Wales Rally: VW duo tops the shakedown, Mikkelsen missed the session
Volkswagen drivers Sebastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala were the quickest at the shakedown stage of Wales Rally GB, the last round of 2015 World Rally Championship. Their team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen missed the session in Thursday morning due to health issues. He flew to Germany for medical tests and it’s still uncertain would he start the rally.
Ogier and Latvala set the same fastest time of 2m1.4s at 3.32km stage which took place in Clocaenog Forest, about 45km from the main service park. Third fastest was Citroen’s Kris Meeke (2m1.7s), who had a celebrity sitting alongside. His co-driver was Susie Wolff, Williams F1 Team’s test driver, who recently announced her retirement. This was part of an FIA ‘Women in Motorsport’ initiative which also saw Ogier take Audi’s three-time Le Mans-winning race engineer Leena Gade for a high-speed ride through Clocaenog.
The top six was rounded out by three Hyundai drivers: Thierry Neuville (2m1.9s), Hayden Paddon (2m2.4s) and Dani Sordo (2m2.6s). Among ten fastest at shakedown were Mads Ostberg (Citroen), Elfyn Evans (Ford), Kevin Abbring (Hyundai) and Stephane Lefebvre (Citroen).
Ceremonial start of 71st edition of Wales Rally is scheduled for this evening in the North Wales coastal resort of Llandudno. Competitive action will start tomorrow at 9.27 (local time) with special stage Hafren.