FINLAND’S JARI-MATTI LATVALA WAS FASTEST IN SHAKEDOWN FOR LOTOS 71ST RALLY POLAND ON THURSDAY MORNING.
Driving a Volkswagen Polo R, he was quickest over the 4.70km test close to the rally’s Mikolajki base by 0.5sec from Mads Ostberg’s Citroen DS3. Latvala’s team-mate, Andreas Mikkelsen, was a further tenth of a second back.
Latvala’s fastest time came on his fourth pass, having acclimatised to the lightning quick Polish roads earlier in the morning.
“The stage was pretty fast on a wide road and similar to the event itself, except it didn’t have any narrow parts,”he said. “It took time to get used to the speed, but I did some runs to get the feeling and when I did the fourth run it felt normal.”
Latvala began with his base set-up on the Polo R before increasingly stiffening the suspension and dampers.
Fourth and just 0.2sec behind Mikkelsen was championship leader Sébastien Ogier, who completed just the minimum two runs. Kris Meeke was fifth in another DS3 and Robert Kubica delighted his home fans with sixth fastest time in his Ford Fiesta RS.
Times for the World Rally Car drivers were:
|1||Jari-Matti Latvala||1min 59.3sec|
|2||Mads Ostberg||+ 0.5sec|
|3||Andreas Mikkelsen||+ 0.6sec|
|4||Sébastien Ogier||+ 0.8sec|
|5||Kris Meeke||+ 1.4sec|
|6=||Robert Kubica||+ 2.2sec|
|6=||Thierry Neuville||+ 2.2sec|
|8||Henning Solberg||+ 2.4sec|
|9||Juho Hänninen||+ 3.1sec|
|10||Hayden Paddon||+ 3.2sec|
|11||Mikko Hirvonen||+ 3.7sec|
|12||Martin Prokop||+ 3.8sec|
|13||Elfyn Evans||+ 4.3sec|
|14||Michal Solowow||+ 4.7sec|
|15||Krzystof Holowczyc||+ 5.4sec|