WRC Ogier fastest on Rally Spain's shakedown stage

For immediate release
Thursday, October 14th, 2021


SALOU (SPAIN): Sébastien Ogier clocked the quickest time of 2min 33.6sec on the short 4.31 Shakedown stage at the start of Rally Spain on Thursday morning.

The Toyota Yaris driver made three passes through the tarmac test and finished the session a mere two-tenths of a second ahead of his Welsh title rival Elfyn Evans. Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville finished third and local hero Dani Sordo slotted into fourth.

Thousands of spectators’ cars lined the access roads in the mist-covered hills of the Col de la Teixeta, west of Salou, to witness the WRC’s return to Spain for the first time since 2019.

Ogier drew first blood on a chilly morning start with the fastest time of 2min 35.5sec for the first pass. That gave the Frenchman a lead of just one-tenth of a second over Sordo, with Evans a further tenth behind and Neuville and Tänak rounding off the top five.

With the Drivers’ World Championship now out of his grasp, Neuville hit the top of the standings on the second pass with a time of 2min 34.2sec. Sordo also shaved a second off his first pass to retain second and Tänak moved up to third with a 2min 35sec run. Greensmith’s third pass moved the Briton into fourth.

Ogier was not to be denied, however, and the defending World Champion shaved 0.2 seconds off Neuville’s time to hit the front again. Evans’s second run also moved the Welshman up to third at the expense of Sordo.

Ogier continued to push the boundaries and a third pass of 2min 33.6sec enabled the Frenchman to stay ahead of title rival Evans, who moved into second with a 2min 33.8sec pass. Both Evans and Neuville made fourth passes in bright sunshine but were not able to beat Ogier’s benchmark.

At 12.45hrs, Nikolay Gryazin had drawn first blood in the quest for WRC2 supremacy this weekend with the fastest shakedown time of 2min 41.8sec.

Mads Østberg, Pepe López and Eric Camilli were second, third and fourth with Teemu Suninen – winner of the recent WRC2 battle in Finland - in fifth.

2021 Rally Spain – shakedown times (WRC @ 12.45hrs):
1. Sébastien Ogier (FRA)/Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Toyota Yaris WRC 2min 33.6sec
2. Elfyn Evans (GBR)/Scott Martin (GBR) Toyota Yaris WRC 2min 33.8sec
3. Thierry Neuville (BEL)/Martin Wydaeghe (BEL) Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC 2min 34.0sec
4. Dani Sordo (ESP)/Cándido Carrera (ESP) Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC 2min 34.2sec
5. Ott Tänak (EST)/Martin Järveoja (EST) Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC 2min 34.4sec
6. Kalle Rovanperä (FIN)/Jonne Halttunen (FIN) Toyota Yaris WRC 2min 34.8sec
7. Adrien Fourmaux (FRA)/Alexandre Coria (FRA) Ford Fiesta WRC 2min 34.9sec
8. Gus Greensmith (GBR)/Chris Patterson (GBR) Ford Fiesta WRC 2min 35.0sec
9. Takamoto Katsuta (JPN)/Aaron Johnston (IRL) Toyota Yaris WRC 2min 35.1sec
10. Nil Solans (ESP)/Marc Marti (ESP) Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC 2min 36.1sec
11. Oliver Solberg (NOR)/Craig Drew (GBR) Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC 2min 36.3sec












Date issued: 14/10/2021

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