Sébastien Ogier has claimed Volkswagen Motorsport’s second successive win in two years at their home rally at the 2016 Rallye Deutschland.
Ogier and his fellow French co-driver Julien Ingrassia put in a stellar performance in very difficult conditions on the German asphalt to record their second win in two years at Rallye Deutschland and their third win overall at this rally.
Ogier now has a 59-point lead over his team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen as the Norwegian failed to take second place away from Hyundai’s Dani Sordo, which meant Mikkelsen had to settle for fourth.
The third and final Volkswagen Polo R of Jari-Matti Latvala had a terrible start with gearbox problems on Friday’s opening stage, meaning the Finn had to start under Rally2 regulations on Day 2.
Latvala made up the ground he lost on Friday to record a forty-eighth place finish, 44 places behind Mikkelsen and a further 47 places behind Championship Leader and Rallye Deutschland-winner Ogier.
Rallye Deutschland-winner Ogier said “A fantastic feeling to be back at the top of the podium after this long dry spell. I am over the moon to have repeated last year’s success at the Rally Germany.
“The home win is extremely important to our team, Julien and I made great progress in the direction of the title in the championship standings – and naturally we are proud to have given our boss Jost Capito a worthy leaving present.
“The weekend wasn’t easy for me since I really wanted to win here and then it is easy to be a little bit too motivated going into the race. Then there was the weather, which changed constantly and was extremely difficult to predict. In the end, I waited patiently for my opportunity, and with the times on the Panzerplatte in particular, built up the crucial lead over my rivals.”
Mikkelsen was overall pleased with his performance in Germany, but rued his overheated brakes, which cost him a potential second place. “Overall I am very pleased with our performance, but the result could have been better with a little more luck. The entire weekend was dominated by the difficult tyre selection and every service ended with a decision being made at the last second.
“We opted for a totally different strategy on several occasions – this made things interesting, but it wasn’t always the right decision. We went on full attack again on Sunday, since we were competing against two very fast Hyundai’s in the three-way battle for second place.
“Unfortunately, in doing so, the brakes overheated and this took me out of the running. It’s a shame, but fourth place is a small consolation in view of the championship.”
Latvala added “After the damage to the gearbox on Friday, we couldn’t do better than eighth place in the manufacturers’ standings. Two points on the Power Stage were only a slight consolation at the end, but at least they were something.
“Naturally I am disappointed, we had definitely aimed for more, but motorsport can be like that at times. Next up on the schedule is the Rally France. We won there last year and we will try to finish on the podium again there.”