Maurin leads WRC 2 after drama in Germany
Frenchman on top after lead changes on four occasions
Swede Tidemand, who won the JWRC world title last season, thought his chances of winning had disappeared when he lost the lead after stopping to change a puncture in yesterday’s final special stage.
He started today in fourth, almost 90sec behind leader Julien Maurin. But when the Frenchman punctured in the opening stage, the battle was on between Tidemand and Tänak, both in Ford Fiesta R5 cars.
They began the final test separated by six seconds and Tidemand overhauled the Estonian to win by 1.8sec.
“This is the greatest win for me but the last corner of the final stage was really scary,” he said. “I went off and drove over a WRC banner, which I dragged over the finish line! It feels so good but we had to battle from the very first stage.”
Consolation for Tänak was that he climbed to second in the points, just three behind Lorenzo Bertelli. Although the Italian competed in Germany, it was not one of his nominated scoring rounds.
Armin Kremer finished third in a Skoda Fabia S2000, 63.4sec behind Tänak, with the disconsolate Maurin fourth in another Fiesta R5.
Nasser Al-Attiyah finished a troubled rally in fifth in a Fiesta RRC but the Qatari remains in contention for the title. Rashid Al Ketbi and Marty McCormack completed the finishers.
Neither early leader Bernardo Sousa nor Sébastien Chardonnet restarted today after crashing yesterday.