Volkswagen's Jari-Matti Latvala posted the quickest time this morning in the shakedown for Rally Mexico, the latest round in the 2014 FIA World Rally Championship.
Latvala, who won the last event in Sweden and who currently heads the Drivers' Championship after the opening two events, completed the 6.27 km Llani Grande test in 3 minutes 53.6 seconds, putting him 1.1 seconds up on Citroen's Kris Meeke.
“Generally I feel in the groove with the car,” Latvala told the official WRC site. “Tyre wear was OK and this was a good way to get started. The stage had a narrow, technical section and a high speed part so it was a good sample of the actual rally, good preparation.”
Defending champion Sebastien Ogier meanwhile came in third in his Polo R WRC, with VW third driver, Andreas Mikkelsen fourth, followed by Mads Ostberg and Mikko Hirvonen, the latter leading the way for M-Sport. Hyundai's Thierry Neuville, former F1 man Robert Kubica, Chris Atkinson and Benito Guerra rounded out the top ten.
The opening test is now due to take place this evening at 20.09 hours local time, when competitors will tackle the short 1.01km Street Stage in Gunajuato.
The event then starts 'proper' tomorrow [Friday] with ten special stages on the bill in total and around 149 competitive kilometres.
Rally Mexico - Shakedown results:
1. Jari-Matti Latvala
Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC 3m 53.6s
2. Kris Meeke
Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS3 WRC 3m 54.7s
3. Sebastien Ogier
Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC 3m 55.6s
4. Andreas Mikkelsen
Volkswagen Motorsport II Polo R WRC 3m 57.1s
5. Mads Ostberg
Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS3 WRC 3m 57.2s
6. Mikko Hirvonen
M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC 3m 58.2s
7. Thierry Neuville
Hyundai Motorsport i20 WRC 4m 00.1s
8. Robert Kubica
RK M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC 4m 01.5s
9. Chris Atkinson
Hyundai Motorsport i20 WRC 4m 02.8s
10. Benito Guerra
M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC 4m 04.4s
11. Martin Prokop
Jipocar Czech National Team Ford Fiesta RS WRC 4m 10.5
13. Elfyn Evans
M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC 4m 11.4s
all times unofficial