Sébastien Ogier had a good first day with the Toyota Gazoo Racing team as he topped the times on the opening shakedown test.
The stage was run on 3.35-kilometre long stage at Gap in Monaco just outside the service park. Ogier was already competitive on his debut in the Toyota Yaris WRC car as he set the fastest time of 1:57.1 minutes.
With dry conditions on the shakedown stage, there was no doubt that Ogier would be one of the fastest guys out there.
The former champion had the chance of having a good amount of testing ahead of Rallye Monte-Carlo in France, and while he is still learning the car, he is confident as he heads out on the opening stages on Thursday evening.
“So far, everything is good and running like we were hoping. Shakedown doesn’t mean much and you don’t need to make any conclusions from the results, but it’s always a good sign if you are in the rhythm already. Ogier said.
“I’ve had the chance to have a good amount of testing already in the car before the start of the season. Of course, there are still some details to learn but the general feeling is there, and the sensations from the test came straight away here in shakedown.”
“We can be confident heading into the rally, but this is probably the one rally of the season where you need to stay humble at the start as the conditions can make it so tricky.” Ogier added.
Tom Fowler, Technical Director at Toyota Gazoo Racing believes all the drivers are feeling confident as they all have settled on their setups after the team’s tests earlier in France. The team have a few different settings on the cars depending on the tricky conditions out on the stages.
“Going into our first rally with the new drivers, they were all pretty settled on their setups after our successful pre-event tests, so there wasn’t much to do from a setup point-of-view in shakedown. Fowler said.
“Given the unpredictable nature of the weather on the Monte, we have a few different settings for the car depending on the conditions, so we did change a few things during shakedown just to run the parts in anticipation of the different possibilities that can come up over the weekend.”
“Everything went smoothly for everybody, and Ogier posted the fastest time with the first run. You can’t take too much from the shakedown results, but it’s always nice. The road was then getting muddy so it was difficult to take much from the later runs. But everyone is feeling confident, so it’s a good start,” Fowler added.