CITROËN DRIVERS RIGHT ON THE PACE
Craig Breen – Scott Martin and Mads Østberg – Torstein Eriksen confirmed their liking for the specific conditions of Wales Rally GB in this morning's final practice session, finishing just one and five tenths off the pace respectively, whilst also fine-tuning the last few details of their preparations.
Held on a section of SS2, today's 3.37km-long shakedown provided the crews within an immediate introduction to the challenges posed by the Welsh roads: muddy roads with changeable grip conditions, decidedly slippery in places.
Pleased with their pre-event tests, Craig Breen and Mads Østberg confirmed their good feeling on this surface, grabbing the fourth and seventh fastest times on their opening attempts, just one and five tenths off the leading pace. As conditions then gradually became more slippery, they used their next two runs (two for Craig, three for Mads) to work on their set-up for the second passes on the stages during the race itself.
After contesting this evening's Tir Prince (1.70km) show stage under the spotlights, the real action kicks off tomorrow with an opening leg featuring a competitive distance of 110.76 kilometres. The day includes two runs on the long Brenig (29.13km) stage, likely to produce significant gaps, as well as Penmachno (16.95km), a new test described by the drivers as more technical and slower than is usually the case at this rally…
WHAT THEY SAID
“It was a good shakedown for us. I had a very good feeling in my C3 WRC, I felt confident behind the wheel and the time just came naturally. Although, overall, it's probably drier here and there's more grip than in the past, we're still expecting changeable conditions. But we've prepared for that."
"This morning's session confirmed that we had worked well on the set-up in testing. I had a good feeling in the car and I'm pleased with our preparations. We know that now, like every year, we are going to have a huge challenge in the race. It's going to be muddy, slippery and fun, I hope!"
- Ogier / Ingrassia (Ford Fiesta WRC) 2:01.4
- Latvala / Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) 2:01.4
- Evans / Barritt (Ford Fiesta WRC) 2:01.4
- Breen / Martin (Citroën C3 WRC) 2:01.5
- Neuville / Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 WRC) 2:01.8
- Suninen / Markkula (Ford Fiesta WRC) 2:01.9
- Ostberg / Eriksen (Citroën C3 WRC) 2:01.9
- Lappi / Ferm (Toyota Yaris WRC) 2:02.2
- Paddon / Marshall (Hyundai i20 WRC) 2:02.6
- Mikkelsen / Jaeger (Hyundai i20 WRC) 2:03.1