M-Sport’s Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja continue to lead ADAC Rallye Deutschland and are now on the brink of securing the Ecoboost-powered Ford Fiesta WRCs fourth win of the season.
With Sébastien Ogier climbing into podium position, and Elfyn Evans up to fourth, all three Fiestas have excelled on the tricky Tarmac stages with a thrilling – and potentially historic – final day waiting in the wings.
To top off a strong day for the M-Sport team, Éric Camilli has moved into pole position in the WRC 2 category as well as ninth place overall. Local hero Armin Kremer has also progressed through the ranks to leave 50 percent of the top-ten occupied by M-Sport machinery.
Team Principal, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said:
“We’ve had another great day with Ott, Sébastien and Elfyn all driving well. This rally has rarely been kind to us, so to have all three cars in the top-four with just one day to go is fantastic – and testament to the incredible work that every single member of the team has done this year.
“Ott looks incredibly relaxed. He has a good feeling with the car and you can see how comfortable he is. He’s found a good rhythm and is more than capable of continuing his strong performance into the final day.
“Sébastien too is on course for a really important result. He’s not taking any risks out there, but he’s still managed to put pressure on the guys in front.
“It’s not been the easiest of days for Elfyn, but he’s not put a foot wrong. His resilient approach leaves him in fourth place at the end of the day – locked in another intense battle with Juho [Hänninen].
“There’s still four very tricky stages to go, and we know that anything can happen in Germany, but it’s looking good at the moment.”
TÄNAK AND JÄRVEOJA
Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja continue to impress at Rallye Deutschland – increasing their lead at the head of the standings.
Continuing an assured performance behind the wheel of the Ecoboost-powered Ford Fiesta WRC, Tänak is proving a formidable competitor no matter what surface or conditions the FIA World Rally Championship has to offer.
With a good feeling behind the wheel, and confidence in his driving, the Estonian claimed a further two stage victories – extending his advantage to 21.4 seconds with just 51.94 competitive kilometres left to contest.
SS10: 3rd (+2.8)
SS12: 6th (+2.7)
SS13: 2nd (+0.1)
SS14: 3rd (+0.4)
SS15: 3rd (+3.3)
SS16: 4th (+1.1)
SS17: 6th (+4.3)
Ott Tänak (1st) said:
“It’s been another good day for us. We’ve been very consistent and set competitive times on every stage which is obviously a big positive for us. I feel as though we’ve made another big step forward this weekend.
“The car feels really good and it’s really comfortable out on the stages. We’ve been able to get into a good rhythm and I see no reason why we shouldn’t be able to continue that tomorrow.
“Obviously Andreas made a few small mistakes so the gap is a bit bigger going into tomorrow, but there are still 50 tricky kilometres to go. We have to continue with the same rhythm and see what happens. In Germany, it’s never over until it’s over.”
OGIER AND INGRASSIA
Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia are on the brink of an important result in their championship defence – on course to secure strong points in third place overall.
Delivering a consistent performance through the tricky conditions, Ogier adopted a more cautious approach when main rival Thierry Neuville became an unlucky victim of the treacherous conditions.
Despite avoiding the risks, the Frenchman also set the fastest time through the second pass of Freisen (SS16) – reducing the deficit to second-place to just 8.2 seconds with four stages to go.
SS9: 2nd (+0.4)
SS10: 2nd (+2.8)
SS11: 2nd (+0.4)
SS12: 3rd (+1.6)
SS13: 5th (+1.1)
SS14: 6th (+0.7)
SS15: 4th (+5.0)
SS17: 3rd (+2.1)
Sébastien Ogier (3rd) said:
“I'm pleased with our day and it’s been a lot of fun in the car – on dry Tarmac you can really feel the speed of these new cars.
“I've been a bit cautious but I was still driving fast and I think we were the fastest crew over the course of the whole day which is good. We’ve been consistent, but we just lost a bit too much time yesterday.
“After Thierry’s retirement it was a bit more difficult to take the risks, but I still wanted to keep some pressure on the guys ahead. Ott had a pretty good lead, but Andreas wasn’t too far ahead and after a few small mistakes from him we managed to make up a bit of time.
“I don’t want to take any extra risks tomorrow and we just need to keep the same rhythm that we had today and see what happens. Of course the Power Stage will be important as always, and I’m looking forward to the final day.”
EVANS AND BARRITT
Elfyn Evans and Daniel Barritt continued their resilient performance through the Rallye Deutschland stages today. Delivering a clean drive, the Welshman kept clear of trouble and climbed into fourth place overall.
In a flashback to Rally Finland, Evans is locked in another intense battle with Juho Hänninen. With all to play for through the closing stages, the Ford Fiesta WRC driver holds a 4.2 second advantage over his rival.
SS9: 5th (+1.1)
SS10: 9th (+16.9)
SS11: 7th (+7.6)
SS12: 9th (+4.1)
SS13: 11th (+2.9)
SS14: 10th (+2.4)
SS15: 8th (+23.3)
SS16: 9th (+7.0)
SS17: 8th (+5.6)
Elfyn Evans (4th) said:
“We’ve not had the easiest of days. We’ve had a few issues in the car and a few small mistakes from myself, but we’ve kept it clean for the majority and not had any big dramas.
“It’ll be an interesting day tomorrow – locked in another close fight with Juho [Hänninen]. The gap isn’t that big and Juho has been driving well, but we’ll give it our best.”
1. Ott Tänak / Martin Järveoja (Ford Fiesta WRC) 2:31:32.2
2. Andreas Mikkelsen / Ander Jaeger (Citroen C3 WRC) +21.4
3. Sébastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia (Ford Fiesta WRC) +29.6
4. Elfyn Evans / Daniel Barritt (Ford Fiesta WRC) +1:48.3
5. Juho Hänninen / Kaj Lindstrom (Toyota Yaris WRC) +1:52.5
6. Craig Breen / Scott Martin (Citroen C3 WRC) +2:06.7
7. Jari-Matti Latvala / Miikka Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) +4:04.9
8. Hayden Paddon / Sebastian Marshall (Hyundai 120 Coupe WRC) +4:31.3
9. Éric Camilli / Benjamin Veillas (Ford Fiesta R5) +8:41.9
10. Armin Kremer / Pirmin Winklhofer (Ford Fiesta WRC) +8:54.5