Ogier fastest on Wet Shakedown in Spain

The eight-time world rally champion Sébastien Ogier leading the Thursday morning shakedown at RallyRACC Catalunya – Costa Daurada like two Toyota Gazoo Racing the cars are in the top three after the session.

A few showers greeted the drivers during this morning and the tire strategy played a big role throughout the session, the Toyota drivers being the only ones in the Rally1 category to run with the Pirelli soft tires while the rest of the teams selected the hard compound over the 4.21 kilometers La Teixeta pass Early shakedown stage.

Ogier beat the Toyota Gazoo Racing NG driver Takamoto Katsuta by just nine tenths of a second on his third and final run, while Pierre Louis Loubet, who rode a total of six times on the stage, placed third with an impressive time just 1.2 seconds slower than Ogier when out on soft tyres. The M-Sport Ford World Rally Team driver shared the two Toyotas of the 2022 world champion Kalle Rovanpera and Elfyn Evanswho set the fourth and fifth best times respectively.

Credit: Jaanus Ree / Red Bull Content Pool

M-Sport Gus Verger also opted for softs on his later attempts and he managed to set a sixth fastest time on his fourth run, meanwhile teammate Adrien Fourmauxwho returns to the line-up after a two-month hiatus ended seventh fastest after having a slow opening run.

Craig Breen also driving for M-Sport was ninth fastest and both local WRC2 drivers of pepe lopez and Alejandro Cachon eighth and tenth best times respectively.

All Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT the drivers were struggling during the shakedown and none of them reached the top ten with Ott Tanak comes out best with 11th place.

Official shakedown result (top 10)

pos. Number Pilot / Copilot Nat. Crew Auto To classify Time
1. #1 Sebastien Ogier / Benjamin Veillas France Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 Rally1 2:40.1
2. #18 Takamoto Katsuta / Aaron Johnston Japan / Ireland Toyota Gazoo Racing NG WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 Rally1 2:41.0
3. #seven Pierre-Louis Loubet / Vincent Landais France M-Sport Ford WRT Ford Puma Rally1 Rally1 2:41.3
4. #69 Kalle Rovanperä / Jonne Halttunen Finland Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 Rally1 2:41.5
5. #33 Elfyn Evans / Scott Martin UK Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 Rally1 2:41.6
6. #44 Gus GreensmithJonas Andersson United Kingdom / Sweden M-Sport Ford WRT Ford Puma Rally1 Rally1 2:42.6
seven. #16 Adrien Fourmaux / Alexandre Coria France M-Sport Ford WRT Ford Puma Rally1 Rally1 2:46.1
8. #26 Pepe Lopez / Borja Rozada Spain Hyundai Motor Spain Hyundai i20 N Rally2 WRC2 2:48.8
9. #42 Craig Breen / Paul Nagle Ireland M-Sport Ford WRT Ford Puma Rally1 Rally1 2:50.4
ten. #29 Alejandro Cachón / Alejandro “Jandrín” López Fernandez Spain Citroen Rally Team Citroen C3 Rally2 WRC2 2:52.3