Wednesday | 24 Aug 2016

Germany driver report: part 1

Now the dust has settled, here's the first part of our driver-by-driver review of ADAC Rallye Deutschland.

Jari-Matti Latvala (VW Polo R) Result: 48th
Latvala's rally was effectively over just seven kilometres into the first stage when the gearbox in his Polo R gave up. In desperation, the Finn [above] threw the back-up manual shift lever so hard it broke as well. Back on Saturday, Latvala focused on testing and experimenting, as well as showing what might have been with a fastest time on SS9. Two points on the Power Stage plus eighth place in the manufacturers’ standings were only a slight consolation at the end.

Eric Camilli (Ford Fiesta RS) Result: 50th
Camilli's rally went awry on the very first stage when he punted his Fiesta RS off the road and ended up marooned on a pile of logs. With no way to get the car off, that was it for the day. On the plus side, the logs acted as an effective safety net - preventing his car from plunging downhill through the Moselle vines. Back on Saturday, the focus was on learning and building experience. Did well to keep his composure after being first on the scene at Lefebvre's crash, and coming to the aid of his friends Stéphane and co-driver Gabin Moreau. Followed that with more practice and step-by-step improvement.

Dani Sordo (Hyundai i20) Result: 2nd
Returning after missing Neste Rally Finland while he recovered from a testing injury, Sordo bounced back in style. Given his past form here that was no big surprise; from his previous 10 starts he has racked up one win and six podiums. The Spaniard's lowly position in Friday and Saturday's running order meant he had to contend with dirtier roads than most, but he kept out of trouble and made some shrewd tyre choices - especially on Saturday afternoon when he moved up to second. Sunday's scrap with team-mate Thierry Neuville was a thriller - and about as close as they come.  

Andreas Mikkelsen (Volkswagen Polo R) Result: 4th
The early leader's great start lasted until Saturday morning when he was reeled in by his team-mate Sébastien Ogier. No big surprise, given Mikkelsen's relative lack of experience and Ogier's track record. But what looked like a chance for second position ended up being fourth after first Sordo and then Neuville edged past. Mikkelsen blamed tyre gambles that didn't go his way, while a lack of brakes on the Power Stage undeniably blunted his final big push. Back in service the Norwegian declared himself pleased with fourth, but he didn't look it.

Ott Tänak (Ford Fiesta RS) Result: 23rd
Equipped with DMACK's all-new range of Tarmac tyres, Tänak got off to a solid start as he adjusted to the characteristics of the unfamiliar rubber. Starting Saturday from fifth position, he wound up the pace and was third quickest on the Bosenberg stage (SS7). Sadly that was as good as it got for the Estonian who retried shortly after when his Fiesta RS stopped with an alternator-related problem. As if that wasn't bad enough, he then burned his forehead when he peered in to the engine bay to investigate. Burn aside, Tänak reckoned there were plenty of reasons to feel optimistic about the weekend and his chances on the upcoming Tarmac rounds.


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