BASTIA, Corsica — World rally championship leader Sebastien Ogier increased his lead in the Tour of Corsica to 46.5 seconds on Saturday.
After sweeping all four stages on the opening day, the Frenchman posted the fastest time in two of the four speed tests on the day’s program near Bastia.
Ogier can claim a fourth world title with a victory at his home rally if other results go his way.
Thierry Neuville of Belgium was second to Ogier.
Ogier started the day with the third fastest time in the fifth stage, which featured many tricky turns, and shared the best time with Volkswagen teammate Andreas Mikkelsen in the next one. Ogier won the technical seventh stage with some downhill hairpins then drove cautiously in the rain.
“I just wanted to finish the day in the tricky conditions,” he said after conceding 13 seconds to Neuville. “It was really cruising for us.”
Ogier started the race with a 59-point advantage over Mikkelsen, who lagged 68 seconds behind in third place overall.
British driver Kris Meeke, who broke Ogier’s run of wins in the fifth stage, was forced to retire his Citroen from the race after hitting a tree soon after the start of the next stage.
“Basically, I was on the gas when I should have been on the brakes,” Meeke said.