CLICK HERE for Rally Italia Sardegna shakedown results

Sebastien Ogier set the pace on Thursday morning in the shakedown for Rally Italia Sardegna.

The Volkswagen pilot opted for four passes through the 3.69km Olmedo test, posting the best time on his final run, when he completed it in 2 minutes 12.9 seconds. That left him 0.1secs up on M-Sport's Mads Ostberg and 0.7secs up on DMACK WRT man Ott Tanak.

"I started with soft [tyres] and finished with hard," Ogier told the official WRC site. "Tyre choice is something that we can play with against the other drivers so I can't say too much. But we know the softs can suffer a lot here sometimes with the temperature and the abrasive ground."

"Let's see if we can play a bit with that but with our road position [being first on the road] we have to take more risks because otherwise we will lose time," added the Frenchman, who said pre-event he will withdraw from it if his wife goes into labour with their first child. "We have to think a bit more about it and hopefully we are going to make the perfect choice. I just know it would be a great achievement to finish on the podium [here]."

Behind, Thierry Neuville was fourth in his Hyundai i20 WRC, with team-mates Hayden Paddon and Kevin Abbring fifth and sixth respectively. Jari-Matti Latvala, Eric Camilli, Dani Sordo and Henning Solberg filled positions 7 through to 10.

"We worked on the set-up in the shakedown," Latvala explained. "In the first run, the chassis was still a little too soft and I was not entirely happy with the way I drove. The second run was better with a harder set-up. In the third, we experimented a bit. All in all, it was a good shakedown. We sorted everything out nicely for the rally. I am looking forward to the event."

Rally Italia Sardegna now begins later today with SS1, the short 2km Ittiri Arena Show test, running at 18.00 hours local time.

The action then starts proper on Friday, with eight stages on the bill and a total competitive distance of 102.86 kilometres.

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