Thursday, 1 October 2015

Rally - VW in Corsica



No doubt hoping to get away from the lurid headlines on mainland Europe, the VW Polo WRC team were getting down to business in Corsica this week concentrating their efforts ahead of this weekend’s ‘Rally France on Corsica’ otherwise known as the ‘Rally of 10,000 Corners’ – obviously the French haven’t heard about Mull!

Ahead of the challenge the Volkswagen drivers used the Shakedown to prepare for the tricky conditions expected over the coming 3 days. Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila were third fastest over the 3.88-kilometre stage with Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia fourth and Andreas Mikkelsen/Ola Fløene ninth.

Apparently, the weather experts are expecting torrential rain on Thursday evening and Friday, with up to 300 litres per square metre anticipated. And possibly a ‘medicane’ – a rare weather phenomenon, similar to a hurricane, which forms over the Mediterranean. The Shakedown was held on a wet surface, on which grip levels changed constantly.

The Rally France starts on Friday with the first three of just nine special stages, with an average length of about 37 kms per stage. The ceremonial start will take place this evening in Ajaccio.

After the shakedown Sébastien Ogier commented: “I have fond memories of Corsica from my early days of rallying. I drove the course car here in 2007, then secured the title in the Junior WRC on this island in 2008. That opened the door to the top class, the WRC, for Julien and me. To return now as world champions is a very special feeling. However, it is going to be an extremely difficult rally – particularly given the weather forecast. We are expecting heavy rainfall on Friday, with a lot of standing water on the asphalt. It will be even more important than usual not to make any mistakes. The ‘Tour de Corse’ is very unforgiving. If you don’t stay on the right line here, your rally can be over in a flash. The Shakedown went well. We tried a few more set-up variants than we would otherwise do, as we were not able to test last week.”

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