Neuville tops shakedown

Championship leader Thierry Neuville was fastest in shakedown at ADAC Rallye Deutschland on Thursday morning.

The Belgian was quickest through the mainly dry 4.09km Eiweiler test by 0.9sec from Andreas Mikkelsen, who returns to the Citroën Abu Dhabi squad after missing last month’s encounter in Finland.

Sébastien Ogier, who is tied with Neuville at the top of the points, was third fastest. The M-Sport World Rally Team pilot has a new Ford Fiesta at his disposal this weekend, his third new car of the campaign.

Neuville’s pace-setting time came in his first run. He completed three more in his Hyundai i20, opting for Michelin’s hard compound tyres in the first two and softer rubber for the final two as he looked ahead to tomorrow’s opening leg when rain is forecast.

“The road was quite clean to start with but I was on hard tyres, so still a good time,” he said. “I made a couple of small changes for the final runs to try for wet conditions and find some traction.

“The road became dirty. It was a particular part of the stage in the forest which was very dirty, but the rest was OK,” Neuville added.

All the leading drivers except Ott Tänak and Hayden Paddon set their benchmark time during the first pass. Conditions worsened as cars dragged and mud and stones onto the asphalt and the times slowed.

Ogier missed a hairpin during his first run but was fastest in the second pass, 1.4sec clear of Craig Breen’s Citroën C3

Kris Meeke was fourth in his C3, with Breen and Jari-Matti Latvala’s Toyota Yaris filling the rest of the top six.

The leading times were:

1.Thierry NeuvilleHyundai i202min 25.8sec
2.Andreas MikkelsenCitroën C32min 26.7sec
3.Sébastien OgierFord Fiesta2min 27.0sec
4.Kris MeekeCitroën C32min 28.2sec
5.Craig BreenCitroën C32min 29.1sec
6.Jari-Matti LatvalaToyota Yaris2min 29.6sec
7.Juho HänninenToyota Yaris2min 30.0sec
8.Dani SordoHyundai i202min 30.1sec
9.Ott Tänak Ford Fiesta2min 31.8 sec
10.Elfyn EvansFord Fiesta2min 32.4sec


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