Tour de Corse live! aka Rallygasm?

I don’t really mind when rallies get switched from one area of a country to the other for this reason or another, but when that switch means we are having Rallye de France in Sebastien Loeb’s backyard and not on legendary Corsica, I get a little upset. Perhaps I can afford to be upset – after all, Corsica looks like one of the best places to do rally. It’s thousands upon thousands of corners, amazing scenery and long tradition – in all, one of the legendary rallies. And I get to “experience” it all by watching TV and photo reports and don’t need to “do it” myself.

On the other hand, logistic demands of traveling to the island were significant I am told and compared to current location of French round of the WRC in Alsace, Tour de Corse’s itinerary is not as close to large urban areas. So, we have a legendary stages, amazing history and unique surroundings vs. public ease of access? Uhm, okay. Sounds very WRC-FIA-ish.

Luckily, Tour de Corse endured and survived. And not only that, but is returning to it’s roots and bringing back classic stages topped off with now famous live TV by Eurosport. And all that as a part of, wait for it, IRC. What else did you think?

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Eurosport confirms exciting live coverage of Tour de Corse
The legendary Tour de Corse, round four of the 2012 Intercontinental Rally Challenge, will be shown live on Eurosport in May.
Five stages of the famous rally will be broadcast as they happen, with both runs of Erbajolo-Pont d’Altiani on Friday 11 May and the three passes of Marinca-Cagnano, which includes the final stage of the rally, on Saturday 12 May covered live on Eurosport and Eurosport Player.

In total there will be five hours of live coverage from Corsica, plus daily round-up shows and the new-for-2012 Inside IRC programme, which will be transmitted after the event. Highlights will also be carried on the IRC’s official website, www.ircseries.com.

Erbajolo-Pont d’Altiani, which is based around the town of Corte in the centre of the island, will be familiar to Eurosport viewers after it was included in the network’s live coverage of Tour de Corse in 2011. Measuring 25.15 kilometres on smooth asphalt, the stage is known for its high average speed of 95kph, flowing rhythm and spectacular scenery. The stage starts uphill but the finish is downhill, creating a significant challenge for the drivers – and dramatic footage for viewers.

Meanwhile, Marinca-Cagnano, near Bastia in the north of Corsica, is new to the event for 2012. It begins in the village of Marinca on the west coast on relatively flat, albeit bumpy roads, which are characterised by their twisty and narrow nature. The stage, which measures 30.00 kilometres in length, climbs inland and when it reaches the village of Pino, the road widens and the speeds increase on the downhill finish. Rally teams used the stage extensively when testing for the Tour de Corse in the past.

Spectacular footage captured by a Cineflex helicopter, plus the use of SimulCam technology, which Eurosport pioneered in rallying during its live coverage of Rallye Monte-Carlo in 2012 and allows viewers to watch drivers tackling the same section of the stage at the same time for comparison purposes, will form the centrepiece of Eurosport’s live coverage of Tour de Corse.

Olivier Fisch, Managing Director of Eurosport Events, said: “We are delighted to confirm Eurosport’s live coverage of Tour de Corse in 2012. We cannot wait to give viewers around the world watching on television and online the opportunity to witness the spectacle of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge on one of the most iconic events in the sport of rallying. Eurosport’s expertise in producing live coverage of IRC events is widely regarded, particularly its ability to capture spectacular landscapes while, at the same time, encapsulate all the action and drama from the stages to provide must-watch programmes.”

Eurosport’s LIVE coverage of Tour de Corse

Friday 11 May
11:00hrs-12:00hrs CET: SS5 Erbajolo-Pont d’Altiani 1 (Eurosport LIVE)
18:00hrs-19:00hrs CET: SS8 Erbajolo-Pont d’Altiani 2 (Eurosport LIVE)

Saturday 12 May
11:00hrs-12:00hrs CET: SS10 Marinca-Cagnano 1 (Eurosport LIVE)
14:30hrs-15:30hrs CET: SS12 Marinca-Cagnano 2 (Via Stella LIVE)
18:00hrs-19:00hrs CET: SS14 Marinca-Cagnano 3 (Eurosport LIVE)

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