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Motorsport | Rallying

Kris Meeke © Gallo Images

Meeke's Corsica dream up in smoke

 Kris Meeke was agonisingly forced to give up his lead of the Tour of Corsica on Saturday when his Citroen began belching out smoke, with Thierry Neuville taking full advantage.

The Northern Irishman went into the weekend more than 10 seconds in front of France's reigning four-time world champion Sebastien Ogier of Ford with the Belgian Neuville in his Hyundai in third.

But Meeke's hopes of a successive victory – he triumphed in Mexico in the previous leg of the World Rally Championship – quickly unravelled at the end of the sixth stage when he suffered engine trouble and could only coast to the line with smoke billowing out of his Citroen.

That propelled Neuville into the lead and he refused to let it go for the rest of the day, even streaking clear of Ogier in the last stage of Saturday when the Frenchman suffered a hydraulic problem to find himself 38.9sec down going into the final action on Sunday.

Ogier, who has expressed frustration with his Ford Fiesta in his debut with the team, had won the seventh stage to trim Neuville's lead to just 2.2sec, before his car betrayed him on the eighth stage.

Third overall was the Hyundai of Spain's Dani Sordo with Jari-Matti Latvala of Finland (Toyota) fourth.

Corsica is the fourth stop in the championship.


1. Thierry Neuville-Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL/Hyundai i20) 2:44:10.2

2. Sebastien Ogier-Julien Ingrassia (FRA/Ford Fiesta RS) at 38.9sec

3. Dani Sordo-Marc Marti (ESP/Hyundai i20) at 57.7

4. Jari-Matti Latvala-Miikka Anttila (FIN/Toyota Yaris) at 1:09.4

5. Craig Breen-Scott Martin (IRL-GBR/Citroen C3) at 1:12.2

6. Hayden Paddon-John Kennard (NZL/Hyundai i20) at 1:43.8

7. Andreas Mikkelsen-Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR/Skoda Fabia R5) at 6:21.7 

8. Teemu Suninen-Mikko Markkula (FIN/Ford Fiesta RS) at 7:29.6

9. Stephane Sarrazin-Jacques-Julien Renucci (FRA/Skoda Fabia R5) at 7:46.8

10. Yohan Rossel-Benoît Fulcrand (FRA/Citroën DS3 R5) at 9:56.5 


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