Two-time world champion Sebastien Ogier clocked the fastest time in his VW Polo-R in Thursday’s Rally of Sweden ‘shakedown’.
The French driver was 0.2sec faster than Poland’s Robert Kubica and Norwegian Mads Ostberg, who were joint second.
Ogier, winner of the season-opening Rally of Monte Carlo two weeks ago, set the fastest time on his fourth and final passage on the 4km special.
Last year’s winner, Jari-Matti Latvala of Finland, was sixth fastest.
Organisers confirmed that an official race photographer was “conscious and in a stable condition” in hospital after being knocked down when Polish driver Michal Solowow lost control of his Ford Fiesta.
The rally gets underway on Thursday evening with a 1.9km special on Karlstad hippodrome with nine specials scheduled Friday mainly in the snow-covered region of Hagfors, 80km north of the city. – Agence France-Presse