At the end of the third day of competition in Rallye Deutschland, the leaderboard has once again been turned on its head. Citroën’s Dani Sordo now heads the field by a mere eight-tenths of a second over Thierry Neuville and Mikko Hirvonen has moved up into third, all benefiting from the retirement of overnight leader Jari-Matti Latvala.
Today’s route was scheduled to take in two identical loops of three stages covering 153.70 competitive kilometres, however the final run through the Panzerplatte stage was, unfortunately, cancelled due to an earlier incident. Latvala started the day with a 7.3 second advantage over Neuville and retained his lead until the mid-day service, despite running wide in the infamous Panzerplatte stage and hitting a hinkelstein. In the first repeated stage this afternoon, however, the Finn went off the road in treacherously wet conditions and was forced into retirement. Neuville assumed the lead, despite also having his own dramas in the stage and the battle between he and Sordo then raged, the rivals split by just 1.1 seconds. In the final competitive stage, Sordo’s second fastest stage time of the day elevated him to the head of the leaderboard a mere 0.8 seconds ahead as the rally goes into its final day tomorrow. Behind them, Hirvonen is much further adrift, but nevertheless in the final provisional podium position.
Fourth is now held by Martin Prokop and Robert Kubica has climbed into fifth. He heads FIA WRC 2 Championship rival Elfyn Evans by 7.8 seconds, both of them putting in a remarkable performance in much less powerful machinery than the world rally cars.
Aside from Latvala, the other leading retirements of the day were Mads Østberg and Nasser Al-Attiyah. Østberg went into a field after missing a braking point and Al-Attiyah stopped with broken steering.
Rallye Deutschland – Unofficial Results after Day 3