Volkswagen is on top after a short 5 kilometre shakedown in Portugal
Volkswagen has made a promising start to the Rally Portugal. Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN) set the fastest time in the Shakedown with their Polo R WRC. Defending champions in the Driver and Co-Driver competitions, Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F), ended “free practice” prior to the fourth round of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) in third place, with Andreas Mikkelsen/Mikko Markkula (N/FIN) tenth.
The Shakedown was held in Vale Judeu, between Loulé and Vilamoura, and not far from the Service Park at the “Estadio Algarve”. After the persistent rain of recent days, the 4.98-kilometre stage presented the competitors with a variety of conditions – with muddy, damp and dry sections. The Volkswagen drivers completed the two runs required by the regulations, but no more.
“We had no problems on the Shakedown, and the Polo R WRC is in great form. We were on soft tyres. It looks ok for us at the moment, as it has rained. That means there will not be so much loose gravel on the roads when we are the first car onto the route on Friday. That is definitely a small advantage for us. On the other side of the coin, however, we will not be able to follow the line taken by other cars, and you never know where there may be a surprise lurking.”