MIKKELSEN, MEEKE AND BREEN FINISH IN SHAKEDOWN TOP FIVE
The ADAC Rallye Deutschland shakedown went well this morning for the Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT, with all three C3 WRCs finishing in the top five. Andreas Mikkelsen was the team's highest ranked driver in second position, whilst Kris Meeke and Craig Breen were fourth and fifth fastest respectively.
- The 5.12km-long stage held close to the village of Eiweiler was typical of the Sarre countryside with a fast tarmac road, interspersed with turns and sections through the undergrowth.
- The road became quickly covered with mud and stones dragged onto the line as cars came through the corners. It was therefore no surprise that times of the top eight crews came on their first attempt.
- In order to test the handling of the C3 WRCs in these low-grip conditions, the crews completed more than the three mandatory runs. Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle completed five passes, whilst Craig Breen/Scott Martin and Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jæger did four runs.
- The team's best performance was produced by Mikkelsen, who nestled Neuville and Ogier in second. Meeke and Breen completed the top five.
- Rallye Deutschland is due to begin this evening in Sarrebruck. Following the ceremonial start, the cars will contest SS1 in the streets of the capital of the Sarre department from 7.08pm.
Kris Meeke: "As soon as the shakedown started, mud was dragged onto the road. We're likely to face this kind of situation during a good part of the rally and it'll be all the more of a challenge starting quite far down the running order. We'll see what happens with the weather: at a push, I'd prefer it if it rains a lot, so that the water washes the mud off the road as more cars complete the stages. In any event, we worked well this morning to adapt the car to the conditions."
Craig Breen: "Our first pass was okay, because the road was still in reasonably good condition. After that, the line became dirty pretty quickly: in the wooded sections, you couldn't see the tarmac any more at all, just a layer of slippery mud. It gave us an idea of the pattern of this rally and I think we're now ready after this morning's final test session."
Andreas Mikkelsen: "It was a good morning, especially as we set the shakedown's second fastest time, so that's fairly promising. After that, mud and stones were then dragged onto the racing line and it was impossible to improve. I hope it won't be the same thing tomorrow, because all three Citroën cars are starting quite well down the order. In any case, I had a good feeling in the C3 this morning."
1. Neuville / Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 WRC) 2:25.8
2. Mikkelsen / Jaeger (Citroën C3 WRC) 2:26.7
3. Ogier / Ingrassia (Ford Fiesta WRC) 2:27.0
4. Meeke / Nagle (Citroën C3 WRC) 2:28.2
5. Breen / Martin (Citroën C3 WRC) 2:29.1
6. Latvala / Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) 2:29.5
7. Hänninen / Lindstrom (Toyota Yaris WRC) 2:30.0
8. Sordo / Marti (Hyundai i20 WRC) 2:30.1
9. Tänak / Jarveoja (Ford Fiesta WRC) 2:31.8
10. Evans / Barritt (Ford Fiesta WRC) 2:32.4