Ott Tanak Wins WRC Germany

It proved to be a great weekend for M-Sport as Ott Tanak clinched victory in Germany and his M-Sport Ford team-mate Sebastien Ogier retook the lead of the 2017 World Rally Championship by 17 points over Thierry Neuville, after the Belgian broken his rear suspension on a 'cut' that went wrong!

Tanak hit the front during Friday afternoon's torrential rain - when he gave the WRC's 'monsoon' tyre its competitive debut and moved into a lead he'd never lose. This was Tanak's second WRC win, and his first on asphalt. Both Neuville and Ogier, who had arrived in Germany level on points, made errors in Friday's slippery conditions.

Neuville had hoped he could salvage some bonus points from the powerstage when he rejoined on Sunday but he never got back on the pace and struggled for confidence and with the set-up, his only consolation being that Ogier couldn't catch Andreas Mikkelsen for second place, as the world champion decided to play it safe once Neuville was out.

Mikkelsen had lead for much of Friday, never gave up on chasing Tanak for victory and finally finished 16.4-seconds adrift. His second place was only the second WRC podium for a Citroen driver this season following Kris Meeke's Mexico win in March. Mikkelsens future beyond this rally is uncertain and team leader Meeke crashed less than a mile into the event on Thursday's superspecial, rejoining under Rally2 at the tail of the field until a water-pump failure on Saturday afternoon.

Juho Hanninen recovered from a mistake on Friday and damper problems on Saturday to claim fourth when Elfyn Evans briefly went off on the final morning after being a top-five factor at first but his DMACK tyres were not as quick when the weather improved and he lost fifth place to Craig Breen on the very last stage.

The Toyotas of Jari-Matti Latvala and Esapekka Lappi were in top five contention on Friday before a misfire dropped Latvala down the order and Lappi crashed. Skoda WRC2 driver Jan Kopecky had led the event outright by setting the pace on the Thursday evening superspecial, but a puncture on Saturday cost him a potential class win.

Top Ten Positions
Pos .... Driver .... Team .... Car .... Gap
1 Ott Tanak, M.Jarveoja M-Sport World Rally Team 2h57m31.7s
2 Andreas Mikkelsen, A.Jager Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT 16.4s
3 Sebastien Ogier, J.Ingrassia M-Sport World Rally Team 30.4s
4 Juho Hanninen, K.Lindstrom Toyota Gazoo Racing WRC 1m49.2s
5 Craig Breen, S.Martin Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT 2m01.5s
6 Elfyn Evans, D.Barritt M-Sport World Rally Team 2m03.4s
7 Jari-Matti Latvala, M.Anttila Toyota Gazoo Racing WRC 3m58.2s
8 Hayden Paddon, S.Marshall Hyundai Motorsport 4m32.4s
9 Armin Kremer, P.Winklhofer Ford 10m19.4s
10 Eric Camilli, B.Veillas M-Sport World Rally Team 10m44.3s

21st August, 2017