Rally GB: Sebastien Ogier quickest in qualifying stage
|By David Evans||Thursday, November 14th 2013, 12:19 GMT|
World Rally champion Sebastien Ogier has made the best possible start to this week's Rally GB with the fastest time in this morning's qualifying stage.
The Frenchman's Polo was seven hundredths of a second quicker than Thierry Neuville (Ford Fiesta RS WRC).
"The time was good," Ogier told AUTOSPORT. "We had no problems and running first on the road in qualifying wasn't a disadvantage for me.
"But now we have to think about where we want to run on the road for the first day, it's really not so simple.
"We will think about things, but on this rally it's never good to be too close to the back."
Neuville admitted a couple of mistakes early in the two-mile stage cost him the chance of fastest time.
"I was trying too hard in those first few corners," he said. "And after that I wasn't pushing hard enough in the fast sections. At the end, I'm not so happy - I lost some tenths in there."
Neuville's Qatar M-Sport team-mate Evgeny Novikov overcame a pre-event test shunt to go third quickest, with Jari-Matti Latvala unable to find confidence in his Polo in fourth.
"I changed the set-up," said Latvala. "In the test I found better grip from the harder suspension, so I changed for here, but I did not take enough risks. Let's see in the rally."
Mads Ostberg (M-Sport Fiesta) and Mikko Hirvonen were fifth and sixth respectively, with the latter ruing the lack of a pre-event test in his factory DS3 WRC.
Hirvonen's team-mate, Citroen DS3 WRC debutant Robert Kubica was just 0.402s slower than the Finn through the stage.
Kubica's focus remained on familiarising himself with his new co-driver Michele Ferrara and listening to his pace notes being read in Italian.