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Volkswagen duo Andreas Mikkelsen and Jari-Matti Latvala set the joint quickest time on Thursday morning in the shakedown for Rallye Deutschland.

Mikkelsen and Latvala both completed the 4.55 km Konz test in 2 minutes 21.1 seconds, the former posting it on his fourth and final pass, while the latter did five runs, also going quickest at the end as drivers and teams gear up for the first all-asphalt event of the year.

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"The feeling is very good," Latvala said post-shakedown. "When I started this morning, I was still searching a little bit for the right feeling. The car was maybe too soft and I didn't get the confidence, but we returned and made some changes, and now the car feels good.

"Last year, we finished second [here], so I try to keep the good rhythm and hopefully we are there to fight for a top result."

"I really enjoy Tarmac, but it has been a long time: since Rally Spain last year. Yes, we had Monte Carlo, but that was different, so I have a great feeling from the last Tarmac round and I can't wait to start," Mikkelsen added.

"We had a great test coming here and the feeling is really good with the car and shakedown felt very, very nice. I feel that the recce we have done was good as well, so [as I said] I can't wait to start."

Meanwhile, Dani Sordo took third for Hyundai, 0.5secs back, while Championship leader Sebastien Ogier was fourth, 0.2secs slower.

"I am ready now and I am okay for the rally," Sordo replied, when asked if he is fully recovered from the injury that forced him to sit out Rally Finland.

"The shakedown [this morning] was fantastic, the car was really good. We also had a good two days of testing, the car was really good."

"I definitely want to fight here," he added. "It is a rally that I like with the vineyards and Baumholder, and I am also very happy [as I said] with the car, which is very important to have confidence with the car to do the maximum in the stages, so at the moment, I will do everything to fight."

Behind, Hyundai duo Hayden Paddon and Thierry Neuville tied for fifth, from Citroen DS 3 WRC runner Stephane Lefebvre in seventh and Eric Camilli, Ott Tanak and Mads Ostberg in positions 8 through to 10.

Competitors will now take in the ceremonial start in Trier at 20.15 hours local time [19.15 hours UK time].

The action then starts on Friday, with five stages on the bill and a total competitive distance of 98.97 kilometres. SS1, the 22km run through Mittelmosel 1, is due to start at 10.06 hours local time [09.06 hours UK time].