ADAC Rallye Deutschland: Ogier is back on the top podium spot
The reigning world rally champion Sebastien Ogier (Volkswagen Motorsport) is back on the top podium spot. Ogier wins 2016 ADAC Rallye Deutschland, scoring his third win of the season and 35th WRC victory in a career. It is Ogier’s second win in a row in the German round of the championship and third victory overall in the popular asphalt event.
In the 2016 season, Ogier won two opening events in Monaco and Sweden. After that, he missed the wins in four rallies and now he’s back on the top podium spot to extend his lead in the championship standings over Andreas Mikkelsen, who finished fourth in Germany.
Mikkelsen finished the opening day (Friday) as the leader, ahead of Ogier, but during the Saturday’s nine stages his lead was converted to the 33.4sec gap for Ogier. On Sunday, Ogier was calm and he defended his comfort lead, to win with 20.3 seconds advantage over Hyundai’s Dani Sordo.
After Ogier took control during Saturday’s stages, we were watching the exciting three-way battle for the remaining two podium places between Mikkelsen, Neuville and Sordo. At the end, the order was converted, with Dani Sordo taking the second place just 0.1 sec ahead of teammate Thierry Neuville. Andreas Mikkelsen was close, but he made some mistakes on the last stage and has to be satisfied with the fourth place.
One of the main stories of this year’s German WRC round was the hard crash of Stephane Lefebvre in the privately entered Citroen DS3 WRC. He and co-driver Gabin Moreau were injured and trasported to the hospital after a wreck on the SS10 (Panzerplatte Lang) in which the car was destroyed.
Of the drivers in the WRC-spec cars, Eric Camilli and Jari-Matti Latvala dropped out from the points early, on the first special stage. Latvala retired due to gearbox issues, Camilli crashed out into the vineyard. Both drivers rejoined the race on Saturday with time penalties, so they were far from the top. At the end, Latvala scored at least two points, finishing second in the Power Stage.
Hayden Paddon (Hyundai) and Mads Ostberg (Ford) finished fifth an sixth, ahead of four drivers of Škoda Fabia R5 cars, who competed in the WRC 2 category. The best among them was Esapekka Lappi. In the WRC 3 and Junior WRC classes, the winner is Simone Tempestini.