Sunday | 23 Aug 2015

SS19: Evans nets Sunday win

Elfyn Evans and Jari-Matti Latvala shared the honours in Sunday’s opening two speed tests at ADAC Rallye Deutschland but there was little to disturb the status quo on the leaderboard.

Stage info: SS18/19

SS18: Stein & Wein 1, 19.59km
A Rallye Deutschland regular, but this year’s version has some new roads and a middle section that is driven in the opposite direction to 2014. It is fast and flowing with a mix of wide main roads and narrow vineyard tracks. There are plenty of hairpins and many chances for drivers to save valuable tenths of a second by cutting corners.

SS19: Dhrontal 1, 14.08km
Dhrontal is where Jari-Matti Latvala’s victory hopes ended in 2014. It’s a shorter version of last year’s test but retains its mix of vineyard and open sections. The opening part is technical with many tight junctions, but the second half is more open and wider.

Evans put yesterday’s frustrations behind him to outpace Latvala by six-tenths of a second in Stein & Wein and break Volkswagen’s domination of stage victories. Latvala then went quickest in Dhrontal, the stage where he crashed out of the lead 12 months ago.

“We had quite a big moment with two wheels on the grass but we’re still here,” said Evans after his stage-winning drive in a Ford Fiesta RS.

Latvala was relieved to erase last year’s memories. “Now I can relax a bit. I’ve never driven this stage as well as I did now. I know now why I made the mistake last year, my notes were too fast. I wish I could use a time machine to go back a year. You learn every day, every day is a school day!” he said.

Leader Sébastien Ogier cruised through SS18 in fourth and SS19 in eighth to return to service in Trier 22.6sec ahead of team-mate Latvala.

Andreas Mikkelsen retained third ahead of Dani Sordo, who was third and second in the two tests. Sordo extended his advantage over team-mate Thierry Neuville, the two Hyundai drivers under instructions to hold position in fourth and fifth.

Mads Østberg went off several times in Dhrontal after the front brakes locked on Citroën’s DS 3 and Martin Prokop’s troubled weekend ended when the Czech retired his Fiesta RS in Stein & Wein after a double puncture.

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