Sebastien Ogier has won Rally France 2018, the Corsica linea – Tour de Corse extending his championship lead to 17 points. The Frenchman led from start to finish in his Ford Fiesta WRC, heading Ott Tanak in his Toyota Yaris WRC and Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville to round off the podium which was evenly distributed in France.
Dani Sordo finished fifth in his Hyundai i20 WRC ahead of the Fiesta of Elfyn Evans. Esapekka Lappi put the other Yaris WRC in sixth ahead of Andreas Mikkelsen’s Hyundai. Jan Kopecký finished eighth to win WRC 2 in his Skoda Fabia R5 while Kris Meeke rounded off the top ten in his Citroen C3.
Ogier dominated the rally on Friday, sweeping all stages and speed tests clean. One man who was not equally lucky was his countryman Sebastien Loeb who crashed out of the rally on stage 2 in his Citroen C3. The seven time world champion was running second before his big disappointment. He managed to rejoin the rally but had lost too much ground.
Loeb in fact showed his full potential after winning Saturday’s morning test by going fastest, he went ahead to comment, “No problems at all, I knew I could be fast,”. He added another victory on the Désert des Agriates speed test, his second win that morning. The bigger advantage however went to Ogier who extended his lead.
Lappi won stage 8 on Saturday afternoon, beating Loeb to the clock while Ogier came in at third. Overall, Ogier’s lead had increased to 44.5s. For Meeke, this was yet another year of disappointment after he crashed his Citroen on a 17km stage, the third year in a row that he has crashed on that stage. Only 2 stages were left for Sunday.
Tanak won the first 55km stage on Sunday, which ultimately allowed him to secure second place overall. He beat Neuville by 13s, rally leader Ogier had pretty much won the event given his extensive lead come Sunday. Rally Argentina is next on the Calendar, April 26.