WRC – Tänak dominates in Germany | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile
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WRC – Tänak dominates in Germany

17.08.18.

Rallye Deutschland - Friday afternoon

Ott Tänak extended his advantage over the repeated loop of Rallye Deutschland stages with a clean sweep of fastest times. The Estonian now has 12.3 seconds in hand to reigning FIA World Rally Champion Sebastien Ogier, while Thierry Neuville has dropped a little further back but remains in third position.

Tänak went into the loop with a 7.2 second advantage and a string of three stage wins saw the Estonian progressively increase his lead, despite some tricky conditions after the rain this morning. Ogier was never far off his pace but admitted it was difficult to fight against the Tänak/Toyota package today. After a gearbox and steering rack change during the mid-leg service, Neuville continued to push hard and was pleased to have had a mistake-free, near perfect day. He is 15.1 seconds adrift of main championship rival Ogier.

Behind the leading trio, Elfyn Evans catapulted up the leaderboard from seventh to fourth in the first of the afternoon stages, such has been the close competition between four drivers. The Welshman has had a strong afternoon and was much happier during the repeated stages. The battle he is in remains intense however, with the following three drivers only five seconds away. Jari-Matti Latvala, in fifth, moved up a place this afternoon with better confidence after changing some differential settings on the Yaris WRC. Despite a couple of small mistakes, he is only a second adrift of Evans with Dani Sordo only 3.9 seconds behind. Esapekka Lappi admitted to needing more mileage to understand the limit of the car on the dirty roads, the Finn thinking he was not brave enough despite feeling he was driving on the limit. He is seventh but only one-tenth of a second adrift of Sordo. Craig Breen struggled to get the car flowing as he wanted and is 15.2 seconds further behind in eighth. Andreas Mikkelsen continues to try and adapt his driving style to suit the Hyundai, but is struggling to get a natural feeling. Teemu Suninen moved into the top 10 as Mads Østberg had some sort of air intake problem all afternoon, the result of an issue during service which left him down on power. As a consequence, the Norwegian dropped to 11th.

The FIA WRC 2 Championship is headed by Czech Rally Champion Jan Kopecký. The Škoda driver won two of the three stages this afternoon to take a 22.2 second lead over Yoann Bonato into Saturday. Eric Camilli is however just one-tenth of a second behind his fellow countryman in third. Taisko Lario continues to lead the small field in the FIA WRC 3 Championship category, the Finn taking two of the three stage wins with second-placed Enrico Brazzoli the other. Louise Cook is third.

Rallye Deutschland – Unofficial results after Section 3

1

Ott Tänak / Martin Järveoja

Toyota Yaris WRC

59min 22.6sec

2

Sebastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia

Ford Fiesta WRC

59min 34.9sec

3

Thierry Neuville / Nicolas Gilsoul

Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC

59min 50.0sec

4

Elfyn Evans / Daniel Barritt

Ford Fiesta WRC

1hr 00min 00.4sec

5

Jari-Matti Latvala / Miikka Anttila

Toyota Yaris WRC

1hr 00min 01.4sec

6

Dani Sordo / Carlos del Barrio

Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC

1hr 00min 05.3sec

7

Esapekka Lappi / Janne Ferm

Toyota Yaris WRC

1hr 00min 05.4sec

8

Craig Breen / Scott Martin

Citroen C3 WRC

1hr 00min 20.6sec

9

Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jæger

Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC

1hr 00min 21.6sec

10

Teemu Suninen / Mikko Markkula

Ford Fiesta WRC

1hr 00min 44.0sec