2016 Rally Catalunya – Rally de España: Ogier tops Shakedown in Salou

by Umar Hassan

Sébastien Ogier set the pace in Shakedown for Volkswagen at the 2016 Rally Catalunya – Rally de España.

Ogier, who was quickest on the near-3 kilometre mixed gravel and tarmac test in Salou, which was muddy in places due to heavy rain on Wednesday.

The three-time World Rally Champion could make it four WRC titles in a row on Sunday, as he was ahead of Hyundai’s Dani Sordo by only one-tenth of a second.

Ogier’s nearest rival for the 2016 World Rally Championship and Volkswagen team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen was third, over a second behind the top two in Shakedown.

Citroën’s Kris Meeke and DMACK’s Ott Tänak set identical times in Shakedown to finish in joint-fourth place. The third Volkswagen of Jari-Matti Latvala is sixth, two seconds behind his Volkswagen-leading team-mate.

Thierry Neuville and Hayden Paddon were the remaining Hyundai’s to finish Shakedown in seventh and eighth, while M-Sport’s Mads Østberg and Italy’s Lorenzo Bertelii completed the top ten post-Shakedown.

Meanwhile, in WRC2, the Czech Republic’s Jan Kopecký leads by two-tenths of a second from Spain’s José Antonio Suárez in the Peugeot 208T16.

Teemu Suninen, who is Elfyn Evans’ nearest rival for the 2016 WRC2 Championship is third, ahead France’s Julien Maurin in fourth.

Completing the top six in Shakedown for WRC2 are Germany’s Armin Kremer and current Junior WRC driver Ole Christian Veiby.

In WRC3, only three cars completed Shakedown for Rally Catalunya as Switzerland’s Michaël Burri topped the timesheets, ahead of Italy’s Enrico Brazzoli and Michel Fabre.

Finally, in the Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy, Nicolas Ciamin leads ahead of Juuso Nordgren and Kenya’s Karan Patel for the opening stage of Rally Catalunya.

The 2016 Rally Catalunya – Rally de España begins with SS1 in Barcelona at 18:06pm Spanish time (17:06pm UK time).

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