Thursday | 18 Aug 2016

Latvala and Mikkelsen top Germany shakedown

Jari-Matti Latvala and Andreas Mikkelsen shared fastest time in Thursday morning’s shakedown at ADAC Rallye Deutschland.

Hyundai’s Dani Sordo was quickest in the first run through the 4.55km Konz test, a mix of country roads and vineyard tracks near the rally base of Trier. Mikkelsen lowered the best time on each of his next three runs before Latvala matched it on his fifth and final pass.

The Finn completed more runs than his front-running rivals as he tried to find a perfect set-up in his Polo R.

“After my pre-event test I realised that maybe my car was too soft,” said Latvala. “I didn’t get the best feeling when we started this morning so we went stiffer with the settings to fine-tune the right balance. Everything felt good in the last run and that’s the set up I will start with."

Drivers are on asphalt for the first time since January’s season-opening Rallye Monte-Carlo and Latvala admitted it takes time to acclimatise to sealed-surface roads after a run of six successive gravel rounds.

“When I started testing I was braking very, very early and didn’t trust myself in the turns. It takes about 50km before you start to get in the groove and get the confidence back,” he said.

Sordo finished 0.5sec behind the Volkswagen duo, with Sébastien Ogier a further two-tenths of a second back. Hayden Paddon and Thierry Neuville were tied in fifth in Hyundai i20s, 1.3sec of the leading pace.

Eric Camilli was slowed during his first run with an engine sensor problem in his Ford Fiesta RS.

The top 10 times were:

1=Jari-Matti LatvalaVolkswagen Polo R2min 21.1sec
1=Andreas MikkelsenVolkswagen Polo R2min 21.1sec
3.Dani SordoHyundai i202min 21.6sec
4.Sébastien Ogier Volkswagen Polo R2min 21.8sec
5=Hayden PaddonHyundai i202min 22.4sec
5=Thierry NeuvilleHyundai i202min 22.4sec
7.Stéphane Lefebvre DS 32min 22.7sec
8.Eric CamilliFord Fiesta RS2min 24.1sec
9.Ott TänakFord Fiesta RS2min 24.9sec
10.Mads ØstbergFord Fiesta RS2min 26.6sec

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