WRC A FULL 2016
CAMILLI PROGRESSES IN CORSICA.
M-Sport World Rally Team’s Éric Camilli enjoyed a productive and progressive opener to the FIA World Rally Championship’s legendary Tour de Corse today.
Piloting their Ecoboost-powered Ford Fiesta RS WRC through the renowned speed tests, Camilli and co-driver Benjamin Veillas were firmly focussed on the task in hand and determined to deliver an error-free run.
30th September 2016
Despite adopting a cautious approach, the Frenchmen improved their pace throughout the day and proved their natural ability on asphalt.
Currently holding a creditable seventh place on their world rally car debut on the island, the pairing had the better of their vastly more experienced team mates and will be determined to build on their speed and understanding of this classic event as the weekend goes on.
In the sister M-Sport Fiesta RS WRC, Mads Østberg and co-driver Ola Fløene have been working to improve their asphalt driving and implemented their findings for the first time this weekend.
Having to get accustomed to a completely new style of driving, the Norwegians are content to bide their time and hope that the new approach will deliver strong results in future asphalt events.
With the sun raising high in the Corsican sky, Østberg was keen to show further improvements but a brake-cooling issue put paid to his efforts.
Despite this disadvantage, the pairing were satisfied with their driving and remain confident that the recent training will pay dividends.
Elsewhere in the WRC 2 category, it was business as usual for Elfyn Evans and co-driver Craig Parry who were in a league of their own through the opening speed test. Setting a time 17.9 seconds faster than anyone else, the pairing took an early lead behind the wheel of their Ford Fiesta R5.
Regularly having the better of a number of world rally car crews, Evans is using his impressive asphalt skills to full effect and currently holds a 15.7 second lead with more than 230 competitive kilometres left to contest.
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Éric Camilli (7th) said:
“It has been a really good day for us. We started carefully and stage after stage our confidence grew and we were able to push a little bit more.
“We had a good run this afternoon and I was happy with our pace. In the last stage, the pacenotes for every single corner were exactly as they should be – for the entire 30 kilometres. That was a very important milestone and it gives us more confidence moving forward.
“I still have a lot of things to learn, but I think we have made a really good step today and I’m looking forward to what tomorrow has to offer.”
Mads Østberg (10th) said:
“We’re trying something different with our driving on Tarmac. It’s not been an easy day, but it has been an interesting one and I am quite happy with all of the things that we have been able to try.
“We had some issues with the brake cooling this afternoon and lost quite a lot of time but, to be honest, that doesn’t matter so much. We are here to test our training and we can still work on that.
“We have a new plan for tomorrow – which isn’t too far away from where we were today. Step by step we are just trying to make something that doesn’t feel comfortable to me, comfortable. It will take some time, but it is a positive thing to be trying something different.”
Elfyn Evans (8th / 1st WRC 2) said:
“It’s been a good day, but not an easy one by all means. These stages are absolutely fantastic but they can also be quite demanding and I’m really pleased to be where we are at the moment as we didn’t have the opportunity for a pre-event test.
“The plan will be to keep extending our lead tomorrow. It’s still quite a close fight with Jan [Kopecky]. He’s been driving pretty hard and won two of the stages so we need to keep on it.”
Team Principal, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said:
“After two difficult events I don’t think Eric could have come to a more demanding rally, but I have to say that he has approached the challenge perfectly. He took a very cautious approach over the first two stages, and then we saw his pace improve on the second pass and I’ve been really pleased with his progression this afternoon.
“Mads has a plan as to how he wants to improve his Tarmac driving. He’s not driving in a way that is natural to him, but he is very determined to succeed and is sticking to his game plan. He says he’s learnt a lot from today, and hopefully he’ll be able to put that into good practice.
“Elfyn is doing exactly what we hoped he would do. Everyone knows how well he performed at this event last year – and that is why we selected it as one of his WRC 2 rounds. Hopefully he can carry on this pace for the rest of the event. The plan is for him to bring home maximum points, and then we’ll just have to wait and see what happens over the remainder of the season.”
RESULTS AFTER SS4
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