Ogier Restores Status-Quo in Germany

Despite a strong showing from Volkswagen team mate Andreas Mikkelsen in the opening stages of the rally, Sebastien Ogier scored his first WRC rally win in 6 months with victory on the 2016 Rally Germany but the smooth asphalt of Germany was always expected to be Ogier's chance to redress the 6 month balance since Sweden in February. But first Ogier and co-driver Julien Ingrassia had to overtake Volkswagen team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen, the Norwegian leading through Friday as Ogier dropped a little time with some small errors and less-than-ideal tyre choices but a stunning run through the famous Panzerplatte stage on Saturday morning was all it took for the reigning world champion to break free from his pursuers.

Jari-Matti Latvala's rally ended early though a gearbox damage on Friday's opener, though he did rejoin under Rally2 rules and scored a couple of useful powerstage bonus points. Team mate Mikkelsen was pushed back to fourth by the Hyundais of Dani Sordo and Thierry Neuville, this being Sordo's first podium of the season and his best finish since taking second behind Neuville in Hyundai's breakthrough one-two in Germany two years ago.

Third Hyundai driver Hayden Paddon finished fifth ahead of Mads Ostberg, helped by Ott Tanak losing fifth place to an alternator failure. The attrition in WRC1 allowed Esapekka Lappi to finish seventh in his WRC2 class winning Skoda Fabia after overcoming early leader Armin Kremer. His factory Skoda team-mate Pontus Tidemand was close behind but chose not to register for class points on this rally!

Results after SS 18:

Pos ..... Driver ..... Car ..... Gap
1. Ogier/Ingrassia Volkswagen Motorsport Polo 3h00m26.7s
2. Sordo/Marti Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai 0.3s
3. Thierry/Gilsoul Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai 0.4s
4. Mikkelsen/Jager Volkswagen Motorsport II Polo 27.2s
5. Paddon/Kennard Hyundai Motorsport N Hyundai 3m34.8s
6. Ostberg/Floene M-Sport World Rally Team Ford Fiesta 4m31.2s
7. Lappi/Ferm Skoda Motorsport Skoda Fabia 8m36.8s
8. Tidemand/Andersson Skoda Motorsport II Skoda Fabia 8m52.5s
9. Kopecky/Dresler Skoda Motorsport Skoda Fabia 9m44.2s
10. Kremer/Winklhofer BRR Team Skoda Fabia 10m10.6s

WRC Championship Positions after 9 of 13 Rounds:

1. Sebastien Ogier 169
2. Andreas Mikkelsen 110
3. Hayden Paddon 94
4. Thierry Neuville 94
5. Jari-Matti Latvala 89
6. Dani Sordo 86
7. Mads Ostberg 78
8. Ott Tanak 52
9. Kris Meeke 51
10. Craig Breen 25

22nd August, 2016