World champion Sebastien Ogier cracked the fastest time in shakedown for the Monte Carlo Rally.
Ogier and his co-driver Julien Ingrassia demonstrated the the Polo R WRC looms as an ever more potent weapon on the cusp of the time-honoured opening to the World Rally Championship.
The Frenchman produced a 2min15.3s best on his second run through the stage just outside the town of Gap with Citroen’s Kris Meeke and co-driver Paul Nagle second best in 2:16.5 while new Citroen recruit Mads Ostberg and Swedish co-driver Jonas Andersson were third fastest in 2:16.5.
The eagerly awaited first public demonstration of the Hyundai Shell World Rally Team i20s saw Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul finish sixth fastest while Dani Sordo and Marc Marti were eighth among the 14 WRC outright entries.
M-Sport signing Robert Kubica and co-driver Maciej Szczepaniak were fifth fastest in 2:18.3s.
The top eight in the shakedown all produced their best times in their second run.
Teams are able to choose from four different tyres at a rally which presents massive technical challenges as well as wildly changeable weather conditions.
Winter tyres with or without studs and slick super soft or soft tyres will be available.
The first of 15 special stages will commence tomorrow.