Ott Tanak has won the 2017 Rally Deutschland today after four days of tarmac action, driving a Ford Fiesta WRC. This was his second win of the season, having won Rally Italia some three rounds back. Sebastien Loeb is back on top of the championship standings after finishing third, behind Citroen driver Andreas Mikkelsen.
With two Fords in the top three, M-Sport WRT continues to lead the team’s standings with a total of 325 points. Hyundai Motorsport is second with 261 points, Toyota Gazoo in third with 213 points while Citroen is fourth and final team with 163 points.
Thierry Neuville has a successful campaign in 2017 so far, and the Hyundai man is currently second in the standings behind Ogier. 177 points for Ogier, 160 points for Neuville and 144 points for Tanak in third. Neuville indeed has the most wins this season, a total of 3 victories including two back-to-back wins in France and Argentina.
Despite finishing in 34th place today, Dani Sordo won the final live TV Power Stage to claim the maximum 5 points, with Esapekka Lappi finishing second in this stage with 4 points ahead of Jari-Matti Latvala both driving a Yaris WRC.
Jan Kopecký entered Friday’s sessions in the lead after setting the quickest time on Thursday in a Skoda Fabia R5. Here, Kris Meeke crashed into a barrier and had to be towed out on a truck, effectively picking up 10 mins penalty that he served on Friday. Meanwhile, Tanak showed his form early on Friday after taking the lead, beating his teammate Ogier who suffered a spin in his Fiesta WRC.
Next on the lead was Mikkelsen in his Citroen C3, emerging on top after SS4 and SS5. Tanak was however back on ton on Friday afternoon after beating Mikkelsen, largely because of his tire choice. The Ford driver opted for a mix of full wets and soft compounds as it was raining heavily. Mikkelsen was second after SS7 while Ogier was third. At one point, Tanak veered off into a vineyard while negotiating a hairpin, but was lucky to rejoin with no damage.
Neuville retired on Saturday morning after losing a rear wheel in a bizarre scenario. The Hyundai driver was leading the standings at that point. Tanak meanwhile continued to lead the rally away from Mikkelsen and Ogier after SS10 and extended his lead further after SS12. Elsewhere, Sordo was the man to beat on Saturday afternoon as he won all three speed tests.
Rally of Spain is next on the calendar, scheduled for October 5th.
Photos by Paulo Maria, ,