WRC – Tänak wins, Toyota sweeps the podium
Ott Tänak clinched a commanding third Rallye Deutschland victory on Sunday in Bostalsee, boosting his drivers’ championship lead, as he headed a historic one-two-three finish for Toyota.
The final day of the event took the crews back to the vineyards above the Mosel river for a pair of stages, each run twice, totallingf 79.5 competitive kilometres.
Following the demanding Panzerplatte on Saturday, the Japanese manufacturer began the day in the provisional first three positions. The Yaris WRC drivers took a relatively cautious approach to the final day, although Jari-Matti Latvala took the win SS17, as he was defending his third place against attack from Hyundai’s Dani Sordo.
A brake issue in the final stage held Tänak back from fighting for the extra Power Stage points but the victory of the Estonian seemed quite assured thanks to a comfortable buffer of 20.8 seconds over his team-mate Kris Meeke.
Meeke’s second place was his best result of the year and his first podium finish with Toyota, while Latvala repeated the third position he scored last time out in Finland.
Toyota is the first manufacturer to claim all three places on the podium of a FIA WRC round since Volkswagen did so in Germany in 2015. It’s also Toyota’s first WRC 1-2-3 since the 1993 Safari Rally.
Sordo finished fourth but checked in late at the final time control to give the position to his team-mate Thierry Neuville. Demoted after the puncture he suffered in Panzerplatte on Saturday, Neuville showed he had not conceded defeat by taking the maximum five points in the Power Stage. By taking fourth overall, he is now 33 points behind Tänak in the championship.
Citroën also used similar tactics at the finish. Esapekka Lappi had beaten Andreas Mikkelsen to claim sixth place during the final day, but checked in late to enable team-mate Sébastien Ogier to climb up to seventh, with Mikkelsen also benefitting from the transaction to get sixth.
Gus Greensmith was ninth for M-Sport and Takamoto Katsuta scored his maiden point in 10th on his WRC debut for Toyota.
Czech Republic’s Jan Kopecký is the winner of the FIA WRC 2 Pro class for Škoda in 11th overall, ahead of his French rival Eric Camilli, driving for M-Sport Ford, and his Finnish team-mate Kalle Rovanperä.
Fabian Kreim took FIA WRC 2 honours on home ground in 12th, in front of fellow compatriot and team-mate Marijan Griebel, and Russia’s Kajetan Kajetanowicz.
2019 Rallye Deutschland – Final Results
|1. Ott Tänak (EST) / Martin Järveoja (EST)||Toyota Yaris WRC||3hr 15min 29.8sec|
|2. Kris Meeke (GBR) / Sebastian Marshall (GBR)||Toyota Yaris WRC||3hr 15min 50.6sec|
|3. Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) / Mikka Anttila||Toyota Yaris WRC||3hr 16min 05.8sec|
|4. Thierry Neuville (BEL) / Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL)||Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC||3hr 16min 28.3sec|
|5. Dani Sordo (SPA) / Carlos Del Barrio (SPA)||Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC||3hr 16min 46.4sec|
|6. Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) / Anders Jaeger-Amland (NOR)||Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC||3hr 17min 16.0sec|
|7. Sébastien Ogier (FRA) / Julien Ingrassia (FRA)||Citroën C3 WRC||3hr 17min 26.1sec|
|8. Esapekka Lappi (FIN) / Janne Ferm (FIN)||Citroën C3 WRC||3hr 17min 32.0sec|
|9. Gus Greensmith (GBR) / Elliott Edmondson (GBR)||Ford Fiesta WRC||3hr 21min 52.0sec|
|10. Takamoto Katsuta (JAP) / Daniel Barritt (GBR)||Toyota Yaris WRC||3hr 23min 49.0sec|