The Tour de Corse Event
Covering a competitive distance of 333.48 kilometres across 12 stages, the Tour de Corse will see drivers compete in winding roads around the Bastia Airport region. Look out for the Vero - Sarrola-Carcopino stage, which hasn’t been run since way back in 2001!
The 2017 outing saw Neuville clinch a 54.7 second victory over second place Ogier, while Spain’s Dani Sordo finished in third place, meaning two Hyundais and one M-Sport Fiesta made up the podium. With Neuville and Ogier set to go head to head again this year, bookies have given the two similar odds, although Neuville is favourite for the event.
There’s no doubt that the two to watch for the 2018 season are Neuville and Ogier, with the two neck-and-neck for the majority of the 2017 season and already providing some intense viewing this season. Sebastien Loeb shouldn’t be ruled out, however, as the Frenchman won nine consecutive world titles, including four victories in Corsica (2005-2008). With a proven track record, the Citroen driver comes in at 9/2 for victory in Corsica this time around.
This doesn’t mean, of course, that other drivers shouldn’t be considered, with Norwegian Andreas Mikkelsen having gained more experience in the Hyundai in recent months, as well as two third place podium finished at Corsica in 2016 and 2015. The previous podiums can be seen below.
|1st||Thierry Neuville||Sebastien Ogier||Jari-Matti Latvala|
|2nd||Sebastien Ogier||Thierry Neuville||Elfyn Evans|
|3rd||Dani Sordo||Andreas Mikkelsen||Andreas Mikkelsen|
It is likely to be a close fight in Corsica this time around, with Neuville and Ogier battling it out for top spot in the championship standings, but throw nine times consecutive World Champion Sebastien Loeb (2004 – 2012) into the mix and it promises to be a real thriller. ‘The Rally of 10,000 Corners’, as Tour de Corse is also known, will see all drivers face tricky twists and turns around the Bastia region, where one mistake can easily end a drivers’ push for a win. Experience is going to come in handy here, although that is certainly not lacking with 11 WRC entries, 12 WRC2 entries and 15 WRC3 entries all confirmed for the event.
Keep an eye on Ogier, though. The Frenchman is in the lead, but not by much. A win here would only increase that lead, especially if the full Power Stage points can be grabbed. At the end of Corsica last year, Ogier had 88 points, Latvala 75 and Neuville was in third place with 54.
Shakedown takes place on Thursday 5th April, with the first car due at 08:00.
Sports.net’s Top Tip
*Please note, odds may fluctuate.