Germany Debrief: Part Two
In the second part of our ADAC Rallye Deutschland analysis, we name the driver that had a rally to forget and pick out someone that surprised us with their asphalt performance.
One to forget
Twelve months ago, Andreas Mikkelsen was only beaten by Ott Tänak as he mastered the German asphalt in a Citroën C3. Fast forward a year and the Norwegian was a shadow of his former self as he struggled in a Hyundai i20.
Mikkelsen complained about not being able to push the car as hard as he would have wanted and having to adjust his driving style to try and secure a positive result. Sixth place was the best he could manage and even then, he was helped by others’ misfortune.
At mid-leg service on Saturday, the battle for first place was finely poised between Tänak and Sébastien Ogier.
The defending champion was just 14.1sec behind the Estonian heading into the afternoon loop of stages. However, Ogier’s challenge was derailed on the 38.57km Panzerplatte test when he hit a rock and smashed a wheel on his Fiesta.
The time it took to fit a spare dropped the Frenchman to ninth and presented Tänak with a considerably easier passage to victory.
Surprise of the rally
Heading into the ninth round of the season, Teemu Suninen was looking to gain experience as he made his sealed-surface debut in a World Rally Car.
However, by the time the rally ended on Sunday afternoon, the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team driver was setting top-five stage times and growing increasingly confident in his Fiesta.
Fifth place at the finish was impressive and well deserved.
Quote of the rally
At the end of a stage, drivers regularly talk about ‘maximum attack’ or ‘maximum commitment’. But Jourdan Serderidis found a slightly different way of expressing himself.
The 2017 WRC Trophy champion got his first taste of a latest-spec Fiesta World Rally Car in Germany and it’s safe to say he was happy with the experience. He beamed: “We enjoy more and more. Maximum fun!”
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Germany debrief: Part One
We look back at the second all-asphalt rally of 2018