Petter Solberg topped the times during shakedown for the latest round of the World Rally Championship in France.

Solberg was quickest through the short stage around the service area at the wheel of his Citroen C4 WRC, although times for the shakedown test were taken by hand as specialist timing equipment had left for the opening stage.

The former champion was followed on the times by Hungarian privateer Frigyes Turan at the wheel of a Peugeot 307 WRC while WTCC championship leader Yvan Muller was third in Solberg's older Citroen Xsara.

"My new team mate is not bad at all, is he?" Solberg told the official WRC website. "From our point of view everything was really good, but the rally is a different thing. We came very close to winning on the last round in Japan, so we're going to be pushing hard."

In a bizarre shakedown test, the Super 2000 Ford Fiesta of Henning Solberg was fourth fastest while Sebastien Loeb was sixth.

Loeb will hope to secure a seventh-successive title with a strong result on his home event this weekend with fellow Frenchman Sebastien Ogier the man who will try and keep the title fight alive for at least one more event.