Thursday | 13 Nov 2014

Mikkelsen fastest at GB shakedown

Andreas Mikkelsen led a Volkswagen clean sweep of the fastest times at Thursday morning’s Wales Rally GB shakedown in a muddy Clocaenog Forest.

He was fastest through the 3.32km test in a Volkswagen Polo R from world champion Sébastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala, who were tied on time 0.3sec behind.

Both Mikkelsen and Latvala recorded their best time on the third of four runs, while Ogier was happy to bring his shakedown to an end after just two passes.

Teams journeyed to the small town of Ruthin to service the shakedown and it brought back memories for Mikkelsen.

“I lived for one year in the town when I was 17 to get my driving licence, so it feels special to come back. Nothing much has changed,” he said.

Jari-Matti Latvala - experimented with set-up

“The feeling with the car was good. We tested in similar conditions at our pre-event test, but maybe it’s a little more slippery here. We made some changes to the car and now I feel well prepared,” he added.

Latvala also experimented with his set up. “We tested in quite good conditions but the set-up was too stiff for the wet and mud here. We have to go softer for the rally, quite a lot softer actually, so we tried those settings this morning,” he said.

Behind the Volkswagen trio, Robert Kubica was fourth in a Ford Fiesta RS, 0.9sec off Mikkelsen’s pace. Ott Tänak was a tenth of a second further back in another Fiesta RS, with Kris Meeke and Elfyn Evans tied in sixth, another tenth behind.

Henning Solberg damaged the front of his Fiesta RS after crashing during his first run. He completed two more passes before the car was returned to the Deeside service park for repairs.

His car is already well-used. It was M-Sport’s pre-event test car, and was driven for five days by Mikko Hirvonen, Elfyn Evans and Kubica before being converted to RRC spec for Matthew Wilson to use for another day. It was rebuilt for Solberg on Tuesday.

The leading times were:

PositionDriver Time
1.Andreas Mikkelsen2min 01.3sec
2.Sébastien Ogier+ 0.3sec
2.Jari-Matti Latvala+ 0.3sec
4.Robert Kubica+ 0.9sec
5.Ott Tänak+ 1.0sec
6.Kris Meeke+ 1.1sec
6.Elfyn Evans+ 1.1sec
8.Mikko Hirvonen+ 1.2sec
9.Hayden Paddon+ 1.9sec
9.Mads Østberg+ 1.9sec

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