Rally Chile: Shakedown
The Toyota Yaris WRC gets its first taste of Chile roads
The Toyota Yaris WRC has logged its first kilometres in Chile during today's shakedown ahead of the country's maiden FIA World Rally Championship round.
The shakedown provided an opportunity to check the systems and setups on the cars on the local gravel roads, the team having not been permitted by the regulations to test in Chile ahead of the event. The crews had their first look at the weekend's stages during the recce on Tuesday and Wednesday, when they prepared brand new pace-notes.
In the 6.45-kilometre shakedown, held close to the host city of Concepción, the drivers faced wet and muddy conditions. With times set later on in slightly drier conditions, Ott Tänak was second fastest and Jari-Matti Latvala was third, while Kris Meeke ended up sixth having been fastest after the early runs.
Tommi Mäkinen (Team Principal)
“It was a fairly important shakedown today because it was the first chance to drive the cars on these roads. The conditions were quite tricky to begin with, but it seems it had dried out by the end, and the drivers all seemed to be happy with the feeling. We had no problems and the times were pretty good in all conditions. Everything is looking good and we're excited to get started in the morning.”
Ott Tänak (Driver car 8)
“We had a good shakedown: everything was working from the beginning. The weather was quite different to what we had during the recce, as it's been raining and it was quite muddy, a bit like you get in Rally GB. When you have all-new pace-notes, it's always a challenge because you will always have places where they're not perfect, especially on a fast rally like this one. We need to keep our eyes open and drive on feeling. I think confidence will be key this weekend. I'm really looking forward to it and I believe we're ready for the rally.”
Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 10)
“Already from the start of shakedown, the car felt good, even though the conditions were slippery and muddy. I had a nice feeling on every run and I enjoyed it. Everything is quite clear in my mind, as I know that we don't need to change much on the car. In the recce we had a lot of fog on some stages, which made it quite difficult to make the pace-notes. The roads here are very challenging too, so I think the first loop tomorrow morning will show who is confident in their pace-notes.”
Kris Meeke (Driver car 5)
“In shakedown it was wet, in the forest, on logging roads – it felt as though we were in Wales. It was a muddy start to the event, but I enjoyed it and the rhythm was nice. I made a couple of changes to the car between runs, but I felt comfortable in the Yaris. Hopefully the weather dries up for the rest of the weekend, although I'm looking forward to it either way. It's always a big challenge when you come to a new place and have to make a completely new set of pace-notes, so there's a lot of work before the rally starts to check everything's right.”
1 Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jaeger-Amland (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) 4m46.4s
2 Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (Toyota Yaris WRC) +1.0s
3 Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) +1.2s
4 Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +2.6s
5 Elfyn Evans/Scott Martin (Ford Fiesta WRC) +3.7s
6 Kris Meeke/Seb Marshall (Toyota Yaris WRC) +3.9s
7 Sebastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Citroën C3 WRC) +4.0s
8 Sebastien Loeb/Daniel Elena (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +4.5s
9 Teemu Suninen/Marko Salminen (Ford Fiesta WRC) +5.4s
10 Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (Citroën C3 WRC) +5.5s
After a ceremonial start this evening in Concepción's Plaza de la Independencia, the first day of competitive WRC action in Chile takes place mostly in forests to the south with a loop of three stages. Two of the stages will be repeated after mid-day service. A return to the centre of Concepción then completes the day with a street stage that laps the Parque Bicentanario, next to the Biobío river.
El Puma (SS2 & SS4, 30.72 kilometres)
Seb Marshall (Co-driver car 5): “The middle stage of the opening loop is the longest of the rally. It starts off on a really fast and wide road, quite Finland-like with lots of crests. Then you turn a junction left and the character changes quite a lot: it becomes a bit narrower and as the stage goes on it seems to get more twisty and technical. There's lots of medium-speed corners all linked together, and often the camber is helping you out with the change of direction, so it has a really nice flow.”
Press kit and Event pictures will be uploaded here
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