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Tour de Corse (France) (J) - 6-8 Nov 14

Posted: November 7, 2014 10:46 PM - 4587 Hits

Live Results: rally-base results
News: iRally | European Rally Championship (ERC) - fiaerc.com
Event Website: Tour de Corse (France)
Twitter: @FIAERC
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First stage each day (Corsica is one hour ahead of Ireland / UK)
Times are Ireland/UK
SS1 - Fri - 07:31
SS7 - Sat - 07:18

Unfinished business for Breen in Corsica

Posted: November 4, 2014 9:28 AM

Fresh from a confidence building second place finish on Rallye du Vallais in Switzerland Peugeot Rally Academy driver Craig Breen heads to the island of Corsica this week for the final round of the FIA European Rally Championship with just one intention, to win. Known as the ‘Rally of 10,000 corners the Tour de Corse (Nov 6th – 8th) remains legendary amongst the rallying community around the world for its narrow twisty stages that wind their way through the mountain passes of the island and it will be the perfect opportunity for the Rally Acropolis winner to show again that only for that well known run of bad luck the 2014 European Rally Championship could have had a very different outcome.

A new start location in Porto-Vecchio will see the all tarmac rally come to life with a qualifying stage on Thursday morning where Craig and his co-driver Scott Martin will guide their Peugeot 208 T16 through a short two and a half kilometer test that will determine in which order they will pick their road position for leg one. With the start ceremony taking place on Thursday night it’s not until Friday morning that the crews will see real stage action on six stages not used by the event for a long time that will add to the challenge for drivers like Craig that have only contested the rally in recent years. Following a regroup in Port de Plaisance Propriano at the end of the day, the rally switches to Ajaccio and after an overnight halt the crews will tackle a more familiar but every bit as demanding loop for the final leg including a return to the famous harbourside service park at midday and several classic stages before the ceremonial finish that evening. Before travelling to Corsica Craig said
“I’m going there determined to prove that Myself, Scott and the Peugeot 208 T16 are in fact the winning package that held so much promise after our debut win in Greece earlier in the year.”

You can keep up to date with Craig’s FIA ERC 2014 campaign by visiting www.craigbreen.com or www.peugeot-sport.com

CORSICA BRACED FOR ERC TITLE SHOWDOWN

Posted: November 4, 2014 9:06 AM

Following 10 rounds, 162 special stages, a whole heap of action and plenty of serious competition, the thrilling race for the FIA European Rally Championship concludes on the Mediterranean island of Corsica next week.

Giru di Corsica-Tour de Corse, which starts in Porto-Vecchio on 6 November and finishes in Ajaccio on 8 November, is running for a 57th time in 2014 and remains one of the most legendary and demanding rallies on the international calendar.

Known as the ‘Rally of 10,000 Corners’ due to the frequency of twists and turns over spectacular mountain passes, this year’s event will decide the outcome of the overall ERC title, the ERC Production Car Cup, the ERC 2WD Championship and the new-for-2014 ERC Junior Championship. The ERC Asphalt Master for surface specialists is also up for grabs in Corsica.

The 2014 ERC season-closer marks a step back in time with Friday’s route using stages not run for 30 years, while the November date recreates the spirit of the event’s past when the rally traditionally took place towards the end of the year. Following Free Practice, the Qualifying Stage and shakedown on Thursday, 11 stages are scheduled over a distance of 251.56 kilometres.

Tour de France memories for Corsica ERC counter
Having selected Ajaccio, Bastia, Calvi and Corte as the rally’s central hub in recent years, Porto-Vecchio has been chosen as the new starting point for 2014. The tourist town, Corsica’s third largest and the starting point for the island’s opening leg of the Tour de France cycle race in 2013, will host the ceremonial start from 20:00hrs on Thursday 6 November, two service halts on Friday 7 November, while the Qualifying Stage will take place between Ceccia and Pasciallelo a few kilometres south of the Porto-Vecchio. By using Porto-Vecchio, organisers are able to include classic stages around Sartène and the Forêt d’Ospédale (Palavèse-L’Ospédale, Sorbollano-Pont D’Accoravo, Sartène-Orone), which have been absent from the Tour de Corse for several years.

Destination Ajaccio via Propriano
Following the completion of leg one’s six stages, crews will head to Ajaccio for an overnight halt via a regroup in Propriano. Saturday’s final leg consists of five stages – a single run through Acqua Doria-Col de Bellevalle plus two visits to Bastelica-Tavera and Sarrola-Plage du Liamone. The finish in Ajaccio is scheduled to begin at 17:32hrs local time on 8 November.

Star-studded entry for Corsica ERC finale
Stars from stage and track will be in action on Giru di Corsica-Tour de Corse, which boasts an entry of more than 50 cars. Among those taking part are ŠKODA’s ERC title chasers Esapekka Lappi and Sepp Wiegand, Peugeot duo Kevin Abbring and Craig Breen, last year’s Corsica winner Bryan Bouffier, ERC regulars Robert Consani, Kajetan Kajetanowicz, Bruno Magalhães, Jaromír Tarabus and Antonín Tlus?ák, Swiss star Jonathan Hirschi, plus Le Mans 24 Hours racers Romain Dumas and Stéphane Sarrazin with Dumas giving the RGT Porsche 997 its ERC debut.

ERC titles to go down to the wire in Corsica
While Esapekka Lappi needs five points to become European champion for the first time and Zoltán Bessenyey holds a comfortable advantage in ERC 2WD, Martin Hudec remains in touching distance of Vitaliy Pushkar in the ERC Production Car Cup. Elsewhere, Andrea Crugnola is a mere nine points behind Stéphane Lefebvre in ERC Junior, while the ERC Asphalt Master award will be decided on the Mediterranean island.

