Thierry Neuville of Hyundai was fastest in Kennards Hire Rally Australia shakedown. His time of 2:56.3min was 0.5sec better than the ones of Elfyn Evans (M-Sport) and Stéphane Lefebvre (Citroen).
Neuville was for a long time in the service as there was a technical problem with his i20 WRC Coupe
The team investigated an oil leak but the Belgian still managed to make three runs of the 5.02km Boyds Road stage.
“I felt a bit rusty on my first run this morning”, Lefebvre commented.
“My second attempt was better, but I stalled in a hairpin. After coming back to service, I understood that I needed to brake slightly earlier in order to exit to the corners in better shape. By putting this approach into practice, I set a great time on my fourth run and I’m really pleased about that. I’m going to make the most of what we learned this morning when we start the rally.”
“There’s always a great holiday atmosphere in Australia. It’s a nice, relaxed feeling around this rally”, Jari-Matti Latvala added
The Toyota driver had the fourth time in the shakedown.
“The roads are fast and flowing, so it’s great to drive as well: I love coming here. I’m happy with the car so far. We’ve been struggling a bit over the last two rallies but now it feels like we’re back on track. The first day of the rally tomorrow is the most difficult one. So I need to be in the groove from the very start. There are some fast sections where you don’t really know if it will be flat-out or not: it will come down to who has the confidence to really attack those fast and long corners. It would be great to finish the season on the podium, so that is my aim for the weekend.”
— Hyundai Motorsport (@HMSGOfficial) November 16, 2017