Instead, the Dutchman maintained his impressive pace right up until the finish, taking the fastest time through the event-closing SSS Circus Maximus stage in Trier to secure victory by a staggering margin of 5m19.2s.
While Weijs Jr could reflect on an impressive display afterwards there was a moment when all didn’t go entirely to plan when a brake problem developed on Sunday’s opening stage.
“The brakes weren’t working so well so we had to bleed the brakes after the stage,” said Weijs Jr. “But it was not really a serious problem and I didn’t lose much time. Otherwise it was a great weekend for us. We tried to put pressure on the others from the beginning but when they made mistakes we were able to relax a little. Even so we always tried to stay focused because it is very easy to make a mistake in Germany. We showed good speed always and controlled the rally.”
Weijs Jr is now fourth in the title standings, 15 points behind new series leader Aaron Burkart. With two scoring events left in France and Spain Weijs Jr admits the championship is still a possibility.
“We’re coming back slowly after a difficult start to the season when we retired in Portugal,” said Weijs Jr. “It’s not looking so bad for the championship now but I know it will be a big fight.”
Burkart took second after several delays in his Suzuki Swift. With title rival Kevin Abbring crashing out of Friday’s opening test, the German’s eventual capture of 18 points was enough to put him at the top of the standings by seven points over young Estonian Karl Kruuda.
“We’ve had some problems on this rally but to come away with the lead of the championship is a good result, especially as it’s our home event,” said Burkart. “Of course a win would have been special but I think this is the next best thing.”
Driving a similar Suzuki, Kruuda finished third despite overshooting a few junctions on Sunday morning’s stages on what was only his third event on asphalt.
German Christian Riedemann was an impressive fourth overall in his Ford Fiesta R2 after a relatively trouble-free outing.
Egoi Valdes Lopez was a distant fifth in his Renault Clio R3 with Yeray Lemes sixth in a Clio S1600. The Canary Islander restarted on Sunday following his retirement due to two punctures on day two. Having run as high as second, Lemes again impressed with two fastest stage times on the final day of competition.
Bulgarian Todor Slavov was the last of seven finishers in his Clio R3 after he returned on Sunday following his off on Saturday.
Follow this link to see the FIA championship standings after Rallye Deutschland.
"We tried to put pressure on the others from the beginning but when they made mistakes we were able to relax a little."