PARIS (Reuters) - France’s five times world rally champion Sebastien Ogier was heading for victory on home soil after extending his lead in Corsica on Saturday.
The M-Sport driver led Toyota’s Estonian Ott Tanak by 44.5 seconds after Britain’s Kris Meeke, who was second overnight for Citroen, crashed out of the second leg after mis-hearing a pace note.
Hyundai’s Belgian Thierry Neuville was third, 0.1 seconds further back, with the asphalt Rallye de France’s longest stage — a 55km stretch from Vero to Sarrola-Carcopino — yet to come before the finish on Sunday.
Ogier, winner in Monte Carlo and Mexico, leads the championship after three rounds by four points from Neuville, last year’s winner in Corsica.
“Anything can always happen but I don’t take the extra risk and I feel like I’m still in control,” said Ogier.
“I feel comfortable, but if someone says they are 100 percent in control they’re lying. We must stay focused.”
Reporting by Julien Pretot, editing by Alan Baldwin