WRC A FULL 2016
CAMILLI ENCOURAGED IN CORSICA.
M-Sport World Rally Team’s Éric Camilli and Benjamin Veillas continued to progress with an encouraging performance at the FIA World Rally Championship’s Tour de Corse today. Piloting their Ecoboost-powered Ford Fiesta RS WRC, the Frenchmen currently hold a creditable eighth place overall.
Firmly focused on the job in hand, the pairing are determined to produce an error-free performance this weekend, but that didn’t stop them showcasing their potential – potential which has encouraged the team’s future ambitions.
The first stage of the day encompassed more than 50 kilometres of twisty mountain roads, and Camilli started strongly – setting competitive pace through the first 23.30 kilometres. Excelling though the opening splits, he was the fourth fastest man at the mid-point – just 1.3 seconds adrift of World Champion Sebasiten Ogier and 0.1 seconds shy of podium contender Andreas Mikkelsen.
As the heavens opened, the afternoon loop made for treacherous conditions, but Camilli did not stray from his objective. Despite being caught in the worst of the rain, the Frenchman delivered a clean run in what were extremely demanding circumstances – building the knowledge and experience that will only increase his confidence.
In the sister M-Sport Fiesta RS WRC, Mads Østberg and Ola Fløene have been experimenting with a new style to improve their asphalt driving. Testing their theory for the first time this weekend, Østberg knew that he would sacrifice time through the challenging terrain but remains confident that the new technique will pay dividends.
Collecting vital knowledge and information, the Norwegians will look to analyse their findings before the next round in Spain where they’ll hope to progress their strategy further.
Elsewhere in WRC 2, Elfyn Evans and Craig Parry continued to shine. Securing a further three stage victories, the Welshmen more than doubled their advantage at the head of the field and are doing everything they can to keep their championship challenge alive.
Also caught in the worst of the rain, Evans might have dropped down the overall classification, but in the WRC 2 category, the treacherous conditions put the Ford Fiesta R5 driver in a class of his own.
With a natural ability to read the road and find the grip that others cannot, he excelled, and now holds a 37.8 second advantage with 64.20 competitive kilometres left to contest.
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Éric Camilli (8th) said:
“Like yesterday, it’s been another very good day for us. We proved that we can have some speed on Tarmac and that was very encouraging because it is never easy here in Corsica – and especially for us as we are experiencing the stages for the first time in a world rally car.
“I was really happy with my pace this morning with some very positive splits. And to be honest, I was quite happy with my pace this afternoon too but we were a little unlucky on the road. We got caught in the worst of the rain and lost almost 50 seconds in 10 kilometres!
“But that’s the way it is and our objective was not to fight for position this weekend. We want to make it through all of the stages, to learn, and to push when we feel comfortable. So far, that is what we have done and I hope it continues tomorrow.”
Mads Østberg (9th) said:
“We’ve manged to get through the day without any big problems and when everything was working well I could focus on our strategy. This new style goes against my natural way of driving. It’s not so comfortable at the moment, but it’s positive that we are trying something different.
“I knew before the rally that we would lose time here, but we need to do it. We need to do this training in competition, and hopefully we will see a benefit in the future.”
Elfyn Evans (10th / 1st WRC 2) said:
“It’s been a pretty good day. We had a clean run with no problems and managed to build on our advantage from last night which was our objective for the day.
“We got caught in the worst of the rain this afternoon so that didn’t help us in the overall standings. When the conditions are like that, you really have to concentrate on your driving technique and that seemed to work pretty well for us, but we lost out to those who were running in the dry further up the road.
“Overall, and in terms of the WRC 2 championship, the day has been good.”
Team Principal, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said:
“Éric has had another good day and is doing exactly what we asked of him this weekend. He’s had some encouraging splits which underline his natural ability, but he has also been focused on the job in hand and only pushed when he feels comfortable. It’s important for him to get through this one unscathed, and that is what he’s done so far.
“Mads is continuing with his new strategy for this event. He knew he would have to sacrifice some speed this weekend, but he’s determined to stick to his game plan and we hope it will pay dividends in the long run.
“In the WRC 2 category it’s been another great day for Elfyn. He’s won all but one of the stages today and more than doubled the advantage that he had yesterday evening. We’ve got another tough day with the longest stage of the rally tomorrow, but he’s certainly looking strong at the moment.”
RESULTS AFTER SS8
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