Volkswagen Motorsport duo Jari-Matti Latvala and Andreas Mikkelsen have taken the top spots in Shakedown for Rallye Deutschland 2016.
Latvala and Mikkelsen set exactly the same time as each other, a 2:21.1 to go top of the timesheets while their team-mate and Championship Leader Sébastien Ogier was fourth, over seven-tenths behind the leaders in Shakedown.
The Finn said post-Shakedown “After a lot of rallies on gravel, the first asphalt Shakedown went pleasingly well. It took me a few laps to find the right set-up for me, but it was spot on after five laps.
“The weather was okay, but it will certainly be a factor all weekend. It is obviously a special rally for Volkswagen – after all, it is not every day your team principal leaves you. We are out to give him a worthy send-off. Let’s see what I can do to contribute.”
Mikkelsen was feeling good coming into Rallye Deutschland after sharing the best time with Latvala in Shakedown. “The Polo is running absolutely superbly. I had a good feeling from the word go. It obviously boosts my confidence to be faster than Seb. We would like to make up some ground in the championship – which means we need to be faster than Seb.
“That will obviously not be easy on his favourite surface. However, we started well on the Shakedown and have also tried out a number of set-up variants, which has given us enough information to know how we should approach the coming days. We are ready.”
Ogier added “The Shakedown went well and the set-up for the Polo R WRC is perfect. More than anything, I hope that it stays dry at the weekend and the conditions are good for everyone. In that case, the fast stages in the vineyards are really fantastic. If it rains – and you have to be prepared for surprises – it will be incredibly difficult, and the slightest mistake can be disastrous.”