RALLY : France

Post Rally Analysis Tour De Corse
Sometimes, it’s a bit hard to remember that I’ve actually won the Tour of Corsica twice. This year, it turned into a pretty dreadful rally for me, the Ford Rallye Sport team and my co-driver Nicky Grist. 
We were in fourth place in our Ford Focus RS World Rally Car going into the last two stages, which wasn’t too bad, but I knew we had a real fight to keep Philippe Bugalski behind in the Citroen and instead of getting a couple of points, we had an accident. 
It was very, very muddy up through the trees. We came out of a left-hander and there was still a lot of mud on the tyres and the car slid wide into a tree. I honestly can’t remember exactly what happened. It was only after the car stopped I realised it was quite a severe impact, because the roll cage was in against my legs. The biggest worry was just to get out of the car and make sure everything was OK. 
I was trapped in it for three or four minutes. Once I realised my leg wasn’t broken I sort of forced it out from under the roll cage. It got to the point where I wasn’t caring if it was broken: it was coming out anyway! 
I don’t really know how I injured the little finger on my left hand, but something split it wide open, bust the tendon and broke the bones as well. I had a real flashback there: I thought, not again, not like 2000. You have to accept these things happen. I think double usage of stages makes the risk of being caught out in these conditions a lot greater too, but that’s the way it is. Everybody cuts the corners. It’s just a bit unfortunate. 
I think you’ve got to look at Tarmac rallies in general. There is absolutely no room for error. On gravel, you can get away with running a bit wide or hitting a mud patch. Generally you’ve got a bit of room to sort it out, but Tarmac you’re using every last inch of the road, so if something does go wrong, you’re going to go off the road. On the corner where we went off, there was no grass verge or anything; the Tarmac just stopped. That’s the problem. 
I don’t think that Corsica is the most dangerous Tarmac rally anyway. You could argue Sanremo is more dangerous, because you’ve got more mountain stages so you’ve got more drops and obviously Monte Carlo is the most dangerous of all, because it’s got mountain stages, more big drops and you’re on snow and ice. 
We’ve made progress with the car and tyres, sure, but there’s a big difference between wet and dry tar. As soon as it’s wet, everything seems to work. It’s something we definitely need to look at. It’s the balance of the whole thing. You can’t just point the finger at the tyre. Look at the way the Subarus were going. 
I think Catalonia will favour us more than this rally, so hopefully we’ll be closer again. It’s not all lost and although my finger’s starting to throb a bit, we’ll definitely be in Spain. It would have been nice to get another couple of points here even three but that’s the way it goes. You don’t get any points if you don’t try. 

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