Poland WRC: Jari-Matti Latvala quickest for VW in shakedown
|By David Evans||Thursday, June 26th 2014, 11:03 GMT|
Jari-Matti Latvala has made the perfect start to Rally Poland setting fastest time at this morning's shakedown stage.
The Finn set the benchmark on his fourth and final run at the super-fast 2.5-mile test close to the rally's hometown of Mikolajki.
Volkswagen driver Latvala was one of four drivers within a second of each other in the shakedown, with Mads Ostberg second quickest, half a second down, Andreas Mikkelsen a further tenth back and Sebastien Ogier two tenths behind and ensuring all three factory Polo R WRCs are on the early pace.
"Shakedown was good," said Latvala, "we had no problems at all. The road was really fast and the surface was good. We're ready now."
Unusually, the drivers head out into three stages this afternoon, with 20 miles of competitive action through the forests.
Britain's Kris Meeke was fifth fastest in his Citroen, just 1.4s off quickest, with local hero Robert Kubica sixth.
Missing from the top 10 were M-Sport World Rally Team drivers Mikko Hirvonen and Elfyn Evans. Hirvonen was 11th and was not concerned.
He told AUTOSPORT: "The guys are happy with what they've done this morning, there's no problems at all.
"I talked to them both and it seems the shakedown stage is really quick and they didn't want to take any risks with anything."
Ott Tanak was setting the early shakedown pace in WRC 2.
Pos Driver Car Time/Gap 1. Jari-Matti Latvala Volkswagen 1m59.3s 2. Mads Ostberg Citroen +0.5s 3. Andreas Mikkelsen Volkswagen +0.6s 4. Sebastien Ogier Volkswagen +0.8s 5. Kris Meeke Citroen +1.4s 6. Robert Kubica M-Sport Ford +2.2s 6. Thierry Neuville Hyundai +2.2s 8. Henning Solberg Solberg Ford +2.4s 9. Juho Hanninen Hyundai +3.1s 10. Hayden Paddon Hyundai +3.2s