It’s been an eventful 2016 Rallye Deutschland, which is notoriously known for its unpredictable weather and tight sealed-surface asphalt stages. The rally is also known for its fair share of crashes and accidents over the years it’s been on the WRC calendar.
Over the last three days, theCheckeredFlag.co.uk has reported on the key events from the ninth round of the 2016 FIA World Rally Championship in Germany. Here is the main analysis from the 2016 Rallye Deutschland from the WRC, WRC2, Junior WRC and DDFT categories.
WRC – Ogier makes it three on Rallye Deutschland asphalt
Volkswagen Motorsport’s Sébastien Ogier has ended his winless drought by winning his third Rallye Deutschland.
Ogier, who has not won a rally since Sweden in February, stopped his five-rally winless streak to claim his third Rallye Deutschland win, ahead of the Hyundai’s of the returning Dani Sordo and 2014 Rallye Deutschland-winner Thierry Neuville in second and third places respectively.
Norway’s Andreas Mikkelsen led the rally on Day 1 after capitalising on Ogier’s mistake on Friday’s SS2. The Norwegian made a costly mistake on Saturday’s SS7 which put the current three-time World Rally Champion Frenchman to within two-tenths of the rally lead.
Mikkelsen lost the rally lead on SS10 at the Panzerplatte to Ogier, which meant Mikkelsen finished the 2016 Rallye Deutschland in fourth. You have to wonder how much the Norwegian has lost ground on his championship-leading team-mate in the Drivers’ Standings as they head for the Tour de Corse in September.
The third Hyundai of Hayden Paddon and M-Sport’s Mads Østberg completed Rallye Deutschland in fifth and sixth places respectively on the asphalt in what is both drivers’ weakest stage surface.
Completing the rest of the top ten finishers in the main WRC category are the WRC2 drivers of Esapekka Lappi, Pontus Tidemand, Jan Kopecký and Armin Kremer.
There was also the WRC’s fair share of car-related problems at Rallye Deutschland, starting with Østberg’s team-mate Eric Camilli going off on the opening stage, as well as Jari-Matti Latvala suffering a transmission problem at Mittelmosel.
DMACK World Rally Team’s Ott Tänak suffered an alternator failure in his Ford Fiesta RS WRC on Saturday’s SS11. However, this year’s Rallye Deutschland will be known for the serious accident of Abu Dhabi World Rally Team’s Stéphane Lefebvre and Gabin Moreau.
Lefebvre and Moreau both suffered fractures and internal injuries as their Citroën DS 3 WRC went off on Saturday’s 40 kilometre Panzerplatte stage on SS10. Gabin suffered a fractured left ankle, which has left both drivers in hospital recovering from their injuries.
In terms of the Drivers’ Standings, Sébastien Ogier now has a 59-point lead over his team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen in second with 110 points.
The biggest change in the Drivers’ Standings is Hyundai’s Hayden Paddon and Thierry Neuville overtake Volkswagen’s Jari-Matti Latvala for third and fourth place on 94 points each. Latvala is now in fifth, 80 points behind his team-mate Ogier.
Dani Sordo is sixth by virtue of his second place in Germany while Mads Østberg now overtakes Ott Tänak for seventh. Kris Meeke and Craig Breen complete the top ten coming into the next round at the Tour de Corse.
WRC2 – Lappi makes it back-to-back WRC2 wins in Germany
Finland’s Esapekka Lappi made it back-to-back WRC2 wins at the 2016 Rallye Deutschland.
Lappi, who won the previous rally in Finland, dominated on a stage surface he doesn’t like to record a dominant win by over a minute, ahead of experienced WRC veteran Jan Kopecký and local driver Armin Kremer.
Kremer led in the early stages of Rallye Deutschland after Lappi suffered three spins and Kopecký had a puncture on Day 1. As the rally settled down, Lappi laid down a marker and won four stages on his way to the rally lead and claimed victory on Sunday.
Kopecký did not risk competing with his dominant Škoda Motorsport team-mate to which the Czech driver finished second, ahead of Kremer to make it a Škoda 1-2-3 on the podium.
Belgium’s Ghislain de Mevius finished fourth, while Pierre-Louis Loubet was fifth, ahead of Holland’s Bernhard ten Brinke in sixth.
