Elfyn Evans throws down the gauntlet in Wales Rally GB shakedown

by Vince Pettit

Home hero Elfyn Evans was the only driver to dip below the 2 minute barrier in the shakedown 2017 Wales Rally GB as competitors took on the 2.06 mile stage.

The M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC ’17 driver completed a total of four runs through the stage, setting a fastest time of 1:58.1 on his third run.

Hyundai Motorsport’s Dani Sordo was the nearest rival, 2.3 seconds off of the pace in his Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, his fastest time came on his third (of five) run through the stage.

Ott Tänak started his penultimate shakedown with the M-Sport squad finishing in third place, the Estonian, who will be heading off to Toyota for the 2018 season, will be looking to make the most of the final two rallies with the Cumbrian team.

Tänak’s future team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala finished fourth, while the Hyundai duo of Thierry Neuville and Hayden Paddon finished fifth and sixth.

Championship leader Sébastien Ogier finished the session in seventh place in the M-Sport Fiesta after completing three runs, the reigning champion recorded the same time as his former Volkswagen team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen as he continues to get to grips with the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC.

Juho Hänninen finished in ninth place ahead of the first Citroën C3 WRC of Craig Breen. Mads Ostberg was eleventh while Rally Spain victor Kris Meeke finished in twelfth place.

In WRC2 Teemu Suninen got the advantage of his rivals with a time of 2:06.3 to top the time sheets ahead of Eyving Brynildsen and Ole Christian Veiby in second and third.

Tom Cave, David Bogie and Gus Greensmith were sixth through to eighth fastest while another trio of Brits finished the shakedown in thirteenth through to fifteenth with Matt Edwards, Rhys Yates and Matthew Wilson.

Competitors now have the day to prepare for the first stage of the rally this evening when the action gets underway at the Tir Prince racecourse at 19:00 local time.

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