Hyundai driver Thierry Neuville topped the timesheets in the 3.62-kilometre-long shakedown test of the Central European Rally.
The Belgian was 1.4s faster quicker than anybody else in shakedown, with Kalle Rovanperä in P2. Ott Tänak made it three different cars in the top 3, a tenths shy of Rovanperä’s time.
This week’s Central European Rally is a new concept in the WRC with stages in three countries (Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic). The service park is situated in Passau (Germany). The drivers head to Prague tomorrow for the ceremonial start and two (different) super special stages on the way back to service in Passau.
On Friday, all stages are run in the Czech Republic. On Saturday and Sunday, the stages are run in both Austria and Germany.
Today’s shakedown was interrupted after four cars due to a road traffic incident nearby, requiring the emergency service vehicles to attend the matter.
Shakedown resumed after just over half an hour. The shakedown times were not bettered as the sun set. Elfyn Evans completed shakedown in P4, ahead of Esapekka Lappi and Sébastien Ogier.
Takamoto Katsuta set the 7th fastest time, followed by Teemu Suninen, Pierre-Louis Loubet and Grégoire Munster who’s in the Puma Rally1 for this weekend also after his Rally1 debut in Chile.
Yohan Rossel set the pace in WRC2, 0.8s faster than Adrien Fourmaux and a further 0.4s faster than leading Toksport-Skoda driver Gus Greensmith.
WRC Central European Rally 2023 – Shakedown results
|#||Drivers||Car||Time / Diff. to 1st|
|1.||Neuville / Wydaeghe||Hyundai i20 N Rally1||1:57.5|
|2.||Rovanperä / Halttunen||Toyota GR Yaris Rally1||+1.4|
|3.||Tänak / Järveoja||Ford Puma Rally1||+1.5|
|4.||Evans / Martin||Toyota GR Yaris Rally1||+2.2|
|5.||Lappi / Ferm||Hyundai i20 N Rally1||+2.8|
|6.||Ogier / Landais||Toyota GR Yaris Rally1||+3.1|
|7.||Katsuta / Johnston||Toyota GR Yaris Rally1||+3.4|
|8.||Suninen / Markkula||Hyundai i20 N Rally1||+4.1|
|9.||Loubet / Veillas||Ford Puma Rally1||+4.7|
|10.||Munster / Louka||Ford Puma Rally1||+5.8|
Photo: Hyundai Motorsport