WRC friendly kick- starts Euro 2016
WRC stars take on The Beautiful Game
The Frenchman topped the times through the 3.00km Olmedo test on his fourth and final run in his Volkswagen Polo R. Østberg almost pipped him with the last of his five runs but fell just short in his Ford Fiesta RS.
Estonia’s Ott Tänak was quickest in the first two passes in his Fiesta RS, using soft tyres to their full benefit on the short gravel stage, before ending 0.7sec behind Ogier in third.
Ogier tested different tyre options in a quest to find the optimum combination that might offset the disadvantage of opening the roads for the first two days, cleaning small stones to leave more grip for his rivals behind.
He was coy about what worked best but undoubtedly mixed hard and soft compound rubber in a bid to find a combination that could offer improved grip.
“I started with soft and finished with hard,” he said. “Tyre choice is something that we 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 we have to take more risks because otherwise we will lose time. 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,” he added.
Hyundai i20s filled the rest of the top six places. Thierry Neuville was a tenth of a second adrift of Tänak in fourth, with Hayden Paddon a further 0.5sec behind and Kevin Abbring rounding off the top half dozen in his 2015-specification car.
|1||Ogier||VW Polo R||2m12.9s|
|2||Østberg||Ford Fiesta RS||2m13.0s|
|3||Tanak||Ford Fiesta RS||2m13.6s|
|7||Latvala||VW Polo R||2m15.1s|
|8||Camilli||Ford Fiesta RS||2m15.3s|
|10||H. Solberg||Ford Fiesta RS||2m15.9s|
Rally Italia Sardegna shakedown times run-by-run