Australian motorsport photographer Michael Vettas is in France this weekend for Rallye de France Alsace.  He'll be sharing his daily reports and photos exclusively with RallySport Mag, starting with his thoughts on Shakedown.

Well, we are back in action just a few short weeks after Rally Australia, this time in France, for Rallye de France.

The rally itself has undergone major changes this year with 80% of the stages from previous years gone. After recce I was told that all the good stages are now gone, and from all reports the police presence is going to be a major issue.

Nonetheless, the competition began this morning (Thursday) just outside of Strasbourg Centre at the Zenith Service Park for shakedown, essentially a few roads closed off to create a street circuit.

After numerous runs over the 3 kilometre loop, Jari Matti Latvala was fastest, ahead of Kris Meeke in second and Sebastien Ogier in third. Today also marked the official Ceremonial Start in the centre of Strasbourg, a brief autograph session for all teams then the ramp start with interviews.

Tomorrow (Friday) teams head 100+ kilometres south to compete on three stages. Ogier is on the brink of a repeat championship win so we will see just how much he plans to push and how much Latvala is willing to give. Stay tuned to RSM!

Michael Vettas

Visit our Photo Gallery to browse Michael's photos from Rallye de France Alsace.

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