Thursday | 12 Feb 2015

Ogier tops Sweden shakedown

Sébastien Ogier edged out Robert Kubica and Mads Østberg to set fastest time in shakedown at Rally Sweden this morning (Thursday).

The Volkswagen Polo R pilot went quickest on his fourth and final pass through the 3.99km Råda stage, near the rally’s Hagfors service park, to pip Kubica’s Ford Fiesta RS and Østberg’s DS 3 by two-tenths of a second.

Conditions improved with the passage of every car as rising temperatures melted the snow and ice, allowing the spiked tyres to bite into the gravel beneath and generate better grip.

“It was crazy. We calculated the stage was getting quicker by almost a tenth of a second per kilometre with every car,” said the Frenchman.

Both Kubica and Østberg had earlier set the pace, both drivers completing seven runs through the stage.

Kris Meeke was fourth in Citroen’s other DS 3, a further 0.1sec behind, with the Polo R duo of Andreas Mikkelsen and Jari-Matti Latvala completing the top six.

Yuriy Protasov was seventh, having returned to an M-Sport Fiesta RS after tackling last month’s Rallye Monte-Carlo in a DS 3 run by the Italian D-Max Racing squad.

The top 10 times were:

1.Sébastien Ogier 1min 59.0sec
2=Robert Kubica+ 0.2sec
2=Mads Østberg+ 0.2sec
4.Kris Meeke+ 0.3sec
5.Andreas Mikkelsen+ 0.5sec
6.Jari-Matti Latvala+ 0.9sec
7.Yuriy Protasov+ 2.9sec
8.Elfyn Evans+ 3.1sec
9.Henning Solberg+ 3.3sec
10.Ott Tänak+ 3.5sec

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