WRC Wales Rally GB: Latvala, Ogier joint quickest in shakedown

Volkswagen's Jari-Matti Latvala and Sebastien Ogier tie for top spot in the shakedown for Wales Rallly GB, the 2015 WRC season finale
Volkswagen duo Jari-Matti Latvala and Sebastien Ogier set the joint quickest time on Thursday morning in the shakedown for Wales Rally GB.

Latvala and Ogier both completed the 3.32 km Clocaenog test in 2 minutes 1.4 seconds, the former posting it first on his second of four passes. Ogier then matched it on his third and final run as drivers and teams conducted their final preparations for the 2015 WRC season finale.

“The shakedown went very well and I felt very comfortable in the Polo R WRC from the word go – although we did not do any testing in the run-up to the rally,” said Latvala. “We agreed a basic set-up with our engineer whilst we were in Spain, and we were spot on from the outset.

“Despite this, we still tried out a few different things, in order to be prepared for the changing conditions. I am really looking forward to the start of the first stage.

“Wales is like a second home rally for me, and I always enjoy coming back here. A good result would be a nice way to end the 2015 season.”

Ogier was similarly happy: “Julien [Ingrassia – my co-driver] and I have prepared as well as possible for Rally GB. I really like it here, and this year's rally once again features some wonderful stages,” he added.

“As expected, the conditions are slippery and demanding. However, I have coped well with them for the past two years.”

Meanwhile, Britain's Kris Meeke was third and 'best of the rest', 0.3s slower in his Citroen DS 3 WRC, with Hyundai trio Thierry Neuville, Hayden Paddon and Dani Sordo in positions 4 through to 6. Mads Ostberg was next up in seventh, while Elfyn Evans took eighth for M-Sport.

Kevin Abbring and Stephane Lefebvre rounded out the top ten, from Robert Kubica, Lorenzo Bertelli, Ott Tanak, Martin Prokop and the rest.

RallyRACC Catalunya winner Andreas Mikkelsen did not run as he didn't feel well on Wednesday. VW says it “expects” the Norwegian to be okay to take the start on Friday, despite sending him back to Germany for checks.

Wales Rally GB now holds the ceremonial start this evening in Llandudno at 18.30 hours local time. SS1, the 32.14km Hafren 1 test, starts on Friday at 09.27 hours local time. Friday's leg includes three stages, all run twice, making up a total day one competitive distance of 131.40km. Full itinerary for the three-day event available - HERE.

2015 Wales Rally GB: Shakedown times (Top 10):

1. Jari-Matti Latvala Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC 2m 01.4s (3) M
= Sebastien Ogier Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC 2m 01.4s (4) M
3. Kris Meeke Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS 3 WRC 2m 01.7s (4) M
4. Thierry Neuville Hyundai Motorsport N i20 WRC 2m 01.9s (3) M
5. Hayden Paddon Hyundai Motorsport i20 WRC 2m 02.4s (4) M
6. Dani Sordo Hyundai Motorsport i20 WRC 2m 02.6s (3) M
7. Mads Ostberg Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS 3 WRC 2m 02.7s (4) M
8. Elfyn Evans M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC 2m 02.8s (4) M
9. Kevin Abbring Hyundai Motorsport i20 WRC 2m 03.4s (5)
10. Stephane Lefebvre Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS 3 WRC 2m 03.6s (5)


11. Robert Kubica Ford Fiesta RS WRC 2m 04.2s (2)
12. Lorenzo Bertelli Ford Fiesta RS WRC 2m 04.4s (3) M
13. Ott Tanak M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC 2m 05.6s (3) M
14. Martin Prokop Jipocar Czech National Team Ford Fiesta RS WRC 2m 06.1s (4) M

Andreas Mikkelsen Volkswagen Motorsport II Polo R WRC No time – did not run due to illness M

M denotes Manufacturer entry
(Number in brackets) indicates number of passes

all times unofficial
by Rob Wilkins

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
30.07.2015 - Jari-Matti Latvala, Miikka Anttila (Volkswagen Polo WRC #2, Volkswagen Motorsport)

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