M-Sport Ford World Rally Team’s Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia delivered another stunning performance at this weekend’s Tour de Corse – securing their third victory of the year behind the wheel of the EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta WRC.
Showcasing impressive speed throughout the first day of competition, the pairing controlled the lead thereafter – securing the win and extending their advantage at the head of the FIA World Rally Championship for Drivers and Co-drivers.
Excelling under challenging circumstances, Elfyn Evans and Phil Mills secured a highly commendable fifth place. With just the preliminary Shakedown to test their new partnership aboard the top-specification Fiesta, the Welshmen delivered and the team are now just four points shy of the lead in the Manufacturers’ championship.
The Fiesta was also delivering results further down the field – Jean-Baptiste Franceschi and Romain Courbon piloting their one-litre EcoBoost Ford Fiesta R2 to victory in WRC 3.
Team Principal, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said:
“It’s been a fantastic weekend for us and another superb performance from Sébastien and Julien. In Mexico we witnessed one of their best ever drives, so to come here and repeat it on asphalt – well, you can image how that lifts the whole team.
“When the splits started coming through on Friday we were all quite shocked to see how strong we were. Having established such a good lead over the opening day, it creates some pressure for the remainder of the event – but Sébastien and Julien didn’t falter.
“Elfyn and Phil have also done a remarkable job in the circumstances. Obviously we were all hoping that Dan would be fit, but his fitness comes first and we were really thankful that Phil was able to step in and do such a good job.
“Naturally it took them a while to get used to one another, but they got better and better as the event went on – and this result gives Elfyn a good platform to build on ahead of Argentina.”
Steven Armstrong, Group Vice President and President, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Ford Motor Company, said:
“This weekend’s victory is another demonstration of Sébastien and Julien’s incredible talent, and the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team’s commitment to building the Fiesta WRC for consistent success.
“There’s an immense amount of endurance required for a win at the Tour de Corse, and we are proud that the Ford Fiesta could thrive at the Rally of 10,000 Corners.
“Congratulations to the whole team in winning this French round of the WRC. Later this year the all-new Fiesta ST will be on sale utilising the same winning EcoBoost technology!”
OGIER AND INGRASSIA
Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia secured their third win of the year this weekend – piloting their EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta WRC to victory on home soil at the Tour de Corse.
Starting the event with a stunning display of speed, the pairing were in a league of their own through the opening stages – establishing a commanding lead and highlighting the improved performance of the Fiesta on asphalt.
Affording a more measured approach through the remainder of the event, the five-time world champions were able to control their pace – avoiding unnecessary risks and confirming their pacenotes through the newer speed tests.
With 25 points for the win, and an additional three points from the Power Stage, the Frenchmen have also extended their lead to 17 points in the championship – and have secured victory on three of the four events contested so far.
SS11: 4th (+13.5)
SS12: 3rd (+3.4)
Sébastien Ogier (1st) said:
“It’s been a really good weekend for us and I am very happy with the performance. We had great pace on Friday and then just had to manage the gap after that.
“It was really satisfying to show this kind of speed – especially after last year where it was a bit more difficult. Now it seems like everything is going in the right direction – we have made some developments and I am feeling better and better in the car.”
EVANS AND MILLS
Elfyn Evans and Phil Mills have triumphed in the face of adversity this weekend – the Welshmen’s focus and determination delivering an impressive fifth-place at the legendary Tour de Corse.
The relationship between a driver and co-driver is something truly unique – developed and perfected over time. With Daniel Barritt needing more rest before his return, Mills took to the notes – confidently navigating his countryman through some of the FIA World Rally Championship’s most arduous asphalt stages.
The pairing had just six runs through Shakedown to perfect their relationship inside the EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta WRC, but soon found a comfortable rhythm with which to challenge for a strong result.
Growing in confidence with every kilometre, the pairing were just 3.5 seconds shy of fourth place at the end of the event.
SS11: 6th (+22.7)
SS12: 7th (+10.5)
Elfyn Evans (5th) said:
“It was never going to be an easy weekend for us, but Phil has done an incredible job – jumping in at the last minute and getting us through without incident. We’ve collected some solid points which is what we came here to do. There is still a lot of work to do as far as the championship is concerned, but at least we can go to Argentina in a positive frame of mind and try to push for a strong result.”
1. Sébastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia (Ford Fiesta WRC) 3:26:52.7
2. Ott Tänak / Martin Järveoja (Toyota Yaris WRC) +36.1
3. Thierry Neuville / Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC +1:07.5
4. Dani Sordo / Carlos del Barrio (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +2:02.6
5. Elfyn Evans / Phil Mills (Ford Fiesta WRC) +2:06.1
6. Esapekka Lappi / Janne Ferm (Toyota Yaris WRC) +2:33.5
7. Andreas Mikkelsen / Anders Jaeger (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +2:43.4
8. Jan Kopecky / Pavel Dresler (Skoda Fabia R5) +10:34.8
9. Kris Meeke / Paul Nagle (Citroen C3 WRC) +10:40.5
10. Yoann Bonato / Benjamin Boulloud (Citroen C3 R5) +12:26.0
1. Sébastien Ogier - 84
2. Thierry Neuville - 67
3. Ott Tänak - 45
4. Andreas Mikkelsen - 41
5. Kris Meeke - 36
6. Esapekka Lapp - 36
7. Jari-Matti Latvala - 31
8. Dani Sordo - 30
9. Craig Breen - 20
10. Elfyn Evans - 18
1. Hyundai Motorsport - 111
2. M-Sport Ford World Rally Team - 107
3. Toyota Gazoo Racing WRC - 93
4. Citroen Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team - 81