Tour de Corse : OMV Peugeot Norway - Preview
Just like in Spain the OMV Peugeot Norway World Rally Team will enter the Rallye de France Tour de Corse with only one car. Thus Manfred Stohl is able to score in the driver championship the quest for points in the manufacturer
standings will only again begin in Argentina.
The 33-year-old Austrian's professed goal for the coming weekend is a place among the top eight. Even though the special stages resemble those in Spain, the OMV duo sees better chances on the Mediterranean island.
Constant steering wheel action
Manfred Stohl has very fond memories of the Corsica rally. The OMV driver won twice in the series class (1998 and 2000). But the course has changed since then. Stohl: There are still a lot of turns but the roads have gotten broader and the rally faster. But it still won't be a walk in the park for there will be constant steering wheel action each and every second. The wheel won't stand still from first to last kilometre.
This won't pose a problem for the OMV duo, especially since the pain from the testing accident in Spain is subsiding. Stohl: I still feel every single rib, of course, but it's getting better each day and also you don't cut so much in Corsica. This means that there will be less vibrations in the car.
Rock n' Roll on tarmac
In Corsica the recce is of paramount importance for there one decides where to attack and where to take it easier.
Even more so since the OMV duo Stohl/Minor has last competed in Corsica in 2003. Stohl: It is just like music. With all these turns one must find the right rhythm. I'm sure that this rally will be a true Rock n' Roll on tarmac.
Weather lottery in the mountains
One of the main characteristics of the climate in Corsica is the fact that weather conditions can change any minute which makes the choice of tyres a difficult one. Especially since this choice must be made one hour prior to the start and therefore can turn into a lottery. It's very easy to pick the wrong ones. But it is the same for all teams. The problem is that one has only four special stages per day and therefore has to complete 60 kilometres of special stage with one set of tyres. If you've chosen the wrong ones the whole thing can turn into quite a torture, fears the OMV driver.
After four runs Manfred Stohl lies in fourth place (11 points) in the driver standings of the FIA World Rally Championship. He definitely wants to defend this place prior to returning to gravel at his 100th WRC event at the end of April in Argentina.
354 special stage kilometres on 12 special stages
The Rallye de France - Tour de Corse will commence on Thursday (April 6) with a showstart at 20.00 in Ajaccio. Twelve special stages with a length of 354,18 kilometres are scheduled from Friday to Sunday (April 7 - 9). The overall length measures exactly 1.045,68 kilometres. The finishing line will be crossed on Sunday (April 9) at 13.50 in Ajaccio.
This is Corsica
Area: 8.720 sq km; Population: approximately 250.000 inhabitants; Population density: 29 people per sq km; Corscia has been a part of France since 1798. The island consists of two departments: Haute-Corse and Corse-du-Sud with the main city of Ajaccio. Corsica's coast length measures 992 kilometres. The island is most famous for being the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte.
Press release OMV Peugeot Norway