Tour de Corse : First Motorsport Skoda - Leg 2
Francois Duval and co-driver Patrick Pivato failed to finish the second leg of the Rallye de France – Tour de Corse after an accident on the final stage in the mountains north-east of Ajaccio.
Duval began today's four stages
determined to climb into the points. Halfway through the 34.17kms opening stage the First Motorsport Skoda Team Fabia WRC05 was sixth fastest and ahead of its closest rivals. However, after 19kms a seal to a piston in the front left brake caliper was damaged and he lost several places in the closing kilometres. Duval had to disconnect the system for the second stage, leaving him with just three brakes and having to nurse the car back to service in Ajaccio. Despite this the Belgian driver managed to gain a position and started the afternoon's stages in 13th place.
He was well placed to move further up the leaderboard until he went off the road 5kms before the finish of the day's final stage. Neither crew member was hurt.
Duval said: “We started well on the first stage but I then had exactly the same problem that I suffered last year at almost the same place on exactly the same stage.
The second stage wasn't so difficult because at least we could trust the remaining three brakes. On the final stage I lost pedal pressure and the handbrake wasn't enough to get us round the corner so we just slid straight off.”
First Motorsport Skoda Team principal Willy Collignon said: “For this morning we changed the car back to the Catalunya settings and it seemed to handle better for Francois. He was unlucky to have the brake problem this morning and it is disappointing that he was unable to complete today's leg. We feel we have achieved as much as possible from this event and there is no point for Francois to continue tomorrow.”
Press release First Motorsport Skoda