Tuesday 5 May - LEG TWO (STAGES 7 - 12) Top five places for Toyota Castrol Team duo in Corsica Improving weather conditions saw an increase in form for World Rally Championship leader Carlos Sainz during the second day of...
Tuesday 5 May - LEG TWO (STAGES 7 - 12) Top five places for Toyota Castrol Team duo in Corsica Improving weather conditions saw an increase in form for World Rally Championship leader Carlos Sainz during the second day of the Rally of France in Corsica. The Spaniard and co-driver Luis Moya brought their Toyota Castrol Team Corolla WRC into second place when the field returned to the overnight halt in Ajaccio. The Spaniards were 47 seconds behind rally leader Colin McRae with one day of the rally to run. Corolla team-mates Didier Auriol and Denis Giraudet matched their team-mates' speed and fought into fifth overall upon the completion of 12 special stages. Unlike the opening day of the event, when stages were shrouded in fog and roads left wet, the second leg from Ajaccio up into the Corsican mountains around Corte produced generally drier conditions. However, wet sections of road again placed a premium on the correct tyre choice, especially on the final stage where some rain fell. "I feel that we did a good job today" said Sainz, who moved from fourth place to second as he set fastest time on two special stages. "On the whole the car has run well, but we were worried this morning when the engine cut out on the way to the first special stage. It took a little time to restart it, and although it was fine when we were on the stages, the engine was cutting out on the road after that. Eventually we found a way around the problem, and I had to do some work on the car. Once we got to service it was all sorted out, and we set two fastest times. We'll do all we can tomorrow to close the gap to Colin but it is difficult to guess what the weather will do and how that will affect the battle for victory. On the last stage the weather changed a lot and we weren't on the optimal set-up for those conditions." As Sainz closed on McRae, Auriol also made progress up the order. He passed Bruno Thiry for fifth position, slipped back to sixth after a misfire and gearshift control unit problems in SS11, then fought back to take fifth spot after the final stage of the day. "It is always a little bit frustrating to have a problem but, when the car has been running well we have been able to set some competitive times. The only thing I don't like is when the conditions are uncertain - when it is dry but then there might be wet patches or rain. It was like that in SS12 when the rain came, and it is difficult to get a good feeling with the car all the time" said the six-time winner of the Corsican event. The Toyota Castrol Team Deutschland Corolla WRC of Isolde Holderied and Anne-Chantal Pauwels was forced to retire during the second leg. Their car left the road in SS9 and, although the crew was unhurt, the car was too far from the road to rejoin. Results SS 12 Feo - Pancheraccia: 26,27 km - 16:14 h Times on SS 12 Overall position after SS 12 Pos. Driver Car Time Pos. Driver Car Time 1 Liatti Subaru 13:36,1 1 McRae Subaru 2:49:21,5 2 McRae Subaru 13:37,8 2 Sainz Toyota Corolla 2:50:08,6 3 Auriol Toyota Corolla 13:43,7 3 Liatti Subaru 2:50:13,3 4 Bugalski Citroen 13:44,5 4 Delecour Peugeot 2:50:39,1 5 Sainz Toyota Corolla 13:45,7 5 Auriol Toyota Corolla 2:50:52,4 6 Doenlen Citroen 13:45,7 6 Thiry Ford 2:50:57,4 7 Thiry Ford 13:51,9 7 Panizzi Peugeot 2:51:03,0 8 Delecour Peugeot 13:56,0 8 Bugalski Citroen 2:52:07,1 9 Panizzi Peugeot 13:59,5 9 Kankkunen Ford 2:53:15,9 10 Magaud Citroen 14:02,1 10 Doenlen Citroen 2:53:29,1 Remarks:
General: An uphill start for this new stage then a twisty, narrow section on an abrasive surface for the first three kilometres. The next part is flatter and fairly wide and fast all the way to the village of Erbajolo followed by a downhill section, a flat portion and a slight climb to the village of Piedicorte di Gaggio. The stage is then flat until 2.5 km after Pietraserena before a spectacular 1.5 kilometre descent to the finish.
Burns: retired; spun in ss 10 and damaged the right suspension. Had a puncture in ss 11, continued but 3 km after the stage in the road section on the way to the service he stopped as the suspension was too badly damaged. SS 11 Morosaglia - Campile: 31,91 km - 13:29 h Times on SS 11 Overall position after SS 11 Pos. Driver Car Time Pos. Driver Car Time 1 McRae Subaru 20:40,4 1 McRae Subaru 2:35:43,7 2 Sainz Toyota Corolla 20:42,4 2 Sainz Toyota Corolla 2:36:22,9 3 Liatti Subaru 20:44,8 3 Liatti Subaru 2:36:37,2 4 Delecour Peugeot 20:45,2 4 Delecour Peugeot 2:36:43,1 5 Bugalski Citroen 20:48,0 5 Panizzi Peugeot 2:37:03,5 6 Panizzi Peugeot 20:48,7 6 Thiry Ford 2:37:05,5 7 Thiry Ford 20:50,2 7 Auriol Toyota Corolla 2:37:08,7 8 Auriol Toyota Corolla 20:56,3 8 Bugalski Citroen 2:38:22,6 9 Doenlen Citroen 20:58,2 9 Kankkunen Ford 2:39:10,9 10 Kankkunen Ford 21:12,8 10 Doenlen Citroen 2:39:38,3 Remarks:
General: The longest stage of the rally has a good quality surface. After the spectacular climb to the Col to Prato, the road become twistier, and at times, narrow to the finish.
