Volkswagen pilot Jari-Matti Latvala
set the pace today in the shakedown for Rallye Deutschland.
Latvala, who is looking to bounce back after a disappointing run on his home event in Finland earlier this month, completed the 4.55 kilometre-long stage in 2 minutes 23.5 seconds, putting him 0.7 seconds up the Citroen
of Dani Sordo.
"You will really see when the rally starts how things will be, but I think generally I took some good feedback from shakedown," Latvala told the official WRC site. "The car feels good but, of course, this rally is tough.
"It's probably the most difficult of the dry asphalt events. I'm not putting too much pressure on myself. I just want to go out, relax and see how it's going to be," added the Finn.
Thierry Neuville meanwhile came in third for the Qatar World Rally Team, 0.1 seconds further back, while Sebastien Ogier
and Evgeny Novikov
were fourth and fifth respectively. Mikko Hirvonen, Mads Ostberg
and Per-Gunnar Andersson rounded out the top eight.
The event now starts 'proper' on Thursday, with two competitive stages on the bill. The first, the 23.54 km Blankenheim test, is scheduled to get underway at 17.53 hours local time [16.53 hours UK time].Rallye Deutschland - Shakedown - Top 10:
1. Jari-Matti Latvala
Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC 2m 23.5s
2. Dani Sordo
Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS3 WRC 2m 24.2s
3. Thierry Neuville
Qatar WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC 2m 24.3s
4. Sebastien Ogier
Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC 2m 24.9s
5. Evgeny Novikov
Qatar M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC 2m 25.1s
6. Mikko Hirvonen
Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS3 WRC 2m 25.5s
7. Mads Ostberg
Qatar M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC 2m 25.7s
8. Per-Gunnar Andersson
Ford Fiesta RS WRC 2m 26.3s
9. Nasser Al-Attiyah
Qatar WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC 2m 27.2s
10. Michal Kosciuszko
Lotos Team WRC Ford Fiesta RS WRC 2m 29.2s
Mall times unofficial - courtesy of WRC.com
Note: There is no qualifying stage in Germany, as Rallye Deutschland is an asphalt event. Qualifying is only deemed necessary on gravel events, where starting position is more critical as the roads can clean if it is dry, meaning those out first end up acting as 'road sweepers'.