Ott Tänak takes the lead at the 2017 ADAC Rallye Deutschland

Ott Tänak takes the lead at the 2017 ADAC Rallye Deutschland

18.08.2017: • Thrilling battles on new spectator stage and in the Mosel vineyards • Narrow margins and tricky

•    Thrilling battles on new spectator stage and in the Mosel vineyards


•    Narrow margins and tricky weather on day two of the German round of the WRC



After WRC 2 driver Jan Kopecký (CZE) caused something of an upset with victory on yesterday's spectacular opening stage in the heart of Saarbrücken, normal service resumed on day two of the ADAC Rallye Deutschland, with the WRC stars setting the fastest times.




The top drivers were very evenly matched: the eight special stages held in the Mosel vineyards and on the new Wadern-Weiskirchen circuit produced five different winners. The overall lead also changed hands more than once.
 



At the end of the day, it is Ott Tänak (EST) and his Ford Fiesta WRC at the top of the overall standings, just 5.7 seconds ahead of Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) in a Citroën C3 WRC. Championship leader Thierry Neuville (BEL) is third in his Hyundai i20 WRC, followed closely by world champion Sébastien Ogier (FRA) in a Ford Fiesta WRC. Elfyn Evans (GBR) in the third Ford Fiesta WRC and Juno Hänninen (FIN) in a Toyota Yaris WRC round off the top six.
 


As well as the abundance of talent, the weather also added some extra spice to proceedings. Difficult conditions made tyre selection a challenge for all the teams. The morning loop, some of which took place in dry conditions, saw Dani Sordo (ESP) take the honours in his Hyundai i20 WRC on the first stage of the day - the new Wadern-Weiskirchen spectator stage. However, the joy was short lived for the man who won the German leg of the WRC in 2013: two special stages later, the Spaniard came off the road and was unable to continue.
 


Tänak was the fastest man on the first of the vineyard stages (SS Mittelmosel 1). Mikkelsen then left the opposition in his wake on the second stage in the vineyards (SS Grafschaft 1), and temporarily moved into the lead of the rally.




World champion leader Neuville countered with victory when the drivers returned to the Wadern-Weiskirchen stage for the second time. It was a very different story on the new circuit for Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN), who was cheered on by large crowds: an engine failure cost the Finn a lot of time.
 


Conditions were wet throughout the entire afternoon, and it was Tänak who again produced an impressive performance in the narrow roads through the vineyards: the 29-year-old, who won this year's rally on Sardinia, was fastest on both vineyard stages and wrested the lead back from Mikkelsen.




 A third visit to the Wadern-Weiskirchen super special stage saw Jari-Matti Latvala take the final stage win of the day in his Toyota Yaris WRC, which had been repaired during the midday service. World champion Ogier ended the day without a stage win.



However, the defending champion maintained his place among the leading group, courtesy of consistently fast times. A spin on the final stage of the day was ultimately responsible for him dropping into fourth place behind his title rival Neuville, with whom he is tied on the same number of points at the top of the world championship.
 


Local favourite Marijan Griebel was the top German driver, ending the day in 14th place overall in his Skoda Fabia R5. The 28-year-old driver, who is sponsored by the ADAC Stiftung Sport, is currently in 5th place in the WRC 2 class.



Julius Tannert, the second driver in the field to be funded by ADAC Stiftung Sport, is in 39th place overall (5th in the RC4 class) in his Ford Fiesta R2. Armin Kremer, who is making a guest appearance in a Ford Fiesta WRC, is 16th. Fabian Kreim lies in 21st place in a Skoda Fabia R5.
 



 
Standings after 8 of 21 special stages:

 


1.          Tänak/Järveoja (EST/EST)          Ford Fiesta WRC          1h 07m 23.0s

2.          Mikkelsen/Jæger (NOR/NOR)          Citroën C3 WRC          + 5.7s

3.          Neuville/Gilsoul (BEL/BEL)          Hyundai i20 WRC          + 28.2s

4.          Ogier/Ingrassia (FRA/FRA)          Ford Fiesta WRC          + 30.6s

5.          Evans/Barritt (GBR/GBR)          Ford Fiesta WRC          + 52.1s

6.          Hänninen/Lindström (FIN/FIN)          Toyota Yaris WRC          + 1m 14.7s
     
    


 
Tickets still available on-site



There are several last-minute pass options for rally fans on site: For as little as EUR20, you can get the Special Stage pass, entitling you to visit one Special Stage. The price is the same for any Special Stage, except for the Arena Panzerplatte on the Baumholder military range, which offers a much more extensive programme than other Special Stages.




 A pass for the Arena Panzerplatte costs EUR25 on site. Admission to the Bostalsee Service Park is free every day of the event. All on-site ticket outlets can be found at www.adac-rallye-deutschland.de/uk/tickets/static/.
 

 
 
 
Peter Linke,  photos ADAC
 
      




Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/oett-taenak-lead-deutschland-rallye---167052.html

18.08.2017 / MaP

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