Germany debrief: Part One
In the first part of our ADAC Rallye Deutschland review, we pick our driver of the rally and recall the events that shook up the front-running order.
Driver of the rally
No need for discussion about this one. Ott Tänak is our man. Taking 59 points from a possible 60 during the last two events has put him back in the title hunt and he’s now only 13 points behind Sébastien Ogier with four events remaining.
Despite Germany being only his second asphalt rally in the Toyota Yaris, Tänak won six of the opening seven stages to storm into the lead and he didn’t look back. Once Ogier was out of the equation, the Estonian played it safe to take his third win of the season.
You’ll never believe it
WRC 2 is always a hotly-contested category as crews bid to catch the eye of the series’ talent spotters.
However, there were times in Germany where it appeared nobody actually wanted to win! A puncture for Jan Kopecký in Panzerplatte dropped him from first to eighth and it looked like his hopes of victory had been extinguished.
However, with almost half the runners retiring with mechanical issues, and others picking up time penalties, the door was left open for Kopecký to pull off a remarkable recovery and he duly won his fourth event of the season.
Stage of the rally
This has to be the first stage on Sunday morning – Grafschaft 1 - where the drama at the head of the field unfolded.
First, Dani Sordo crashed through the vines and retired, then Jari-Matti Latvala hit trouble as his Toyota suffered hydraulic failure and he stopped.
Both men had been fighting hard for second place when they came unstuck and their misfortune dramatically changed the look of the leaderboard.
Save of the rally
Our pick here could well prove to be a massive save in championship terms.
Ogier trailed Tänak for the first half of the rally, before he damaged a wheel during the second run of Panzerplatte and dropped to ninth.
However, the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team driver quickly moved back up the order as he pushed his Fiesta to the limit.
He recovered to fourth and a win in the Live TV Power Stage earned maximum bonus points – a result that meant he only dropped two points to championship leader Neuville. We’re sure he would have taken that outcome on Saturday afternoon!
Ogier determined to fight
Frenchman is motivated after losing more ground in points race
Toyota focused on Turkey
Mäkinen keen to avoid repeat of heat issues
Best of Photos ADAC Rallye Deutschland
Gallery ADAC Rallye Deutschland