WRC Norway's Mikkelsen fastest on shakedown stage in Chile
COPEC RALLY CHILE, May 9-12, 2019
2019 FIA World Rally Championship, round 6
For immediate release
Thursday, May 9th, 2019
NORWAY’S ANDREAS MIKKELSEN FASTEST ON SHAKEDOWN STAGE IN CHILE
CONCEPCIÓN (CHILE): Andreas Mikkelsen and Anders Jäeger of the Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team carded the fastest time of 4min 46.4sec on the 6.45km Shakedown stage for this weekend’s Copec Rally Chile.
Rain had fallen in the area on Thursday morning and a slippery surface, synonymous of the stages seen on a damp Wales Rally GB, greeted crews to the short gravel test at San Pedro de la Paz.
The Norwegian carried out three passes on the short special and his last run was enough to win the session with Estonian Ott Tänak settling into second place and Finland’s Jari-Matti Latvala finishing third.
After a first ever pass through a Chilean shakedown stage in a time of 4min 52.4sec, Neuville said: “Obviously we did not have those conditions on the recce. Quite slippery and sometimes I was surprised. The car felt okay.”
After pipping Neuville by one-tenth of a second to set the fastest time on the first pass, Sébastien Ogier’s co-driver Julien Ingrassia added: “It has been a bit of a challenge. I spent 12 hours on my notes after the recce.”
Tänak added: “Generally it looks a nice event. If it is dry and high grip it should be good fun. This (shakedown) was like back to (Wales Rally) GB, but it should be okay during the weekend.”
Commenting on his first taste of Chilean forest action, nine-time World Champion Sébastien Loeb said: “The stages are interesting and quite difficult to take the notes and get the rhythm. Six years ago since I drove in these conditions, in Wales, so we will see...”
Neuville went fastest with a run of 4min 51.9sec on his second run and his time was surpassed by Meeke’s flyer of 4min 50.5sec, as Latvala also tied with the Belgian’s time on his second pass. Meeke shaved another 0.2 seconds off his quickest time on run three and moved just one tenth of a second ahead of Ogier.
Neuville was then the first driver to break the 4min 50sec barrier with a third run of 4min 49.0sec. After a slight delay action resumed in the extended session and Mikkelsen hit the front with a 4min 46.4sec run and Tänak and Latvala also displaced the Belgian on an improving stage surface.
Chilean WRC 2 front-runner Pedro Heller blotted his copybook after suffering transmission issues on his Ford Fiesta R5 on the first pass through the special.
2019 Copec Rally Chile – fastest shakedown times (P1 drivers @ 13.45hrs):
1. Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR)/Anders Jaeger-Amland (NOR) Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC 4min 46.4sec
2. Ott Tänak (EST)/Martin Järveoja (EST) Toyota Yaris WRC 4min 47.4sec
3. Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN)/Miikka Anttila (FIN) Toyota Yaris WRC 4min 47.6sec
4. Thierry Neuville (BEL)/Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL) Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC 4min 49.0sec
5. Elfyn Evans (GBR)/Scott Martin (GBR) Ford Fiesta WRC 4min 50.1sec
6. Kris Meeke (GBR)/Sebastian Marshall (GBR) Toyota Yaris WRC 4min 50.3sec
7. Sébastien Ogier (FRA)/Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Citroën C3 WRC 4min 50.4sec
8. Sébastien Loeb (FRA)/Daniel Elena (FRA) Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC 4min 50.9sec
9. Teemu Suninen (FIN)/Marko Salminen (FIN) Ford Fiesta WRC 4min 51.8sec
10. Esapekka Lappi (FIN)/Janne Ferm (FIN) Citroën C3 WRC 4min 51.9sec
For further media information:
Copec Rally Chile 2019, Media Centre, Puerto Marina Convention Centre, Talcahuano, Concepción, Chile. Contact Alvaro Lavin (email@example.com), Rodrigo Castillo (firstname.lastname@example.org), Lluisa Torres (email@example.com) and Neil Perkins (firstname.lastname@example.org).