Peugeot Rally Academy’s Jose Antonio ‘Cohete’ Suarez is seventh, while Frigyes Turán, Hubert Ptaszek and Abulaziz Al-Kuwari complete the top ten finishers in the WRC2 category for the 2016 Rallye Deutschland.
In the WRC2 Drivers’ Standings, Britain’s Elfyn Evans who was absent from Rallye Deutschland still remains the Championship Leader by 12 points ahead of Finland’s Teemu Suninen who also did not compete in Germany this weekend.
Esapekka Lappi is now third, 23 points behind the leader Evans while Nicolas Fuchs is fourth. Germany’s Armin Kremer is now fifth, ahead of Sweden’s Pontus Tidemand to complete the top six in the WRC2 Drivers’ Standings.
Junior WRC – Tempestini dominates Rallye Deutschland as Veiby falters
Italy’s Simone Tempestini earned yet another win in the Junior WRC category at the 2016 Rallye Deutschland.
Tempestini showed his dominance once again as he earned a hard-fought victory on the German tarmac, winning 14 out of the 16 stages for his third win of the 2016 Junior WRC season in what is turning out to be a dominant season for the Italian.
Martin Koči finished second, over +38.9 seconds behind the Rallye Deutschland-winner Tempestini as the Slovakian at one point was +2.1 seconds off the lead. Koči had two spins on Sunday’s first stage which meant Tempestini cruised home for a third victory in four JWRC rallies.
France’s Terry Folb was third as he was the only man who had won two stages out of sixteen, while his fellow Frenchmen Romain Martel and Vincent Dubert were fourth and fifth respectively.
The United Arab Emirates’ Mohamed Al-Mutawaa was sixth, while the winner from Rally Finland, Norway’s Ole Christian Veiby finished seventh after he lost 12 minutes on Friday’s SS1, and repeated his Friday outing on Saturday.
Veiby managed to finish Rallye Deutschland in seventh, but loses more ground on Tempestini as the 2016 JWRC season goes to its last two rounds in France and Great Britain.
In the JWRC Drivers’ Standings, Simone Tempestini extends his lead to Ole Christian Veiby to 43 points coming into next month’s Tour de Corse. Terry Folb is now eight points behind Veiby in third coming into his home rally next month.
Vincent Dubert is fourth, while Martin Koči is fifth, 51 points behind the leader Tempestini. Romain Martel completes the top six for the Junior WRC Drivers’ Standings after the 2016 Rallye Deutschland.
Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy – Pryce takes maiden DDFT asphalt win in Germany
Britain’s Osian Pryce claims his second win of the 2016 Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy season in dominant fashion at the 2016 Rallye Deutschland.
Pryce who was making his WRC début on the asphalt of Rallye Deutschland, based in the Porta Nigra gate in Trier. The Welshman produced a faultless run to win by over a minute of Rally Finland-winner Max Vatanen in second.
If Pryce can deliver these performances with his two WRC2 prize drives next year, then he is in contention to become a British WRC star of the future with his co-driver Dale Furniss.
Max is also a star for the WRC future as his 1981 World Rally Championship-winning father Ari has shown in the past. Rallying is in the blood of the Vatanens and Max is one to watch for the WRC teams.
Northern Ireland’s Jon Armstrong finished third, ahead of France’s Nicolas Ciamin in fourth. Norway’s Oscar Solberg and 19-year-old British rising star Gus Greensmith complete the top six finishers for Rallye Deutschland.
The Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy competitors weren’t immune to retirements from car-related issues as Poland’s Jakub Brzeziński and Kenya’s Karan Patel retired from Rallye Deutschland with mechanical issues.
In the Trophy Standings coming into the final round in Spain, Osian Pryce has a 14-point lead over Max Vatanen in second. Jon Armstrong is third, while Portugal’s Bernardo Sousa who did not compete in Germany is fourth.
Norway’s Oscar Solberg is 13 points behind Sousa in fifth, while Nicolas Ciamin, Jakub Brzeziński, Karan Patel and Dillon Van Way complete the top ten in the Trophy Standings for the 2016 Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy.
As Rally China is cancelled, the WRC teams and crews now head for the Tour de Corse in France on the 30 September – 2 October 2016 for the tenth round of the 2016 FIA World Rally Championship season.