WRC 2016 - Michelin’s 299th world class victory at Tour de Corse
The 2016 Tour de Corse saw Michelin rack up its 299th WRC win thanks to Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia. The Volkswagen Motorsport pair was joined on the podium by Thierry Neuville (Hyundai/Michelin) and team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen. Ford’s Elfyn Evans brought Michelin success in WRC2, too.
Michelin extended its 13-year unbeaten WRC record on asphalt today with a no-nonsense victory in Corsica, home of the 2016 FIA WRC’s 11th round. This year’s ‘Tour’ visited Ajaccio, Bastia and Porto Vecchio and the French firm’s Pilot Sport H5 and S5 tires claimed all 10 stages.
Ogier won Friday’s four tests to pull out an immediate lead which then allowed him to control comfortably from in front. He went on to clinch his first ever Tour de Corse success and become the 13th Frenchman to have won on the island since the world championship’s creation in 1973.
It was the 36th world class win of his career and Michelin’s 299th at world level since 1973. The Volkswagen driver could well wrap up his fourth Drivers’ crown and take Michelin’s score to 300 victories when action resumes in Catalonia on October 13-16. The 2016 Rallye de Espana will be the WRC’s 555th round.
Neuville came out on top in his duel for second spot with Mikkelsen. The Belgian took the advantage as rain swept across the island on Saturday afternoon, making the notoriously twisty mountain roads particularly slippery.
Last year’s victor Jari-Matti Latvala (VW/Michelin) finished fourth, ahead of Craig Breen (Citroën/Michelin) who was caught out by the rain on SS7. The top 10 was rounded out by Hyundai/Michelin’s Hayden Paddon and Dani Sordo, and Ford/Michelin’s Eric Camilli and Mads Ostberg.
Ulsterman Kris Meeke (Citroën/Michelin) won three stages (including the Power Stage) and figured as high as second overall. However, he was deprived of a chance to challenge for his third victory this season when his DS3 WRC clouted a tree on SS6.
The WRC2 class saw drivers competing on Michelin’s Pilot Sport RH2 and RS tyres win all 10 stages. The championship leader Elfyn Evans (Ford Fiesta R5/Michelin) collected his third victory of the year, ahead of the Czech Republic’s Jan Kopecky (Skoda/Michelin) and French youngster Yoann Bonato (Citroën/Michelin).