WRC: Ott Tanak tops 1-2-3 for Toyota in Germany
Ott Tanak (Toyota Gazoo Racing) scored his fifth victory of the season at ADAC Rallye Deutschland, the tenth round of the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship, extending the lead in the championship standings. Tanak shared a podium with teammates Kris Meeke and Jari-Matti Latvala, what is the first 1-2-3 victory for the Japanese manufacturer since its return to the championship in 2017 with Toyota Yaris WRC.
Tanak was the dominant driver over the weekend, taking the lead on the opening special stage on Thursday evening and just shortly losing the lead during one stage on Friday morning before he was back on the top on SS3. After that, he was building a gap ahead of two main championship rival Thierry Neuville (Hyundai) and Sebastien Ogier (Citroen).
The decisive stage was the first pass over Panzerplatte on Saturday afternoon when Neuville suffered a puncture and dropped to P7 while Ogier was significantly slower than Toyota’s Meeke and Latvala, dropping to P4. Ogier had a puncture on the second pass over Panzerplatte and dropped to P8.
Toyota’s trio successfully defended podium positions over Sunday’s four stages, giving the Japanese manufacturer one of the best ever results in WRC history. Toyota’s fourth driver Takamoto Katsuta scored one point with the tenth-place finish in his first WRC outing with World Rally Car.
The other point scorers in Germany are Thierry Neuville (4th, Hyundai), Dani Sordo (5th, Hyundai), Andreas Mikkelsen (6th, Hyundai), Sebastien Ogier (7th, Citroen), Esapekka Lappi (8th, Citroen) and Gus Greensmith (9th, Ford). Neuville earned an additional five points with the win at the last Power Stage.
After ten rallies, Tanak has 205 points, 33 more than Neuville and 40 more than Ogier. Hyundai still leads the Manufacturers’ standings with 289 points, eight more than Toyota. Four more rallies are on the schedule, starting with Rally of Turkey on September 12-15.
Photos: Toyota Gazoo Racing,