Jari-Matti Latvala gave himself a confidence boost ahead of the 2010 Rally New Zealand after topping shakedown for the fifth round of the World Rally Championship.
The Abu Dhabi Ford driver was marginally quicker than Dani Sordo around the 1.5km course in Auckland Domain, a park situated within the city centre.
While the asphalt layout of the course is at odds with the majority of the gravel rally's surface, Latvala, who posted his fastest time on the sixth run through the course, was pleased with his positive start.
"I was determined to set the fastest time because in the past on this surface I've lost out to the pace of the Citroens. We struggled on the asphalt Super Special in Australia last year but now I think we've found a set-up which gives us an edge."
Behind Sordo in second position was the Spaniard's championship leading Citroen team-mate Sebastien Loeb, while Mikko Hirvonen and Petter Solberg completed the top five positions.
2010 Rally New Zealand Shakedown times
1. Jari-Matti Latvala
BP Ford Abu Dhabi Focus RS WRC 1min 07.3secs
2. Sebastien Loeb
Citroen Total WRT C4 WRC 1min 07.4secs
3. Dani Sordo
Citroen Total WRT C4 WRC 1min 07.5secs
4. Mikko Hirvonen
BP Ford Abu Dhabi Focus RS WRC 1min 07.6secs
= Petter Solberg
PSWRT Citroen C4 WRC 1min 07.6secs
6. Henning Solberg
Stobart VK Ford Focus WRC 1min 07.8secs
=. Sebastien Ogier
Citroen Junior Team C4 WRC 1min 07.8secs
8. Matthew Wilson
Stobart VK Ford Focus WRC 1min 08.5secs
=. Federico Villagra
Munchi's Ford Focus WRC 1min 08.5secs
10. Jari Ketomaa
FCACA Shanghai Ford Fiesta SWRC 1min 11.0secs