MITSUBISHI MOTORS

RALLI ART

Report
FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
ROUND 13: RALLYE DE FRANCE - TOUR DE CORSE
14 OCTOBER 2007
LEG 3
 
MORE SUCCESS FOR MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION DRIVERS ON TOUR DE CORSE FINAL OVERALL CLASSIFICATION

BERNT KOLLEVOLD / THOMAS MYHRE HANSEN
 

THIERRY MATTEI / ANTOINE PIETRE
 

ANDREAS AIGNER / KLAUS WICHA
 
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution driver (Holland) Bernt Kollevold guided his car home to a trouble-free podium position in the Group N category of Rally de France Tour de Corse, which ended in Ajaccio this afternoon.

Kollevold, co-driven by Thomas Myhre Hansen, was happy with his position given that his Mitsubishi was the fastest of the conventional Group N cars – with only two more heavily modified Super 2000 cars ahead of him at the end of another grueling three days of flat-out competition on one of the most hostile and notoriously difficult rallies on the planet.

Initially, Kollevold was forced to give second best to one of the sport’s rising stars, Andreas Aigner (Austria), who looked to be backing up his exceptional Group N win on last week’s Catalunya Rally with a similar result this time around. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be in France. Having opened up a handsome lead over Kollevold, Aigner damaged his Mitsubishi late in the second leg and retired from the leg-2.

Kollevold then settled down and focused on getting to the finish of the event. His only minor problem came on the final morning, when his car refused to select a gear briefly. Otherwise is was a clean run for him on only his second trip to the event, his last time competing on the island being on the 2002 Tour de Corse.

"Being quite new to this event, I wasn’t sure what to expect for the result," he said. "But it’s been good. We were quite steady on stage eight in particular, as this was the first stage we did on the recce, so we had to be sure that the notes were perfect for this place. Then this morning the car was in third gear for some time, but that was okay – we sorted that problem out and drove it through to the finish. Okay, maybe we are a little bit lucky to be in this position, given that Andreas Aigner was going well, but he went off and this is part of the game – you have to get to the end."

The competitors on the event were blessed with three days of glorious sunshine and baking autumn temperatures, making tire choice simple for the duration of the event. One of the issues the drivers did have to deal with, however, was making sure their tires lasted for the whole loop, a traditionally difficult task on the championship’s most abrasive of sealed surfaces. For this season, the organizers had also made some changes to the route, bringing in new stages for the first two days, before reverting to Corsican classics for the final leg.

Kollevold conquered stages old and new to bring his Lancer Evolution IX home unscathed. He added: "There was a lot of gravel around on some of the roads. On one of the stages this morning, we had a front-left puncture. We clipped the rim of the wheel on something, which let the air out. Luckily, it didn’t go right down and we were able to get to the end of the stage. Other than that, we had a good day and a very good rally. The car was great for me."

Kollevold was followed home by local crew Jean-Dominique Mattei and Ugo Gregorj (both France). Mattei had nothing but praise for his Lancer Evolution IX, which ran without problems on his way to fourth in the Group N standings.

Aigner was classified fifth in Group N, maintaining Mitsubishi’s incredible finishing record on rounds of the World Rally Championship – with three Lancer Evolutions in the top six.

Sebastien Loeb (France) collected his second outright WRC win in as many weeks in his Citroen C4 WRC, with Finland’s Marcus Gronholm second (Ford) and Loeb’s team-mate team-mate Dani Sordo (Spain, Citroen) in third.

The next round of the World Rally Championship (and Production WRC) is next week’s Rally Japan, which starts in Obihiro on Thursday (October 25) and finishes on Sunday (October 28).



 FINAL OVERALL CLASSIFICATION
Pos Driver
Co-Driver
Nat Vehicle Grp
Pos
Total
Time
Diff
Leader
1
M
Sébastien Loeb
Daniel Elena
F
MC
Citroen C4 WRC A
1
3:28:31.5 **:**.*
2
M
Marcus Gronholm
Timo Rautiainen
FIN
FIN
Ford Focus RS WRC 07 A
2
3:28:55.2 +23.7
3
M
Daniel Sordo
Marc Marti
E
E
Citroen C4 WRC A
3
3:29:15.8 +44.3
4
MT
Jari-Matti Latvala
Miikka Anttila
FIN
FIN
Ford Focus RS WRC 06 A
4
3:31:02.0 +2:30.5
5
M
Petter Solberg
Philip Mills
N
GB
Subaru Impreza WRC 2007 A
5
3:31:13.6 +2:42.1
6
M
Chris Atkinson
Stephane Prevot
AUS
B
Subaru Impreza WRC 2007 A
6
3:32:25.3 +3:53.8
7 Jan Kopecky
Filip Schovanek
CZ
CZ
Skoda Fabia WRC A
7
3:36:34.4 +8:02.9
8 Xavier Pons
Xavier Amigo
E
E
Subaru Impreza WRC 2007 A
8
3:38:05.7 +9:34.2
9
MT
Henning Solberg
Cato Menkerud
N
N
Ford Focus RS WRC 06 A
9
3:38:43.7 +10:12.2
10 Dani Sola
Carlos Del Barrio
E
E
Peugeot 207 S2000 N
1
3:46:29.1 +17:57.6
../
12 Brice Tirabassi
Fabrice Gordon
F
F
Peugeot 207 S2000 N
2
3:48:18.3 +19:46.8
29 Bernt Kollevold
Thomas Myhre Hansen
N
N
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
3
3:59:41.3 +31:09.8
30 Jean-Dominique Mattei
Ugo Gregorj
F
F
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
4
4:01:57.8 +33:26.3
32 Andreas Aigner
Klaus Wicha
A
A
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
5
4:03:01.9 +34:30.4
33 Bertrand Assing
William Schmidt
F
F
Subaru Impreza N
6
4:03:16.0 +34:44.5
44 Pierre Natali
Gilbert Dini
F
F
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII N
10
4:15:09.6 +46:38.1
45 Michel Branca
Amanda Branca
F
F
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII N
11
4:16:29.4 +47:57.9
57 Jean Luc Agostini
Frederic Mourret
F
F
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII N
16
4:43:47.9 +1:15:16.4


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