LATVALA FASTEST IN GERMANY SHAKEDOWN

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LATVALA FASTEST IN GERMANY SHAKEDOWN

Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN), Miikka Anttila (FIN) Volkswagen Polo R WRC (2015) WRC Rally Germany 2015

PHOTO: Jari-Matti Latvala sets fastest time on Shakedown for ADAC Rallye Germany (Volkswagen pic)

JARI-Matti Latvala has fired the first shot in a critical ADAC Rallye Deutschland for Volkswagen Motorsport by topping the pre-event Shakedown session on Thursday.

The Finn, who has a score to settle with this ninth round of the FIA World Rally Championship after crashing out of the lead during a crazy final morning last year, recorded the fastest time on his third and final run through the 4.60km Konz test, WRC.com reported.

Teammate Andreas Mikkelsen was second and Citroen’s Kris Meeke, third.

“I have good and bad memories from the event but I’m here to try to make revenge,” Latvala said.

“We had a little fine tuning with the damper clicks after the first run because the settings were maybe too stiff, but I’m really happy with the car.

“I was able to bring a lot more set-up things from the 2014 car on asphalt than on gravel. We’re not far away from the dry condition set-up we used at Rallye Monte-Carlo, so where we ended in the test was quite to close the baseline settings we started with.”

Citroën’s Kris Meeke was third in his DS 3, 0.7sec behind Latvala, with championship leader Sébastien Ogier a further 0.1 sc behind in the final Polo R. Robert Kubica and Ott Tänak completed the top six, both driving Ford Fiesta RS cars.

Conditions were hot and dry, with the summer weather due to continue through the first two days on Friday and Saturday. However, rain is forecast for Sunday’s final leg.

Shakedown top 10:

  1. Jari-Matti Latvala (Volkswagen Polo R) 2min 21.4sec
  2. Andreas Mikkelsen (Volkswagen Polo R) 2min 21.6sec
  3. Kris Meeke (Citroen DS3) 2min 22.1sec
  4. Sébastien Ogier (Volkswagen Polo R) 2min 22.2sec
  5. Robert Kubica (Ford Fiesta RS) 2min 23.0sec
  6. Ott Tänak (Ford Fiesta RS) 2min 23.4sec
  7. Hayden Paddon (Hyundai i20) 2min 23.6sec
  8. Dani Sordo (Hyundai i20) 2min 23.7sec
  9. Mads Østberg (Citroen DS3) 2min 23.8sec
  10. Elfyn Evans (Ford Fiesta RS) 2min 23.9sec
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Chris Nixon

Chris Nixon is Media Manager for Kennards Hire Rally Australia.