Despite conceding to M-Sport Ford's Elfyn Evans in the opening speed test, the Belgian took full advantage of Evans suffering a puncture in the final stage to clinch his maiden victory of the 2019 WRC season.
Hyundai's victory drought finally came to an end on Sunday, as Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul scored a dramatic win in Tour De Corse. Having led the rally overnight, the Belgians were initially pushed back to second place after Eaux De Zilia Special Stage (SS13) since Elfyn Evans built up a strong 11-second lead over the Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT duo. With everything to play for in the final Calvi Power Stage (SS14), Evans seemed all set to take the victory. However, disaster struck him as he suffered a front-right puncture, which forced him to drop behind by over a minute. As Neuville crossed the finished line, he was unaware of Evans' last-minute heartbreak and realised that he had won only after seeing the reaction of his team mechanics! This ultimately gifted Neuville and co-driver Gilsoul their first win of the season and, also, a two-point lead in the overall championship. This was also the second Tour De Corse title for the Alzenau-based outfit.
Despite being unable to secure a single stage win, defending champions Sebastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia (Citroen Total WRT) finished in second. The Citroen duo was unhappy with their C3, as they faced handling issues throughout the rally weekend and, consequently, were not able to perform to their full potential. While Neuville secured the top spot followed by Ogier in second (behind by 40.3 seconds), Elfyn Evans and Scott Martin (M-Sport Ford) managed to take the final spot on the podium.
Meanwhile, Dani Sordo and Carlos Del Barrio (Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT) exceeded all expectations, as they took the fourth spot in Corsica, further bolstering Hyundai's attack in the fourth round. Evans' teammate Teemu Suninen rounded off the top five finishers, earning 10 valuable points for Ford along with 3 bonus points from his third-place finish in the Calvi Power Stage. Like Citroen, Toyota Gazoo Racing too suffered from ill-handling cars because of which Ott Tanak and Kris Meeke secured sixth and ninth place finishes, respectively. However, the duo managed to scrape some additional points by going all guns blazing in the Power Stage, with Meeke finishing on top followed by Tanak in second.
After Corsica Linea - Tour De Corse, Hyundai's Neuville leads the championship with 82 points, followed by Ogier at 80 points. Toyota's Ott Tanak rounds off the top three with 77 points. In the manufacturers' championship, Hyundai sits atop the leaderboard for the first time in the season with 114 points, relegating erstwhile leader Toyota to the third spot with 98 points. Citroen sits between the two, with 102 points. The WRC bandwagon will now depart from Europe and move to South America for its next two rounds, Rally Argentina and Rally Chile.