORM

Tour de Corse - Leg 1 - 4 May, 19:07 -0100 In spite of pouring rain and treacherous conditions the 555 Subaru World Rally Team crew of Colin McRae and Nicky Grist are on winning form and stormed into the lead on the opening Leg of the 42nd Tour de Corse. Italian team-mates Piero Liatti and Fabrizia Pons were hot on the Britons heels and finished today’s six stages and 135 competitive kilometres in a fine third position. The abrasive asphalt on the Mediterranean island has favoured the Pirelli-shod Subaru Impreza 555s and McRae made his intentions clear from the outset by posting fastest time on the opening section. With thunderous skies looming in the mountains, tyre choice and information from the weather crews became crucial as the leading competitors kept a watchful eye on their opponents. "This rally always ends up being a gamble with tyres and it has happened today," said Colin. "As well as the tread, it’s important to get the tyre compound right because if you go too hard you end up sliding around all over the place. It’s not been the type of day to take risks and we’ve been reasonably conservative, but even so we’ve had some scary moments where the car flips from side to side as the conditions change." But, as the crews went into the final two stages, both 555 Subarus went out with drier weather tyres cut with a rain tread and romped ahead of the field. Both Colin and Piero set identical fastest times on SS5 and Piero’s final stage charge put him back in a challenging position. "I obviously feel very heartened that we are leading at the end of the first day but twenty seconds doesn’t mean we can sit back and cruise. It’s one of those rallies where anything can happen and we just have to hope that luck goes our way tomorrow," said Colin. Team-mate Piero Liatti has put in an outstanding performance today, despite a knock in his confidence on the opening stage of his favourite rally. "We had a puncture two kilometres into the stage and because the tyres weren’t warm enough by then, the anti deflation mousse was only working to twenty percent," said the Italian. "Because of that, and a slight loss of concentration, we then had a spin on the stage and dropped to seventeenth overall. It was a lot of bad luck in one stage." However, the all-Italian crew fought back, despite running in low cloud with limited visibility and, on the final two stages of the day, Piero came into his own, streaking ahead of his rivals to finish the day just twenty-three seconds adrift of Colin and only three seconds away from second position. "At the end of today everything was working absolutely brilliantly," added Piero. "The tyres were perfect for the last two stages and the Subaru Impreza feels just right. I do not want to change anything tonight and I am very pleased with the way we have performed today. Tomorrow may be different but now I am feeling very confident." Leg 2 of the Tour de Corse starts on Tuesday, 5 May at 07:00 hrs for a further six special stages and 130 competitive kilometres. Tour de Corse - Leg 1 Results (also available on http://www.speedmedia.com) DRIVER CAR TOTAL TIME DIFF STAGES WON 1 Colin McRae Subaru Impreza 555 WRC98 1.31.46.3 1,=5 2 Francois Delecour Peugeot 306 Maxi (F2) 1.32.07.0 20.7 3 Piero Liatti Subaru Impreza 555 WRC98 1.32.09.9 23.6 4,=5,6 4 Carlos Sainz Toyota Corolla World Rally Car 1.32.19.1 32.8 3 5 Bruno Thiry Ford Escort World Rally Car 1.32.21.5 35.2 2 6 Didier Auriol Toyota Corolla World Rally Car 1.32.30.4 44.1 7 Gilles Panizzi Peugeot 306 Maxi (F2) 1.32.37.7 51.4 8 Richard Burns Mitsubishi Carisma GT 1.32.44.9 58.6 9 Juha Kankkunen Ford Escort World Rally Car 1.33.32.1 1.45.8 10 Philippe Bugalski Citroen Xsara Kit Car (F2) 1.33.53.5 2.07.2

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Series WRC
Drivers Colin McRae , Carlos Sainz , Richard Burns , Gilles Panizzi , Didier Auriol , François Delecour , Philippe Bugalski , Juha Kankkunen , Nicky Grist , Fabrizia Pons , Piero Liatti
Teams Citroën World Rally Team