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WRC Corsica: Hyundai's Neuville build lead as Ogier slows

Neuville, Hyundai, Corsica

Thierry Neuville leads the World Rally Championship's Tour of Corsica on Saturday evening after Sebastien Ogier's charge was brought to an end by hydraulic problems.

On the first stage of the afternoon, M-Sport Ford Fiesta driver Ogier took six seconds out of Hyundai's Neuville in the battle for the lead.

However on the next stage, SS8, Ogier had trouble with gearshifts and his car was rear-wheel-drive only, leaving the Frenchman to do his best not to lose too much time.

Neuville went quickest of all while his rival suffered, extending his lead to 38.9s with two stages to go.

He had taken the lead on the last stage of Saturday morning, when he claimed second from Ogier and Citroen's Kris Meeke retired from the lead with an engine problem.

His Hyundai team-mate Dani Sordo sits third, 18.8s behind Ogier. Sordo said he'd pushed to the "maximum" on SS8, but still sits just under a minute behind his team-mate.

Jari-Matti Latvala showed newfound pace in his Toyota and still remains within striking distance of Sordo, 11.7s behind.

A change to the rear diff meant the Finn was much more comfortable with the Yaris in the afternoon.

Not for the first time this season, Craig Breen is the highest-placed Citroen with his two team-mates having retired.

The Irishman didn't take any risks and continues to get seat time in the 2017 car after missing the previous round, and is only 2.8s behind Latvala at the end of the day.

Hayden Paddon is the last WRC car in the gaggle of leaders. Paddon was happier with his car in the afternoon loop, but lies half-a-minute behind Breen.

Andreas Mikkelsen leads WRC2 by over a minute in his Skoda Fabia R5, with M-Sport Fiesta R5 driver Teemu Suninen in the order.

Citroen's Stephane Lefebvre and DMACK's Elfyn Evans both crashed out of contention on Saturday morning.

Follow the conclusion of WRC Tour of Corsica from 7:50am UK time on Sunday with Autosport.

LEADING POSITIONS AFTER SS8:

PosDriverTeamCarGap
1Thierry Neuville, N.GilsoulHyundai MotorsportHyundai2h44m10.2s
2Sebastien Ogier, J.IngrassiaM-Sport World Rally TeamFord38.9s
3Dani Sordo, M.MartiHyundai MotorsportHyundai57.7s
4Jari-Matti Latvala, M.AnttilaToyota Gazoo Racing WRCToyota1m09.4s
5Craig Breen, S.MartinCitroen Total Abu Dhabi WRTCitroen1m12.2s
6Hayden Paddon, J.KennardHyundai MotorsportHyundai1m43.8s
7Andreas Mikkelsen, A.JagerSkoda MotorsportSkoda6m21.7s
8Teemu Suninen, M.MarkkulaM-Sport World Rally TeamFord7m29.6s
9Stephane Sarrazin, J-J.RenucciSarrazin MotorsportSkoda7m46.8s
10Yohan Rossel, B.FulcrandCitroen9m56.5s

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