Lappi on Wiegand, Wiegand on Lappi
The battle for the ERC title will come down to a two-horse race between ŠKODA team-mates Esapekka Lappi and Sepp Wiegand. And this is what they have had to say about each other ahead of Giru di Corsica-Tour de Corse. Lappi on Wiegand: “He's quite smart driver, I have to say. He’s using his head during the rallies and finishing the rallies. He’s maybe not the fastest guy, but he’s taking the points.” Wiegand on Lappi: “As Esapekka comes from Finland, he’s extremely fast. With all those fast roads and jumps in Finland, he is used to drive fast. He drives a bit longer than me, he has a bit more experience. He does a bit more testing and drives more. I think he’s very motivated, he always aims for the best and he is very focused. I believe he has a good package.”

Six of the best for ERC Junior
Six ERC Junior drivers will be in action in Corsica. Although the focus will be on title contenders Stéphane Lefebvre and Andrea Crugnola’s race for the prize drive in an R5 car on selected rounds of next year’s ERC, Fabio Andolfi, Gino Bux, Florin Tincescu and Aleks Zawada will all be looking to end their respective seasons on a high. Although he’s out of contention for the title, Zawada can still finish runner-up in the final standings.

Local aces out in force on ERC finale
Corsican youngster Jean-Mathieu Leandri will step up to a Ford Fiesta R5 for the first time having started 2014 competing in ERC Junior. Frenchman Laurent Reuche will make his second ERC start in as many weeks armed with Renault’s Clio R3T following a debut ERC 2WD win in Switzerland, while Eric Camilli will be one to watch in a Peugeot 207 S2000.

Subaru chance for Cronin
Keith Cronin will make his return to international competition following a year away in JRM’s Subaru WRX STI. The Irishman, a three-time British champion, will face opposition from ERC Production Car Cup title rivals Vitaliy Pushkar and Martin Hudec and rapid Hungarian Tibor Erdi.

Q&A: ROBERT CONSANI

The ERC’s Mr Loyal has chased success on all 11 rounds of the championship in 2014. The Delta Rally driver looks ahead of his home ERC event, Giru di Corsica-Tour de Corse.

As a driver, what does competing on a legendary rally like Tour de Corse mean to you?
“When I was a kid I went to watch the rally twice with my dad and it was the first time we went to see a WRC round. This is where I saw Philippe Bugalski with the Citroën Xsara Kit Car and I can remember how impressed I was. For me it means a lot to drive there, it means I have somehow achieved my dreams and I keep fighting for them. It won't be my first time here as I already competed in 2013 and with very bad luck because I crashed. So I hope 2014 will be better.”

Friday's route features stages that haven't been run for 30 years, how will you prepare for this challenge?
“Maybe I should ask Jean-Pierre Nicolas for a few tips. He’s the ERC Sporting Manager who already won the rally in 1973. He knows those stages well!”

Your target of a top-five finish in the final ERC standings is still achievable. What's your strategy in Corsica going to be?
“It's a very complicated and long rally, we are going to start on a normal pace and adjust our strategy depending on our classification stage after stage.”

You are officially the most loyal ERC driver having contested all 11 rounds in 2014. How hard have you had to work to achieve this and what kind of scarifies have you made?
“Everyone around me is doing sacrifices, Delta Rally with their competitive prices, as we are running an ERC round with a smaller budget than an ERC Junior driver for sure. My co-driver Maxime Vilmot, with his commitment, my family as I don't see them often, especially Alexandra, my wife, who travels a lot as well but always tries to come on my rallies, and my sponsors who believe in me. Achieving a season like this one represents a lot of day-to-day work. I gather everyone around the project, keep motivating them, talk to sponsors daily or weekly and make sure they are still on to help you. This is my routine when I'm not in a rally car.”

Looking back on the ERC season so far, what has been your best moment and what has been your worst?
“My best memory is the first fourth position overall with the Peugeot 207 Super 2000 on the Circuit of Ireland Rally. My worst moment might be Ypres as we were really strong and had a very good pace, but were forced to retire after a very scary episode because of a fire.”

FIVE FACTS

*After finishing third in Corsica last season, ex-grand prix racer Stéphane Sarrazin is back on the event in a Ford Fiesta RRC. For the record his only Formula One start came in Brazil back in 1999

*Jean-Pierre Nicolas, the ERC Sporting Manager and 1973 Tour de Corse winner, is celebrating 50 years since his debut on the event armed with a shared Renault Dauphine

*Subject to ratification, ŠKODA is assured a third ERC drivers’ title with Esapekka Lappi and Sepp Wiegand hoping to follow in the footsteps of Juho Hänninen (champion in 2012) and last year’s winner Jan Kopecký

*Corsica is big on mountains with 20 summits more than 2000 metres high. Monte Cinto is the highest at 2706 metres

*Wild boar and cheeses made from goat or sheep milk are popular among Corsicans, while Cap Corse is a favourite aperitif

Entry List

Posted: October 31, 2014 2:46 PM

Cronin gets set for Corsica Erc run with Jrm Subaru test

Posted: October 23, 2014 12:35 PM

Three-time British champion Keith Cronin has tested the JRM Subaru WRX STI he will use on the final round of the FIA European Rally Championship in Corsica next month.
Cronin, 28, got behind the wheel of the Group N machine at Turweston Aerodrome in the United Kingdom earlier this month.

He will make his competition in the car on Giru di Corsica-Tour de Corse from 6-8 November when he will be a contender for ERC Production Car Cup honours.

Meanwhile, JRM will be in action when the ERC heads to Switzerland next week for Rallye International du Valais (23-25 October). Mark Higgins who, like Cronin, has won the British championship three times, will pilot the squad’s Subaru WRX STI.

Event Website / Details

Posted: August 14, 2014 11:52 AM

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