Ogier fastest in Rallye Deutschland shakedown
Sebastien Ogier says he's refusing to get carried away after setting the fastest time in shakedown for ADAC Rallye Deutschland earlier today.
The 27-year-old was 1.4s faster than factory Citroen team-mate Sebastien Loeb, who has won the event on the last eight occasions.
Despite his pace in shakedown, Ogier says there is no guarantee that he’ll be able to translate it into fastest stage times when the event gets underway with the first of 19 special stages on Friday morning.
The feeling was very good with the car but this result means nothing because it’s only the shakedown - the real rally starts tomorrow.
“The feeling was very good with the car but this result means nothing because it’s only the shakedown - the real rally starts tomorrow,” said Ogier.
Loeb, who was second fastest, said his Citroen DS3 was “a bit nervous” on the 4.09-kilometre test. “We were driving with the hard tyres only,” said Loeb. “We were happy but the Ford was quite impressive - [Mikko] Hirvonen was faster than me for a while.”
Hirvonen, in a works Ford Fiesta RS WRC, equalled Loeb’s best time on his fifth run through the practice course. “The car feels good and handles well,” said the Finn. “We went a bit softer with the springs this morning. We’ll push hard tomorrow.”
Jari-Matti Latvala, in the second works Fiesta, was 0.2s slower than Loeb and Hirvonen in fourth, despite losing time with a handbrake cylinder failure, which occurred on his second run.
Petter Solberg was fifth quickest in his privateer DS3 WRC with older brother Henning Solberg sixth in the lead M-Sport Stobart Fiesta.
Kris Meeke was eighth at the wheel of his factory MINI John Cooper Works WRC, one place ahead of ex-Formula One world champion Kimi Raikkonen. The Briton’s only concern occurred on his third run when he punctured both of his left-hand side tyres taking a ‘cut’ through a corner.
“It wakes you up a bit when that happens,” said Meeke. “You have to remember it’s a performance tyre and not completely puncture proof. But the set-up of the car was good and I’m comfortable with the car.”
Dani Sordo completed the top 10 in the second MINI WRC. He said: “Shakedown was good but there is still more we need to improve, we tried a few things with the springs, it was not bad.”
German Christian Riedemann, making his debut in one of two Volkswagen Motorsport Skoda Fabia S2000s, suffered a setback when he crashed into a field.
Here are the top 10 times from the Shakedown session:
1. OGIER. Citroen DS3 WRC. 3:36.3
=2. LOEB. Citroen DS3 WRC. 3:37.7
=2. HIRVONEN. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 3:37.7
4. LATVALA. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 3:37.9
5. P. SOLBERG. Citroen DS3 WRC. 3:38.6
6. H. SOLBERG. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 3:38.7
7. OSTBERG. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 3:39.0
8. MEEKE. MINI John Cooper Works WRC. 3.39.1
9. RAIKKONEN. Citroen DS3 WRC. 3:39.3
10. SORDO. MINI John Cooper Works WRC. 3.40.1