Sebastien Ogier takes early Corsica lead as Sebastien Loeb crashes
WRC - Rally Corsica

Sebastien Ogier takes early Corsica lead as Sebastien Loeb crashes

07/04/2018

Sebastien Ogier stormed into an early lead of the World Rally Championship's first full asphalt rally of the season in Corsica, while Sebastien Loeb crashed on the second stage.

Nine-time champion Loeb's hopes of victory in the second of his three planned 2018 outings with Citroen came to an abrupt end on the second stage of the morning when he put his C3 in a ditch just moments after the start of the test.

He had been second on the opening test to Ogier, who was 9.7 seconds faster than his countryman on the 30-mile stage.

Citroen reported Loeb and co-driver Daniel Elena were OK, but has not said whether they will return.

With Loeb's crash, M-Sport Ford Fiesta driver Ogier was able to extend his rally lead to 21.1s over shakedown pacesetter Kris Meeke with another fastest time on the shorter Piedigriggio - Pont de Castirla second stage.

Thierry Neuville completes the top three, a little more than two seconds behind Meeke, but reported he was unhappy with the balance of his Hyundai i20 - which he claimed was "all over the place" - after the opening test.

Toyota's trio also suffered on the opening stage with braking issues through the water sections.

Ott Tanak is the highest-placed Yaris in fourth position ahead of M-Sport's Elfyn Evans, who has Petter Solberg's former co-driver Phil Mills alongside him this weekend while Daniel Barritt continues his recovery from a Rally Mexico crash.

Dani Sordo, who finished runner-up to Ogier in Mexico, sits in sixth place ahead of the second and third Toyotas of Esapekka Lappi and Jari-Matti Latvala.

Sordo's Hyundai team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen spun on the opening corner of the first stage and ended the morning in ninth place, marginally ahead of the third M-Sport Fiesta of Bryan Bouffier, who is making his first appearance since the season-opener.

Skoda veteran Jan Kopecky leads the WRC2 category ahead of young team-mate Ole Christian Veiby.

Related news

Marquez penalised for Vinales qualifying block

Marquez penalised for Vinales qualifying block

Honda's Marc Marquez will start Sunday's MotoGP race at Austin from fourth on the grid after a penalty for blocking Yamaha rider Maverick Vinales in qualifying.

Marquez claims controversial Austin pole

Marquez claims controversial Austin pole

Marc Marquez provisionally continued his unbroken run of MotoGP pole positions at the Circuit of the Americas, but is under investigation for baulking closest rival Maverick Vinales.

Sublime Daniel Ricciardo charges to China win

Sublime Daniel Ricciardo charges to China win

Daniel Ricciardo emerged victorious at a mesmerising Chinese Grand Prix after the lead changed several times and drama unfolded among the top six drivers.

Sebastian Vettel beats Kimi Raikkonen to China pole position

Sebastian Vettel beats Kimi Raikkonen to China pole position

Sebastian Vettel beat teammate Kimi Raikkonen to pole position by just 0.087s as Ferrari put in a dominant qualifying performance at the Chinese Grand Prix.

Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel comfortably quickest in final practice

Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel comfortably quickest in final practice

Sebastian Vettel set the fastest time in final practice for the Chinese Grand Prix as Ferrari dominated the session in cold and windy conditions.

Lewis Hamilton edges Kimi Raikkonen by 0.007s in China's FP2

Lewis Hamilton edges Kimi Raikkonen by 0.007s in China's FP2

Mercedes and Ferrari look set for another tight battle at the front of the grid during this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix after Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen were split by just 0.007s in Friday practice.

Lewis Hamilton beats Kimi Raikkonen to fastest time in FP1 at Chinese GP

Lewis Hamilton beats Kimi Raikkonen to fastest time in FP1 at Chinese GP

Lewis Hamilton's bid to become a six-time winner in China got off to a promising start on Friday with the Mercedes driver dominating opening practice on a cool and overcast morning in Shanghai.

Sebastian Vettel beats Valtteri Bottas to Bahrain win

Sebastian Vettel beats Valtteri Bottas to Bahrain win

Sebastian Vettel took his second win of the season on Sunday night after holding off Valtteri Bottas for victory in a tense finish to the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Ogier seals Corsica victory

Ogier seals Corsica victory

Sebastien Ogier sealed victory in the World Rally Championship's Tour de Corse with a comfortable run through the final two stages of the event on Sunday.

RELATED NEWS

Marquez penalised for Vinales qualifying block
MotoGP Americas Grand Prix - Qualifying

Marquez penalised for Vinales qualifying block

Honda's Marc Marquez will start Sunday's MotoGP race at Austin from fourth on the grid after a penalty for blocking Yamaha rider Maverick Vinales in qualifying.

Marquez claims controversial Austin pole
MotoGP Americas Grand Prix - Qualifying

Marquez claims controversial Austin pole

Marc Marquez provisionally continued his unbroken run of MotoGP pole positions at the Circuit of the Americas, but is under investigation for baulking closest rival Maverick Vinales.

Sublime Daniel Ricciardo charges to China win
Chinese Grand Prix

Sublime Daniel Ricciardo charges to China win

Daniel Ricciardo emerged victorious at a mesmerising Chinese Grand Prix after the lead changed several times and drama unfolded among the top six drivers.

Sebastian Vettel beats Kimi Raikkonen to China pole position
Chinese Grand Prix - Qualifying

Sebastian Vettel beats Kimi Raikkonen to China pole position

Sebastian Vettel beat teammate Kimi Raikkonen to pole position by just 0.087s as Ferrari put in a dominant qualifying performance at the Chinese Grand Prix.

Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel comfortably quickest in final practice
Chinese Grand Prix - FP3

Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel comfortably quickest in final practice

Sebastian Vettel set the fastest time in final practice for the Chinese Grand Prix as Ferrari dominated the session in cold and windy conditions.

Lewis Hamilton edges Kimi Raikkonen by 0.007s in China's FP2
Chinese Grand Prix - FP2

Lewis Hamilton edges Kimi Raikkonen by 0.007s in China's FP2

Mercedes and Ferrari look set for another tight battle at the front of the grid during this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix after Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen were split by just 0.007s in Friday practice.

Lewis Hamilton beats Kimi Raikkonen to fastest time in FP1 at Chinese GP
Chinese Grand Prix - FP1

Lewis Hamilton beats Kimi Raikkonen to fastest time in FP1 at Chinese GP

Lewis Hamilton's bid to become a six-time winner in China got off to a promising start on Friday with the Mercedes driver dominating opening practice on a cool and overcast morning in Shanghai.

Sebastian Vettel beats Valtteri Bottas to Bahrain win
Bahrain Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel beats Valtteri Bottas to Bahrain win

Sebastian Vettel took his second win of the season on Sunday night after holding off Valtteri Bottas for victory in a tense finish to the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Ogier seals Corsica victory
WRC - Rally Corsica

Ogier seals Corsica victory

Sebastien Ogier sealed victory in the World Rally Championship's Tour de Corse with a comfortable run through the final two stages of the event on Sunday.