Sebastien Ogier in the Volkswagen Polo R is a recipe for success. He has won the previous three World Rally Championships and today took his 35th career victory on the tarmac of Rally Deutschland. This win breaks a winless streak going back to Sweden in February but consistently finishing on the podium, coupled with this weekend’s victory, means his championship lead increases to 59 points with just four rounds remaining.
Day One though saw the Frenchman play second fiddle to his team-mate Andreas Mikklesen after making a mistake at a hairpin. The other Volkswagen of Jari-Matti Latvala wasn’t so fortunate after suffering from a terminal gearbox failure on the opening special stage, which also claimed Eric Camilli’s Ford Fiesta. On Day Two, Ogier overhauled his team-mate on the treacherous roads of the Baumholder military ranges. From then on he was largely untroubled and won by the rally by twenty seconds.
There was a titanic battle for second place that went down to the wire, between Mikklesen and the two Hyundai i20s of Dani Sordo and Thierry Neuville. After the Volkswagen driver suffered brake failure it was between the two Korean cars and despite Neuville winning the Power Stage, it was his team-mate who held on to second place by just one tenth of a second. Behind Mikklesen, Hayden Paddon completed a trio of Hyundai’s in the top 5 with Mads Ostberg sixth in the Ford. Privateer Stephane Lefebvre was in sixth place but crashed out heavily on the infamous Panzeplatte stage. Seventh place went to the winner of WRC-2 Esapekki Lappi, with Simone Tempestini taking class honours in WRC 3 and JWRC.
Results – ADAC Rallye Deutschland 2016
|1||S. Ogier||Volkswagen Polo R WRC||3:00:26.7|
|2||D. Sordo||Hyundai i20 WRC||+20.3|
|3||T. Neuville||Hyundai i20 WRC||+20.4|
|4||A. Mikklesen||Volkswagen Polo R WRC||+27.2|
|5||H. Paddon||Hyundai i20 WRC||+3:34.8|
|6||M. Ostberg||Ford Fiesta WRC||+4:31.2|
|7||E. Lappi||Skoda Fabia R5||+8:36.8|
|8||P. Tidemand||Skoda Fabia R5||+8:52.5|
|9||J. Kopecky||Skoda Fabia R5||+9:44.2|
|10||A. Kremer||Skoda Fabia R5||+10:10.6|