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FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
ROUND 5: RALLYE DE FRANCE - TOUR DE CORSE
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION DRIVERS DOMINATE IN THE CORSICAN SUNSHINE  
9 APRIL 2006 LEG 3 RELEASE
 
OVERALL FINAL RESULTS
OVERALL LEG 2 RESULTS
OVERALL LEG 1 RESULTS

Marc Valliccioni / Marie Poyo Chanza
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII
 

Marc Valliccioni / Marie Poyo Chanza
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII
 

Herve Guignard / Didier Meffre
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII
 
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution drivers led the Group N category of the Tour de Corse from the start on Friday until the finish, back in Ajaccio, this afternoon. Corsican crew Marc Valliccioni and co-driver Marie Josee Poyo Chanza eventually took a comfortable, but emotional, victory in their Lancer Evolution VII.

This was the first time a Corsican crew had ever won the Production category of their home round of the World Rally Championship. Valliccioni from Bastia, in the north of the island was overjoyed when he reached the finish of what had been a typically tough Tour de Corse. Frenchman Guy Fiori was the first to admit just how tough this event had been. The Lancer Evolution VIII driver, with Claude Raffini alongside, had moved into the lead on the opening leg and remained there until Saturday afternoon, when he went off the road on SS7. He dropped to seventh position, while Valliccioni hit the front.

"It means so much to win this event," said the victorious Mitsubishi driver. "It’s incredible. I have done this rally eight times, the last twice in a Group N car and now we have won it. I am so happy! The Mitsubishi has been perfect all of the time, we had no problems with the car at all. The only minor problem I have had has been high tire pressure towards the end of the stages which has been caused by the high temperatures."

Despite what looked like an entirely controlled drive, Valliccioni admitted he had been worried over Sunday’s final four stages. He added: "When you have such a big lead over the next car, it is very nice to drive, but at the same time, it can be very difficult to drive in these conditions. I was always thinking something could happen, but in the end it was perfect. Fantastic!"

Valliccioni maintained those two minutes through to the finish, with Bulgarians Georges Tanev/Petar Sivov second in their Subaru. Patrick Heintz/Roland Scherrer (Switzerland) and Ludvik Otto/Miroslav Fanta (Czech Republic) were third and fourth in their Imprezas, while Herve Guignard and Didier Meffre took fifth for Mitsubishi.

Guignard had been looking for a finish further up the order and was setting very respectable times in his Lancer Evolution VIII before a puncture spoiled his rally. He dropped five minutes with the tire problem.

"That was a real shame," said Guignard, from France. "I have always enjoyed this rally and again, it was very nice this year, but when we drop so much time, it’s always hard to fight back. The car was great, though, very reliable for us I am happy with that."

At the head of the field, Sebastien Loeb provided his home supporters with another reason to cheer, as he repeated his 2005 Tour de Corse victory. The Citroen driver won this year’s event by 29 seconds from Ford’s Marcus Gronholm. There was a big fight between Daniel Sordo (Citroen) and Mikko Hirvonen (Ford) for the final podium place. Spaniard Sordo eventually took the position.

The next round of the FIA World Rally Championship, and Production Car WRC is Rally Argentina, April 28-30


 OVERALL FINAL CLASSIFICATION
Pos Driver
Co-Driver
Vehicle Grp
Pos
Total
Time
Diff
Leader
1
M1
Sébastien Loeb
Daniel Elena
Citroen Xsara WRC A
1
3:43:05.4 **:**.*
2
M1
Marcus Gronholm
Timo Rautiainen
Ford Focus RS WRC 06 A
2
3:43:34.4 +29.0
3 Daniel Sordo
Marc Marti
Citroen Xsara A
3
3:44:54.1 +1:48.7
4
M1
Mikko Hirvonen
Jarmo Lehtinen
Ford Focus RS WRC 06 A
4
3:45:04.6 +1:59.2
5 Alexandre Bengue
Caroline Escudero
Peugeot 307 WRC A
5
3:45:53.1 +2:47.7
6
M1
Xavier Pons
Carlos Del Barrio
Citroen Xsara WRC A
6
3:46:15.6 +3:10.2
7
M2
Manfred Stohl
Ilka Minor
Peugeot 307 WRC A
7
3:48:06.7 +5:01.3
8
M1
Stephane Sarrazin
Stéphane Prevot
Subaru Impreza WRC 2006 A
8
3:48:27.3 +5:21.9
9 Gigi Galli
Giovanni Bernacchini
Peugeot 307 WRC A
9
3:48:47.9 +5:42.5
10 Jan Kopecky
Filip Schovanek
Skoda Fabia WRC A
10
3:49:16.8 +6:11.4
11
M1
Petter Solberg
Phil Mills
Subaru Impreza WRC 2006 A
11
3:49:45.9 +6:40.5
12
M2
Harri Rovanpera
Risto Pietilainen
Skoda Fabia WRC A
12
3:56:17.7 +13:12.3
13 Chris Atkinson
Glenn Macneall
Subaru Impreza WRC 2005 A
13
3:58:02.5 +14:57.1
14
J
Brice Tirabassi
Jacques-Julien Renucci
Citroen C2 A
14
4:09:21.2 +26:15.8
15
M2
Andreas Aigner
Timo Gottschalk
Skoda Fabia WRC A
15
4:09:47.3 +26:41.9
16
M2
Matthew Wilson
Michael Orr
Ford Focus RS WRC 04 A
16
4:10:09.6 +27:04.2
17
J
Urmo Aava
Kuldar Sikk
Suzuki Swift S1600 A
17
4:11:13.6 +28:08.2
18
J
Conrad Rautenbach
David Senior
Renault Clio S1600 A
18
4:12:14.6 +29:09.2
19
J
Julien Pressac
Gilles De Turckheim
Citroen C2 A
19
4:12:17.6 +29:12.2
20 Martin Prokop
Jan Tomanek
Citroen C2 A
20
4:12:35.5 +29:30.1
../
22 Marc Valliccioni
Marie Poyo Chanza
Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VII N
1
4:16:21.1 +33:15.7
34 Herve Guignard
Didier Meffre
Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII N
9
4:26:32.0 +43:26.6
36 Tibor Cserhalmi
Milos Hulka
Mitsubishi Lancer N
11
4:27:34.2 +44:28.8
39 Guy Fiori
Claude Blanc Raffini
Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII N
13
4:29:26.3 +46:20.9
43 Marc Leandri
Eric Buresi
Mitsubishi Lancer N
15
4:32:06.5 +49:01.1
44 Michel Branca
Gerald Forns
Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VII N
16
4:32:35.9 +49:30.5



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