M-Sport secured an historic and momentous victory at this weekend’s ADAC Rallye Deutschland – Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja powering their Ecoboost-powered Ford Fiesta WRC to the team’s first ever win on German soil.
Another double podium also saw Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia regain a 17 point lead at the head of the drivers’ standings with a controlled drive to third.
If that weren’t enough, the team also secured victory in the WRC 2 category with Éric Camilli, Benjamin Veillas and the Ford Fiesta R5, as well as victory in the WRC 3 category with Julius Tannert, Jürgen Heigl and the Ford Fiesta R2. Fellow Fiesta R2 crew Nils Solans and Miguel Ibanez were also crowned the WRC 3 Champions this weekend.
The good news kept on coming as M-Sport also occupied 50 percent of the top-ten and extended their lead in the manufacturers’ championship to 64 points.
Taking their first win on German soil with style, the team have now secured victory on every round of the current format of the FIA World Rally Championship.
Team Principal, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said:
“Everyone in the team is extremely happy as you can imagine. After all the work that went on behind the scenes, we knew that we could challenge for a strong result but never dreamt of achieving anything quite like this.
“All of the guys have done a fantastic job and I couldn’t ask for more. Ott has taken the win in WRC, Éric in WRC 2 and Julius Tannert in WRC 3 so it really doesn’t get much better than that.
“Up until today, this was the only rally on the calendar that we were yet to win, and now we have finally ticked all the boxes.
“It was also a really important result for the championship with increased leads in both the manufacturer and the driver standings.
“There might only be three events left, but we can’t let it slip now. As we’ve seen this weekend, anything can happen so we need to keep fighting and that is exactly what we intend to do.”
TÄNAK AND JÄRVEOJA
Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja are proving a force to be reckoned with. Claiming their second victory of the year, they have now won on both gravel and asphalt and firmly established themselves as fierce contenders on any surface.
Leading the event for 16 of the 21 special stages, the Estonians set five fastest stage times and combined speed with a confident and intelligent approach. Reading the unpredictable weather flawlessly, they made the correct tyre choices at the correct times and judged their rhythm perfectly.
Taking confidence from the Fiesta’s performance, victory was theirs and they are now just 16 points adrift of second position in the drivers’ championship.
To make the result even more special, it was secured on their homeland’s 26th Re-Independence Day – giving the Estonian fans an added reason to celebrate the national holiday.
SS18: =3rd (+3.1)
SS19: 4th (+3.2)
SS20: 9th (+4.9)
SS21: 10th (+7.1)
Ott Tänak (1st) said:
“What can I say, this has been a very tricky rally and there were a lot of other favourites but we just did everything right. We’ve won on Tarmac and we know we can win on gravel, so now there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be challenging for victory everywhere.
“The car really has been fantastic all weekend so a massive thanks to the team who have worked so hard in the lead-up to this event. I was able to take a lot of confidence from that and when the conditions were a bit more consistent it really was just so enjoyable to drive.
“It’s been a great weekend and I think we made the difference on Friday. It was a really clean run and we were very brave on the tyre choices which turned out to be a good call. After that it was just a case of controlling the lead.
“Another win feels good and with three events to go I don’t see why we shouldn’t be looking to the guys ahead and to the championship lead ourselves. If you want to fight for the championship you have to keep winning, and that is what we plan to do.”
OGIER AND INGRASSIA
Thanks to their seventh podium of the year at this weekend’s ADAC Rallye Deutschland, Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia are back in command of the drivers’ championship.
When main rival Thierry Neuville became an unlucky victim of the treacherous conditions, Ogier delivered a controlled and intelligent drive to secure a 17 point lead at the head of the standings – courtesy of a third place finish and an additional two points in the Power Stage.
With just three events left to contest there remains all to play for, but the pairing have taken an important step in their championship defence.
SS18: 5th (+4.8)
SS19: 9th (+9.2)
SS20: 5th (+2.4)
SS21: 4th (+2.7)
Sébastien Ogier (3rd) said:
“In terms of the championship, it’s been a positive weekend and we’ve extended our lead back up to 17 points which is always the most important objective. Of course I wanted more and it would have been nice to have really challenged for the win, but it’s not been a bad weekend.
“We had a difficult start on Friday. I didn’t have the correct set-up for the vineyard stages and probably made the wrong call on the tyres. We know now that the wet tyre is performing really well, but when you’ve not had a lot of experience with them, and the battle is so tight, it’s difficult to take the risk.
“After that it was all okay but once Thierry [Neuville] had stopped there was no need to take any risks. We were not too far behind Andreas [Mikkelsen], but he had good speed and we weren’t prepared to risk it all for just three more points.
“We have a bit of break now, and for sure I will enjoy it ready for the final push on the three remaining events.”
EVANS AND BARRITT
Elfyn Evans and Daniel Barritt delivered a resilient drive this weekend. Running as high as fourth overall, the pairing were locked in an intense battle with Juho Hanninen and Craig Breen but had to settle for sixth when encountering a lack of traction through the event’s closing stages.
Despite missing out on this occasion, Evans showed good speed and ensured that the Ford Fiesta WRC accounted for 50 percent of the overall top-six.
SS18: 10th (+11.8)
SS19: 11th (+9.7)
SS20: 10th (+5.4)
SS21: 9th (+6.5)
Elfyn Evans (6th) said:
“It’s not been the best of weekends for us, but that’s just the way it goes sometimes. At times the pace was pretty good and we pushed as hard as we could through every stage. But there were so many surfaces changes and it’s probably fair to say that we struggled on some of them.
“We’ve made some good progress since Corsica which is a big positive, and the team as a whole have secured a really strong result so we’re looking forward to the next one.”
1. Ott Tänak / Martin Järveoja (Ford Fiesta WRC) 2:57:31.7
2. Andreas Mikkelsen / Ander Jaeger (Citroen C3 WRC) +16.4
3. Sébastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia (Ford Fiesta WRC) +30.4
4. Juho Hänninen / Kaj Lindstrom (Toyota Yaris WRC) +1:49.2
5. Craig Breen / Scott Martin (Citroen C3 WRC) +2:01.5
6. Elfyn Evans / Daniel Barritt (Ford Fiesta WRC) +2:03.4
7. Jari-Matti Latvala / Miikka Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) +3:58.2
8. Hayden Paddon / Sebastian Marshall (Hyundai 120 Coupe WRC) +4:32.4
9. Armin Kremer / Pirmin Winklhofer (Ford Fiesta WRC) +10:19.4
10. Éric Camilli / Benjamin Veillas (Ford Fiesta R5) +10:44.3
1. Sébastien Ogier - 177
2. Thierry Neuville - 160
3. Ott Tänak - 144
4. Jari-Matti Latvala - 123
5. Dani Sordo - 89
6. Elfyn Evans - 87
7. Craig Breen - 64
8. Juha Hänninen - 58
9. Hayden Paddon - 55
10. Esapekka Lappi - 49
1. M-Sport World Rally Team - 325
2. Hyundai Motorsport - 261
3. Toyota Gazoo Racing WRC - 213
4. Citroen Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team - 163