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Innovations for the French round of the WRC
Vincent Laverne takes stock ahead of the 51st edition
The French Rally-Tour of Corsica's layout has undergone a major change with 57% new roads that have not been used since 2003. Vincent Laverne, the Clerk of the Course of the 51st event explained:

What are the main
sporting innovations of the 2007 Tour of Corsica?
“57% of the special stages are new or have never been covered (at least in the direction of 2007) for four years. That's a good start! You could say that the first leg is completely new and the same goes for most of the second one. Only the final leg on Sunday is identical to last year's. In the first two legs we've had 2 stages to be covered twice; this year we have three stages again to be covered twice. Sunday stays the same with 2x2 stages including the longest one in the rally (Pont de Calzola – Agosta 31,8 kms) that'll close the thirteenth round of the 2007 world championship. Overall the Tour of Corsica will have 16 specials stages as compared to 12 since 2003.”

What are the aims of this major change to the layout?
“It's to increase the pace and the pressure of the French Rally –Tour of Corsica. We want to make it a bit more difficult and varied for the drivers. What's more, the fact that it's in the autumn could make it much tougher. The young drivers making their debut in the world championship will have just two reconnaissance runs (like everybody). It's also less of a handicap in relation to the championship regulars. Finally, it'll be more interesting for the media who always appreciate innovation and the same goes for the spectators.

Why is the rally not going to the Corsican highlands as was once mooted?
“The reasons are financial and also due to the deadlines required to put things in place. But we haven't ruled out the possibility that the 2008 French Rally may cross the Corsican highlands if everybody still want to go there.”

Are there other changes or special events that should be noted?
“Yes, some very important ones; Firstly, the rally will go almost to the centre of Sartène, a town it hasn't visited for a good few years. Then and it's not really the best piece of news, the service park (set up on the international port de commerce in Ajaccio) will be limited to 70 racing cars this year because of major works in the port itself. Because of the recent resurfacing of the road part of the shakedown was too quick; it'll still take place beside Capo di Feno but will be shortened by 1,5 kms to 5,45 kms. Finally, and without speaking any more about the entries, two major events will take place during the 2007 French Rally – Tour of Corsica: the Suzuki SX4 WRC will make its first appearance on the world scene, and the FIA Junior Rally Championship title will be awarded in Ajaccio!”
Source Rallye de France

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