Skoda drivers Juho Hänninen, Jan Kopecký and Guy Wilks filled the top three places on the shakedown for Rally Internacional de Curitiba earlier today.
The three Fabia pilots completed the five-kilometre course within the 3m20s bracket as overnight rain made the stage surface
slippery and unpredictable in places.
After completing two runs of the stage, Kopecký (pictured), who was second fastest, said: “It was slippery in some places because of the rain overnight and that meant the grip was changing quite a lot. The stage was more like what we will find on the second leg of the rally so it was nice for me to have some practice. The handling of the car felt quite okay.”
Guy Wilks, who will drive Škoda UK Motorsport’s Fabia on the event, completed three runs and managed the third fastest time. He said: “It was definitely worth it because it’s a good confidence settler to get back in the car. We were also able to work on a few different options for the damper settings.”
Bruno Magalhães, at the wheel of the Peugeot Portugal 207 S2000, was fourth fastest but said he was frustrated not to have got more running time when he returned to the service park at the Autodromo de Curitiba.
“Two runs for me was not enough because you need kilometres in the car to get confidence and to check all the components are working okay,” said Magalhães.
Peugeot UK’s Kris Meeke, the defending IRC champion and winner of this event last year, elected not to undertake any running during shakedown following the two-hour delay to the stage start while organisers awaited the arrival of essential medical and rescue crews.