Tanak extends WRC Rally Germany lead for Toyota as Neuville falters

World Rally Championship points leader Ott Tanak continues to lead Rally Germany for Toyota as Hyundai's Thierry Neuville was left to rue a minor mistake on Saturday morning's second stage

Tanak extends WRC Rally Germany lead for Toyota as Neuville falters

Neuville had chopped 1.3 seconds out of Tanak on the first run of Freisen to trim the Toyota's overall advantage to 1.5s.

But he overcooked his entry and stalled into a hairpin on the proceeding Romerstrasse test and dropped 6.7s to Tanak, who won the stage when a stubborn fuse delayed Neuville further when trying to restart the Hyundai.

Neuville nicked 0.2s back on the repeat of Freisen and another 1.5s on Romerstrasse 2 to trail Tanak by 5s heading into the afternoon.

Battling with understeer on Friday, Sebastien Ogier was still "fighting" his Citroen throughout the morning, describing the C3 as "difficult to drive."

The world champion remains third with Kris Meeke 3.7s in arrears, but Meeke declared he wasn't interested in Ogier's times, instead choosing to focus on securing manufacturer points for Toyota.

Team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala is close too, just 4.2s behind in fifth. A trip into a field aside, Andreas Mikkelsen holds a solid sixth place for Hyundai.

Esapekka Lappi had been plugging away at Mikkelsen's advantage, but dropped the rear of his Citroen into a ditch on Freisen 2.

Spectators were immediately attentive and forced weight onto the front of the C3 that allowed Lappi to escape, but the error allowed Dani Sordo to take his seventh position.

Sordo found himself ninth at the start of the leg following his gearbox turmoil on Friday's final test. The Hyundai driver was fastest on Freisen 1 and is just 9.9s behind team-mate Mikkelsen with Lappi only 1.8s behind.

Gus Greensmith began Saturday in eighth as the lead M-Sport Ford but slipped backwards when he slid off the road and clipped a tree on Saturday's opener.

The impact broke the front-right steering arm, knocking the rear-right tyre off its rim for good measure. He dropped three minutes to stage winner Sordo but recovered to finish the morning in 10th.

That means Takamoto Katsuta is into the top 10 in ninth place on his first World championship event in a Toyota Yaris WRC.

Skoda's Kalle Rovanpera was on for a fifth consecutive WRC2 Pro victory, but made a "stupid mistake" on the first run of Freisen.

Failing to add enough caution to the left-hand corner in his pace notes, Rovanpera slid wide and onto the grass, nosing his Fabia R5 into the undergrowth and beaching it before spectators helped wrestle him free.

Rovanpera's "beginner" form continued on the proceeding Romerstrasse test when he dropped the right-hand side of his Fabia into a road-side ditch.

He persevered and freed his Fabia without spectator assistance. Team-mate Jan Kopecky now leads the class in 11th overall.

Teemu Suninen returned following his retirement with electrical issues on Friday but is over 40 minutes adrift of the lead.

The famous Panzerplatte tests in the Baumholder military range lie await in the afternoon, where tyre management will be key.

Leading positions after SS10

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Ott Tanak, M.Jarveoja Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota 1h22m14.0s
2 Thierry Neuville, N.Gilsoul Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT Hyundai 6.5s
3 Sebastien Ogier, J.Ingrassia Citroen Total WRT Citroen 30.1s
4 Kris Meeke, S.Marshall Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota 33.3s
5 Jari-Matti Latvala, M.Anttila Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota 38.5s
6 Andreas Mikkelsen, A.Jager Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT Hyundai 58.3s
7 Dani Sordo, C.del Barrio Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT Hyundai 1m12.7s
8 Esapekka Lappi, J.Ferm Citroen Total WRT Citroen 1m14.9s
9 Takamoto Katsuta, D.Barritt Tommi Makinen Racing Toyota 3m59.2s
10 Gus Greensmith, E.Edmondson M-Sport Ford WRT Ford 4m42.1s
shares
comments
Ostberg near miss with spectator who fell off wall on Rally Germany

Previous article

Ostberg near miss with spectator who fell off wall on Rally Germany

Next article

Rally Germany WRC: Puncture deals blow to Neuville's hopes of title

Rally Germany WRC: Puncture deals blow to Neuville's hopes of title
Load comments
Does Neuville have a point with his Rally1 rant? Plus

Does Neuville have a point with his Rally1 rant?

OPINION: Thierry Neuville's diatribe against the upcoming Rally1-spec machines that will usher in the World Rally Championship's new hybrid era was remarkable in an era where drivers are usually reticent to air their views in public. But are the Belgian's concerns about speed, safety and cost entirely valid?

WRC
Sep 16, 2021
How the WRC's new flying Finn reached new heights in the Greek mountains Plus

How the WRC's new flying Finn reached new heights in the Greek mountains

After Kalle Rovanpera’s historic feat at Rally Estonia, the Finn scaled new heights at the Rally of the Gods with a commanding victory. And this time Toyota’s young star demonstrated why the future is bright with his devastating speed and consistency at the Acropolis Rally

WRC
Sep 13, 2021
The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally Plus

The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally

Five drivers have won first time out at the Rally Acropolis, transcending the tough dirt and gravel Greek roads to cement a place in rallying folklore. Here are three of the first-time winners' tales

WRC
Sep 9, 2021
Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble Plus

Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble

From being considered a likely contender to drive the next-generation M-Sport Ford Puma in 2022, Teemu Suninen's abrupt exit has created plenty of questions. The Finn's bid to become his country's next World Rally Championship winner won't be furthered by being sidelined, but there may be reason behind the decision

WRC
Sep 2, 2021
Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit? Plus

Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit?

OPINION: The Ypres Rally featured a cameo from the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in its final stage, giving WRC teams the chance to experience its iconic corners in rallying machinery. It proved to be an engaging addition to the rally, and could perhaps serve as an example for other events to visit famous circuits

WRC
Aug 24, 2021
How Hyundai's home hero delivered overdue WRC success in Belgium Plus

How Hyundai's home hero delivered overdue WRC success in Belgium

With limited recent fortune and pressure starting to mount, Hyundai needed a big result at the Ypres Rally. All the key components came together in Belgium to see home hero Thierry Neuville lead a manufacturer 1-2 and kickstart its World Rally Championship challenge

WRC
Aug 16, 2021
The new car that can resurrect Ford's WRC winning pedigree Plus

The new car that can resurrect Ford's WRC winning pedigree

M-Sport has become the first to unveil its new-for-2022 hybrid World Rally Championship challenger, the Puma Rally1. Ford has upped its support in a bid for glory, but can the new machine roll back the years and return the Blue Oval to the top of the WRC tree?

WRC
Aug 12, 2021
The rookie WRC driver aiming to continue Loeb and Ogier's legacies Plus

The rookie WRC driver aiming to continue Loeb and Ogier's legacies

French drivers have dominated the World Rally Championship across the past two decades; Sebastiens Loeb and Ogier have racked up the titles in commanding fashion. With Ogier calling it a day on full-time WRC competition from next year, France will pin its long-term hopes on rookie Adrien Fourmaux, who looks to have a bright future.

WRC
Aug 7, 2021