Jari-Matti Latvala has set the benchmark time in the pre-event shakedown ahead of the Rally de Portugal, with Henning Solberg a surprise in second aboard a Ford.
With the opening ceremonial start to take place in Estoril and superspecial stage in Lisbon; both which are many hours away from the event’s stages, the shakedown was held a day earlier than at most events.
“The car felt very good I was very happy with its general handing,” said Latvala.
“The stage was not exactly muddy but the ground was a bit damp, so we were running the soft tyre and the grip was good in these conditions.”
Latvala was 0.8 seconds faster than Henning Solberg who is making his first appearance in a World Rally Car since the 2011 Rally GB. The Norwegian used the moment to confirm his entry in the World Rallycross.
Latvala’s team-mate and last weekend’s winner at the Fafe Rally Sprint, Sebastien Ogier, was third fastest with Dani Sordo’s Hyundai fourth.
The sun was shining throughout the session, but after days of rain the stage remained wet in places.
TIMES: Rally de Portugal – Shakedown
|2||Henning Solberg||M-Sport Ford||+0.8s|
|5||Mikko Hirvonen||M-Sport Ford||+3.1s|
|8||Robert Kubica||M-Sport Ford||+5.0s|
VIDEO: Rally de Portugal preview