Shakedown done and dusted, now for the real show
SEBASTIEN Ogier's chase for a third straight Coates Hire Rally Australia crown could've been over almost before it began.
The reigning world champion had a hairy time on the very first bend of this morning's first pass through the 4.98km Hydes Creek test.
The Frenchman survived a lurid two-wheel incident where he almost rolled his Volkswagen before setting the fastest time in the warm-up round for the 10th round of the FIA World rally Championship.
Ogier reacted quickly to prevent the car rolling and then went fastest by 1.1sec in his fourth and final run.
"It was a little stunt moment on two wheels," Ogier joked.
"It was a long hairpin right and I was actually too slow going into the bend because I braked too early. I was too far on the inside and the bank lifted the car onto two wheels.
"Luckily I had the reflexes to open the steering in the other direction and put the car back on four wheels and spin it through 360 degrees.
"It wouldn't have had big consequences if we had rolled because it was a slow corner, but I'm always happier when I bring the car back in perfect shape."
Team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen was second, having been fastest until Ogier's final run, and Jari-Matti Latvala completed a 1-2-3 for Volkswagen a further half second behind.