Auriol: engine misfile. SS 10 Pont St. Laurent - Morosaglia: 17,84 km - 13:06 h Times on SS 10 Overall position after SS 10 Pos. Driver Car Time Pos. Driver Car Time 1 Sainz Toyota Corolla 11:24,7 1 McRae Subaru 2:15:03,3 2 Panizzi Peugeot 11:26,4 2 Sainz Toyota Corolla 2:15:40,5 3 Bugalski Citroen 11:26,7 3 Liatti Subaru 2:15:52,4 4 Delecour Peugeot 11:26,7 4 Delecour Peugeot 2:15:57,9 5 Auriol Toyota Corolla 11:29,3 5 Auriol Toyota Corolla 2:16:12,4 6 McRae Subaru 11:30,0 6 Thiry Ford 2:16:15,3 7 Thiry Ford 11:30,8 7 Panizzi Peugeot 2:16:14,8 8 Burns Mitsubishi 11:34,2 8 Burns Mitsubishi 2:16:49,4 9 Liatti Subaru 11:36,3 9 Bugalski Citroen 2:17:34,6 10 Magaud Citroen 11:38,1 10 Kankkunen Ford 2:17:58,1 Remarks:
General: The first part of this stage is fast on a good quality surface with some interesting hairpin bends in the climb to Gavignano. The last part is then flat before a twisty climb to the finish. SS 9 Feo - Pancheraccia: 26,27 km - 10:38 h Times on SS 9 Overall position after SS 9 Pos. Driver Car Time Pos. Driver Car Time 1 Sainz Toyota Corolla 13:13,7 1 McRae Subaru 2:03:33,3 2 McRae Subaru 13:17,4 2 Sainz Toyota Corolla 2:04:15,8 3 Panizzi Peugeot 13:18,4 3 Liatti Subaru 2:04:16,1 4 Delecour Peugeot 13:18,7 4 Delecour Peugeot 2:04:31,2 5 Bugalski Citroen 13:19,3 5 Auriol Toyota Corolla 2:04:43,1 6 Liatti Subaru 13:20,7 6 Thiry Ford 2:04:44,5 7 Auriol Toyota Corolla 13:22,6 7 Panizzi Peugeot 2:04:48,4 8 Burns Mitsubishi 13:25,2 8 Burns Mitsubishi 2:05:15,2 9 Doenlen Citroen 13:27,7 9 Bugalski Citroen 2:06:07,9 10 Thiry Ford 13:30,0 10 Kankkunen Ford 2:06:15,6 Remarks:
General: An uphill start for this new stage then a twisty, narrow section on an abrasive surface for the first three kilometres. The next part is flatter and fairly wide and fast all the way to the village of Erbajolo followed by a downhill section, a flat portion and a slight climb to the village of Piedicorte di Gaggio. The stage is then flat until 2.5 km after Pietraserena before a spectacular 1.5 km descent to the finish.
Holderied: went off after 7 km and retired. SS 8 Muracciole - Noceta: 16,48 km - 08:43 h Times on SS 8 Overall position after SS 8 Pos. Driver Car Time Pos. Driver Car Time 1 McRae Subaru 10:30,6 1 McRae Subaru 1:50:15,9 2 Sainz Toyota Corolla 10:39,0 2 Liatti Subaru 1:50:56,4 3 Liatti Subaru 10:39,4 3 Sainz Toyota Corolla 1:51:02,1 4 Bugalski Citroen 10:42,0 4 Delecour Peugeot 1:51:12,5 5 Auriol Toyota Corolla 10:42,3 5 Thiry Ford 1:51:14,5 6 Panizzi Peugeot 10:43,0 6 Auriol Toyota Corolla 1:51:20,5 7 Burns Mitsubishi 10:43,7 7 Panizzi Peugeot 1:51:30,0 8 Thiry Ford 10:44,5 8 Burns Mitsubishi 1:51:50,0 9 Magaud Citroen 10:49,1 9 Kankkunen Ford 1:52:45,4 10 Doenlen Citroen 10:49,6 10 Bugalski Citroen 1:52:48,6 20 Holderied Toyota Corolla 11:22,3 14 Holderied Toyota Corolla 1:57:51,4 Remarks:
General: Another Tour de Corse classic. Alternatively smooth then abrasive, the stage is a simple climb followed by flatter portions before the descent to the finish. SS 7 Gare de Carbuccia - Gare D'Ucciani: 11,11 km - 07:45 h Times on SS 7 Overall position after SS 7 Pos. Driver Car Time Pos. Driver Car Time 1 McRae Subaru 7:59,0 1 McRae Subaru 1:39:45,3 2 Sainz Toyota Corolla 8:04,0 2 Liatti Subaru 1:40:16,0 3 Liatti Subaru 8:06,1 3 Delecour Peugeot 1:40:21,0 4 Auriol Toyota Corolla 8:07,8 4 Sainz Toyota Corolla 1:40:23,1 5 Thiry Ford 8:08,5 5 Thiry Ford 1:40:30,0 6 Panizzi Peugeot 8:09,3 6 Auriol Toyota Corolla 1:40:38,2 7 Doenlen Citroen 8:12,6 7 Panizzi Peugeot 1:40:47,0 8 Bugalski Citroen 8:13,1 8 Burns Mitsubishi 1:41:06,3 9 Delecour Peugeot 8:14,0 9 Kankkunen Ford 1:41:50,8 10 Kankkunen Ford 8:18,6 10 Bugalski Citroen 1:42:06,6 17 Holderied Toyota Corolla 8:44,6 14 Holderied Toyota Corolla 1:46:29,1 Remarks:
General: This smooth stage has been used in both directions in the past. The first part is uphill and very twisty all the way to Carbuccia, followed by a faster plateau section to the village of Ucciani. The stage finishes with a 500 metre downhill section. Weather: damp road from overnight rain.