TANAK MAKES IT TWO IN A ROW FOR TOYOTA ON RALLYE DEUTSCHLAND
Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team are celebrating a second straight victory thanks to Ott Tänak’s dominance of Rallye Deutschland at the weekend. The Estonian, partnered by co-driver Martin Järveoja in the Yaris WRC, finished the event almost 40 seconds clear of the field and was joined on the podium by Esapekka Lappi, who fought his way to third place.
“This was definitely the hardest victory I have ever had,” said Tänak. “For most of the weekend it was a really close fight and I had to push so hard. I am really happy for the whole team, we were really strong this weekend. We are moving in the right direction in the championship, but I am still taking it event by event.”
The results move Toyota into second place in the manufacturers’ championship, just 13 points off the lead.
Tänak was fastest in Thursday’s shakedown and the short spectator stage that provided a curtain raiser for the rally, held on country asphalt roads and the Baumholder military ranges. On Friday’s first full day of action he achieved a clean sweep of fastest times, apart from the opening stage, ending the day 12.3 second ahead. Lappi and Jari-Matti Latvala meanwhile were locked in a four-way battle for fourth, going into day three in seventh and fifth place respectively.
The Yaris WRC proved itself the class of the field on Saturday, with Tänak extending his advantage to more than 43 seconds and Latvala progressing to third place thanks to an impressive series of times that kicked off with a win in the infamous Panzerplatte test. Lappi also claimed a stage win and three second fastest times to close in on the podium places.
Latvala’s challenge came to an end on Sunday’s opening stage after his car suffered a hydraulic pump failure.
The success in Germany was Tänak’s second successive victory on the event and follows in the tracks of his WRC win for Toyota in Finland. Lappi’s third place strengthens his current fourth place in the driver’s standings in what is his first full season at rallying’s top level.
The next event in the championship calendar is Rally Turkey, taking place from 13 to 16 September. It’s the first time the championship has visited the country since 2010 and it will feature a new location around Marmaris on the Mediterranean coast. The route will feature a combination of smooth and fast gravel roads and more demanding rocky mountain passes.
FINAL CLASSIFICATION, RALLYE DEUTSCHLAND
1 Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (Toyota Yaris WRC) 3h03m36.9s
2 Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +39.2s
3 Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (Toyota Yaris WRC) +1m00.9s
4 Sebastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Ford Fiesta WRC) +1m34.5s
5 Teemu Suninen/Mikko Markkula (Ford Fiesta WRC) +2m02.9s
6 Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jaeger (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +2m13.8s
7 Craig Breen/Scott Martin (Citroen C3 WRC) +2m39.1s
8 Marijan Griebel/Alexander Rath (Citroen DS3 WRC) +10m41.2s
9 Jan Kopecky/Pavel Dresler (Skoda Fabia R5) +13m12.8s
10 Kalle Rovanpera/Jonne Halttunen (Skoda Fabia R5) +13m16.6s
Retired Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttilla (Toyota Yaris WRC)