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DANI Sordo was fastest in shakedown at Vodafone Rally de Portugal on Thursday morning.

Just two-tenths of a second split the leading three drivers through the 4.61km Baltar test. Sordo edged championship leader Sébastien Ogier by 0.1sec, with Jari-Matti Latvala a further tenth behind.

Mads Østberg set the pace through the opening run of the sandy test in his Ford Fiesta. Sordo moved to the front in the second run before going even quicker in his third and final pass in a Hyundai i20 Coupe.

“It was a really good morning; I’m happy with the car. There’s nothing really different on the car compared to the last round in Argentina, but I made small changes in shakedown in the suspension which went in a good direction,” the Spaniard said.

“The stages are soft in some places but other parts are very compact, so in the second pass the roads will be a little bit destroyed. The rally organisation has done a really good job on the roads ahead of the rally.”

Championship leader Ogier, driving a Fiesta, posted his best time in his third and final pass, while Latvala was one of several drivers to opt for additional runs in his Toyota Yaris.

Kris Meeke was the only top driver to complete five runs in his Citroën C3.

The Briton’s best time, in his final pass, was good enough for fourth place and just 0.1sec behind Latvala. Elfyn Evans and Østberg completed the top six.

Sbakedown top times:

1          Sordo 3m06.9s
2          Ogier +0.1s
3          Latvala +0.2s
4          Meeke +0.3s
5          Evans +0.6s
6          Ostberg +0.8s
7          Tanak +0.9s
8          Neuville +1.2s
9          Hanninen +1.4s
10       Paddon +1.8s
11       Lappi +2.3s
12       Lefebvre +2.5s
13       Breen +2.6s

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Chris Nixon

Chris Nixon is Media Manager for Kennards Hire Rally Australia.