Jari-Matti Latvala set the top time this morning in the shakedown for Rally Finland, the eighth round in the 2014 FIA World Rally Championship.

Latvala, who is bidding to win his home event for the second time this weekend, did just two runs through the 4.19 km Laajavouri test in his Volkswagen Polo R WRC. He set the best time on his second and final run, when he completed it in 2 minutes 26.1 seconds.

"Shakedown is about finding the feeling with the car," Latvala told the event's official website. "In Poland I didn't have the best feeling and you could see that in shakedown because my time was slower and then I didn't start the rally so well.

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"The most important thing here is that I have the feeling, I am feeling good and you can see that in the time. I am confident with the car and now I am ready for the rally."

Mads Ostberg meanwhile was second, 0.6 seconds slower, but still pleased with his Citroen DS3 WRC: "I'm happy with the set-up and confident with the car," noted the Norwegian.

Andreas Mikkelsen was next up, 0.3 seconds further back in the Volkswagen Motorsport II Polo R WRC, with Henning Solberg fourth and M-Sport WRT man Mikko Hirvonen fifth, both making the most of the shakedown and doing five runs apiece.

"We had no issues but we're probably not as quick as we want to be," M-Sport boss Malcolm Wilson stated. "We know the car is good here from last year and it is probably our best opportunity to get a really strong result. I don't think we can win but if we can be really strong then it will be good for Mikko and the team."

Juho Hanninen took sixth for Hyundai with ex-F1 driver Robert Kubica and Britain's Kris Meeke joint seventh. Jarkko Nikara and Championship leader Sebastien Ogier completed the top ten.

The event now gets underway this afternoon with four stages on the bill and a competitive distance of 59.51 kilometres.

SS1, the 23.44 kilmetre run through Lankamaa 1, is due to start at 16.08 hours local time [14.08 hours UK time].

Rally Finland - Shakedown results (Top 10):

1. Jari-Matti Latvala Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC 2m 26.1s M
2. Mads Ostberg Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS3 WRC 2m 26.7s M
3. Andreas Mikkelsen Volkswagen Motorsport II Polo R WRC 2m 27.0s M
4. Henning Solberg Ford Fiesta RS WRC 2m 27.7s
5. Mikko Hirvonen M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC 2m 27.9s M
6. Juho Hanninen Hyundai Motorsport i20 WRC 2m 28.2s M
7. Robert Kubica RK M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC 2m 28.4s M
= Kris Meeke Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS3 WRC 2m 28.4s M
9. Jarkko Nikara Ford Fiesta RS WRC 2m 28.9s
10. Sebastien Ogier Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC 2m 29.0s M


11. Elfyn Evans M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC 2m 30.1s M
12. Thierry Neuville Hyundai Motorsport i20 WRC 2m 30.6s M
13. Martin Prokop Jipocar Czech National Team Ford Fiesta RS WRC +02m 30.9s M
14. Hayden Paddon Hyundai Motorsport N i20 WRC 2m 31.7s M

all times unofficial