Andreas Mikkelsen has started Rally Mexico on the front foot by topping the timesheet for the shakedown ahead of Hyundai's Thierry Neuville, while defending WRC champion Sebastien Ogier completed the top three.

The Volkswagen Motorsport II driver, who is Ogier's closest challenger in the championship after the opening two rounds, produced a flawless run of 3m 43.9s to inch out a 1.6 second advantage over Neuville, who himself pinched second place from Ogier by one-tenth of a second.

Dani Sordo demonstrated the upgraded Hyundai's strengths on gravel by taking fourth but his shakedown was prematurely halted after damaging his steering after hitting a stone. The third Volkswagen of Jari-Matti Latvala, who has made a pointless start to 2016 so far, completed the top five.

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With Abu Dhabi Citroen WRT absent from Mexico due to its reduced 2016 programme, Mads Ostberg led the M-Sport charge in sixth ahead of Hayden Paddon in the second string Hyundai squad.

The rally gets underway this evening with three short street stages sprawling through the Guanajuato city before heading out to the Mexican countryside.