Fresh from his stunning showing in New Zealand, Sebastien Ogier led the way during shakedown for the latest round of the World Rally Championship season in Portugal.
The Citroen Junior Team driver just missed out on his maiden WRC success in New Zealand after losing out to Jari-Matti Latvala on the final stage of the event but was quickest through the 5.03km shakedown stage near the Faro service park, going 1.3 seconds quicker than Petter Solberg.
"I know Shakedown isn't important to the real rally but it's good for the confidence to be fastest and we have a lot of confidence now," Ogier told the official WRC website. "I found the car very good, like usual, and although we tried a couple of different set-ups we've ended up sticking with our usual one - there's nothing new.
“The road was slippery and cleaning a lot; more than the proper stages I think. I was 16 seconds faster though on my fourth pass compared to my first - that's more than three seconds per kilometre - so you can see the effect."
Behind Solberg, points leader Sebastien Loeb was third quickest ahead of Citroen team-mate Dani Sordi, with Ford pairing Mikko Hirvonen and Latvala rounding out the top six.
The event gets underway this evening with the Super Special stage in the Algarve Stadium.
Rally Portugal Shakedown Times:
1. Sebastien Ogier
Citroen Junior Team C4 WRC 03mins 05.0secs
2. Petter Solberg
PSWRT Citroen C4 WRC 03mins 06.3secs
3. Sebastien Loeb
Citroen Total WRT C4 WRC 03mins 07.3secs
4. Dani Sordo
Citroen Total WRT C4 WRC 03mins 07.9secs
5. Mikko Hirvonen
BP Ford Abu Dhabi Focus RS WRC 03mins 08.0secs
6. Jari-Matti Latvala
BP Ford Abu Dhabi Focus RS WRC 03mins 08.4secs
7. Henning Solberg
Stobart VK Ford Focus WRC 03mins 09.2secs
8. Kimi Raikkonen
Citroen Junior Team C4 WRC 03mins 10.0secs
9. Federico Villagra
Munchi's Ford Focus WRC 03mins 11.1secs
10. Matthew Wilson
Stobart VK Ford Focus WRC 03mins 12.1secs
11. Khalid Al Qassimi
BP Ford Abu Dhabi Focus RS WRC 03mins 12.2secs
12. Ken Block
MWRT Ford Focus RS WRC 03mins 15.7secs
all times unofficial