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Aug 20

Tänak seals second victory

Estonian wins ADAC Rallye Deutschland as Ogier regains WRC title lead

Tänak seals second victoryOtt Tänak, who broke his career duck with victory in Italy in June, drove his Ford Fiesta to a 16.4sec victory over Andreas Mikkelsen at ADAC Rallye Deutschland.

Sébastien Ogier finished third to move 17 points clear in the WRC standings after Thierry Neuville failed to score. The Belgian could only finish 44th after breaking his Hyundai i20’s suspension on Saturday morning.

Estonian Tänak took the lead on Friday afternoon and eased through today’s short finale on dry country roads in Saarland. He lies 33 points behind Ogier and has not ruled out a title challenge with three rounds remaining.

“I don’t see any reason why we should not be able to fight for it, so we will fight for it. We need to keep winning if we want to win the championship,” said the 29-year-old.

“Everything was done on Friday with a perfect tyre choice and perfect run in tricky conditions. After this we controlled our lead and winning our first asphalt event feels good.”

Several mistakes on Saturday ended Mikkelsen’s hopes. The Norwegian kept the pressure on, but his realistic goal was to keep Ogier behind him and he ended 14.0sec clear of the Frenchman in his Citroën C3.

Once Neuville dropped out of contention, Ogier was happy to settle for third and big points. He offered no challenge to Mikkelsen today, but claimed two extra bonus points in the final Power Stage to further boost his hopes of a fifth straight title.

Juho Hänninen followed up his first WRC podium at the previous round in Finland with fourth in a Toyota Yaris. He conceded position to Elfyn Evans last night after breaking a damper, but regained it this morning.

Evans rued his choice of soft compound tyres for today’s final four speed tests. He was also overhauled by Ireland’s Craig Breen, who snatched fifth in the final stage despite landing from a jump with such force that it cracked his C3’s windscreen. The gap was 1.9sec.

Following a six-week break the championship moves to Spain for the only mixed-surface fixture of the season. RallyRACC Catalunya – Rally de España is based in Salou on October 5-8.

Final positions

1. O Tänak / M Järveoja EST Ford Fiesta 2hr 57min 31.7sec
2. A Mikkelsen / A Jaeger NOR Citroën C3 + 16.4sec
3. S Ogier / J Ingrassia FRA Ford Fiesta + 30.4sec
4. J Hänninen / K Lindström FIN Toyota Yaris + 1min 49.2sec
5. C Breen / S Martin IRL Citroën C3 + 2min 01.5sec
6. E Evans / D Barritt GBR Ford Fiesta + 2min 03.4sec

FIA World Rally Championship (round 10 of 13):

1. S Ogier 177pts
2. T Neuville 160pts
3. O Tänak 144pts

source: WRC Media Service, redbullcontentpool.com

 

Ott Tänak answers Red Bull TV’s questions after his impressive Rallye Deutschland win 

Bostalsee, 20 August

Ott Tänak has taken the second World Rally Championship win of his career with a hugely impressive performance on Rallye Deutschland, which took place this weekend on the challenging asphalt roads of the Saarland region.

Following up their Sardinia win earlier this year with a controlled victory on a different surface, Tänak and co-driver Martin Järveoja strengthen their third place in the championship standings with three rounds remaining.

He also moves closer to the top two of Sebastien Ogier and Thierry Neuville, who were having an intense fight in Germany until the Belgian suffered the misfortune of his Hyundai’s suspension breaking on Saturday’s first stage. While Neuville failed to score as a result, Ogier finished in third place and opens up a 17-point margin at the top of the standings.

Taking second in Germany was another stand-out performer, Andreas Mikkelsen, who secured a fine podium finish on only his third rally for Citroen, and even led the rally for a time on Friday.

You can catch all the highlights of the final day of Rallye Deutschland tonight from 22:00 (local time) on redbull.tv/wrc or via the free app, and the other programs from the weekend are all available on demand.

 

Ott, what did you find the hardest thing about Rallye Deutschland this year?

OT: “I think Germany is always very tricky with all the different conditions, and that was especially true at the beginning of the rally. On Friday it was very extreme with some horrible weather – big rain and storms. So it was not so easy but after this, the conditions improved and it was quite nice to drive.”

Who was your strongest competitor?

OT: “Obviously Andreas Mikkelsen was the closest guy behind me, so I had to keep an eye on him. Martin and I built a good gap which we just had to maintain and luckily we didn’t have to push in the second half of the rally. We just had to drive smart.”

What was the biggest mistake you made, and what was the thing that you did best?

OT: “On Friday we had a big moment when I ran wide and nearly didn’t get back on the road, but other than that it was quite a clean event. I think one of the key moments was maybe the tyre choice on Friday. We had quite an aggressive tyre choice but in the end it worked out very well, so it was a smart move.”

What was the strongest point about your car here?

OT: “The Fiesta was just the fastest. It’s very easy!”

Which was your favourite stage?

OT: “It’s a good question. The most specific stage was Panzerplatte, very long, over 40 kilometres, with lots of technical parts and the ‘hinkelsteins’ at the side which you have to avoid at all costs. So I’ll pick this one.”

How does the challenge of Rallye Deutschland compare to other asphalt rallies?

OT: “I think you can compare this one to Monte Carlo, with some very tricky conditions, slippery roads and constantly changing grip. Normally Corsica and Spain are much more clean. I wouldn’t say they are easier, but they are more consistent to drive. This one and Monte are still quite extreme.”

Who do you think will win the championship this year?

OT: “I think it will be me!”

source: redbull.tv/wrc

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