Rally France, Day 2: Latvala edges ahead of Evans

Volkswagen driver Jari-Matti Latvala took over in the lead of the Tour de Corse, passing Elfyn Evans on the final stage of day two.

With the first special stage of the day cancelled, Latvala took Evans' 22-second lead down to less than two seconds after SS5 before edging into first place during the 48km Muracciole - Col de Sorba stage.

However, the lengthy SS6 didn't prove problem-free for the Finn, who was eight seconds slower than out-of-contention teammate Sebastien Ogier and subsequently spoke of a developing issue with the gearbox.

The issue stands as a potential threat to Latvala's victory bid, with the fellow VW of Ogier ruled out due to a gearshift failure yesterday and a 30km road section still remaining before the Finn can have his gearbox changed.

Evans, meanwhile, enjoyed a smooth run through SS6 and is set to enter the final day just two seconds behind Latvala.

"The car was moving a lot and it was difficult to get confidence, but the time wasn't so bad," the Welshman said. "I haven't found as good of a rhythm as yesterday, but we're still here and that's the main thing. It's all still to play for."

Andreas Mikkelsen ended the day 31 seconds behind Latvala in third place, while Kevin Abbring, who had started the day in second, dropped to fourth after SS5 and then slipped behind Kris Meeke on the final stage.

Mads Ostberg sits sixth, ahead of Hyundai's Hayden Paddon and French duo Bryan Bouffier and Stephane Sarrazin, with Ott Tanak in tenth.

Robert Kubica, who was fifth when the day began, picked up a puncture during the fifth stage, stopped to change the tyre and then got another puncture, which forced him into retirement.

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About this article
Series WRC
Event Rallye de France
Drivers Jari-Matti Latvala , Andreas Mikkelsen , Elfyn Evans
Teams Volkswagen Motorsport
Article type Leg report