Germany countdown:
2016 rewind

Our ADAC Rallye Deutschland build-up begins with a look at the 2016 encounter when Sébastien Ogier ended a six-rally winless run.

Leg 1 
Andreas Mikkelsen took the lead in the second special stage and guided his Volkswagen Polo R to a 4.3sec advantage over team-mate Sébastien Ogier after five mainly vineyard tests near Trier.

Ogier spent the day clawing back time lost when he overshot a junction and surrendered the lead. He moved within striking distance of Mikkelsen by winning the final two stages, edging past Thierry Neuville’s Hyundai i20 for second.

Neuville lacked confidence with his set-up but was only 5.9sec off the lead and ahead of team-mate Dani Sordo. Ott Tänak was fifth in his Ford Fiesta, with Stéphane Lefebvre completing the top six in a privately-entered Citroën DS 3.

It was a disappointing opening for Jari-Matti Latvala and Eric Camilli. Latvala retired in the first stage with a gearbox problem while Camilli spun his Fiesta and got stuck.

Leg 2
Ogier gave his rivals a lesson in how to drive Baumholder’s military roads. The Frenchman overturned his deficit to head Mikkelsen by 33.4sec after nine more stages, five of which were on the tricky Baumholder asphalt.

Dani Sordo edged team-mate Thierry Neuville for second

He traded seconds with the Norwegian before crushing him in the 40.80km Panzerplatte Lang with a time 13.5sec faster. He added another chunk to his lead in the afternoon repeat run, having opted for soft tyres in contrast to Mikkelsen’s harder rubber.

Sordo leapt past team-mate Neuville in the final stage and was only 3.6sec behind Mikkelsen and 0.4sec ahead of his Belgian colleague.

Hayden Paddon’s improved confidence on asphalt enabled the Kiwi to climb to fifth ahead of Mads Østberg. Tänak retired with alternator problems while Lefebvre crashed heavily in Panzerplatte.

Leg 3
Ogier controlled his pace in the short final leg to secure his third Rallye Deutschland win by 20.3sec.

The highlight of the day was the battle for second. Mikkelsen was quickly overhauled by Sordo and Neuville, and the Spaniard held off a determined Power Stage charge by Neuville to clinch second by just 0.1sec.

Brake problems slowed Mikkelsen’s Polo R but he took fourth ahead of Paddon and Østberg.

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