Mon Dieu, that wasn’t easy. Water, stone, mud, rough asphalt and so many curves you couldn’t count them. “That was one of the toughest rallies of my career,” said Esapekka Lappi. Regardless, Lappi, the 2014 European champion, and his co-driver Janne Ferm, raced to second place in the French rally. Why was it so difficult? A storm on Friday damaged the roads and caused landslides on Corsica. Things were looking pretty gloomy on the pretty Mediterranean island. Because of the weather playing up, both Friday and Saturdays practise rounds were cancelled. The conditions were hard, to put it lightly. And as if that wasn’t bad enough there was still 10,000 bends to get through. In spite of this the ŠKODA-Team managed to secure another podium finish. The total so far: six appearances in WRC 2-Tour rallies and each time a ŠKODA Fabia R5 has ended up on the podium making it nine altogether.
Unfortunately it was just Lappi and Ferm celebrating this time around. The second ŠKODA duo, Pontus Tidemand and Emil Axelsson, were hit by a run of the worst luck: suspension problems on Friday, a blow out on Saturday and then coming off the track on Sunday. The two Swedes could at least celebrate the victory of the Flying Finns. Lappi and Ferm have a good chance at the title with only two rallies to go until the end of the season. They’re in second place in the WRC 2 placings, just nine points shy of top-placed Nasser Al-Attiyah. And, don’t forget, ŠKODA Motorsport are defending the top position in the team competition as well. A title victory is almost in sight. Maybe even two!