In the first part of our look back at ADAC Rallye Deutschland, we consider Thierry Neuville's lucky escape from the Mosel vines and explain why stage nine changed everything.
Save of the Rally: Thierry Neuville.
Germany was a crucial rally for the Belgian, who started as championship leader, level on points with Sébastien Ogier. A big fight in prospect then. But it was one that almost fizzled out on Friday morning when Neuville's Hyundai slipped off a vineyard road 1km into SS3 and was dragged into the grapes. Miraculously he wrestled the car back onto the road with the loss of only a few seconds and a front splitter. Good save! [Watch it here]
You’ll Never Believe it: Five is the magic number.
A few years ago, 555 was a number synonymous in the WRC with Colin McRae, Prodrive and the Subaru World Rally Team. Now, it's a number that tells half the story of Craig Breen's impressive season so far with Citroën. After Germany, his 2017 finishing positions include ...you guessed it... 5,5,5,5,5,5, as the Irishman collected his sixth fifth place from nine starts.
Turning Point of the Rally: SS9
Neuville might have survived his scare on stage three, and another on stage eight which left a massive branch wedged in his car's rear spoiler, but the wheels really came off his challenge in stage nine. Leading the headline battle with Ogier, the fight was suddenly over when Neuville's car emerged from Arena Panzerplatte with three wheels properly attached and the fourth dragging alongside. He retired at the end the stage.
Surprise of the Rally: SS1
Surprises don't have to be good. Sometimes they can be nasty, and that sums up Kris Meeke's shock exit on Thursday's Super Special. It almost didn't seem real. The car wasn't going that quickly - and it wasn't even a 'proper' Rally Germany stage. And yet there was Kris's Citroën being lifted onto a tow truck. Game over almost before it had begun.
Ogier on his future
Frenchman looks set to stay in WRC
Tänak’s tyre gamble
Inspired wet weather choice pays dividends