Big Shake-Up at the Shake-Down. The Hyundai team set the pace at this morning's shakedown ahead of this weekend's Vodafone Rally de Portugal. Thierry Neuville set the quickest time through the 4.61km test in his Hyundai i20. The Belgian was 0.3sec quicker than team-mate Dani Sordo with Ott Tänak completing the top three in a Ford Fiesta RS a tenth of a second further back.
Tänak, using DMACK’s new British-made tyres for the first time, was fastest on the first two runs before Neuville set fastest time on the third of his four runs.
“It’s a good start to the weekend but it’s what happens on the rally itself that really matters,” said Neuville. “It was nice to have a good feeling with the car. We tested ahead of the rally and have some new differential settings which make me feel more comfortable.”
Kris Meeke, returning to WRC action for the first time since February’s Rally Sweden, was fourth in Citroën’s DS 3 with Volkswagen Polo R duo Jari-Matti Latvala and Andreas Mikkelsen tied in fifth, just two-tenths behind the Briton.
The top 10 times:
2, Dani Sordo, Hyundai i20, 3min 11.6sec
3, Ott Tänak, Ford Fiesta RS, 3min 11.7sec
4, Kris Meeke, DS 3, 3min 11.9sec
5=, Jari-Matti Latvala, Volkswagen Polo R, 3min 12.1sec
5=, Andreas Mikkelsen, Volkswagen Polo R, 3min 12.1sec
7, Hayden Paddon, Hyundai i20, 3min 12.2sec
8, Sébastien Ogier, Volkswagen Polo R, 3min 12.4sec
9, Stéphane Lefebvre, DS 3 , 3min 12.7sec
10, Kevin Abbring, Hyundai i20, 3min 13.6sec