Germany WRC: Tanak leading Toyota 1-2-3, puncture for Ogier

Ott Tanak leads a Toyota 1-2-3 on Rally Germany heading into Sunday as World Rally Championship rival Sebastien Ogier joined Thierry Neuville in suffering a puncture on the iconic Panzerplatte test.

Germany WRC: Tanak leading Toyota 1-2-3, puncture for Ogier

Hyundai driver Neuville and Tanak had been embroiled in an intense battle for the lead on Friday that continued into Saturday morning, but the fight was defused on the first run through the 41km Panzerplatte stage.

Neuville collected a rear-left puncture early on the stage, but incredibly minimised the time loss to just 1m26.8s after stopping to change the tyre. Nonetheless, he plummeted from second to an initial seventh place.

Tanak subsequently backed off with the protection of his two teammates behind him, carrying a 32.4s lead into the final day on Sunday.

Jari-Matti Latvala nibbled three seconds out of Toyota squadmate Kris Meeke across the first three stages of the afternoon, but was outgunned by Meeke on Panzerplatte 2.

The Northern Irishman said he put in “the best Baumholder drive I’ve ever done” to maintain second place, 9.4s ahead of Latvala overnight.

Both runs of Panzerplatte were difficult for Ogier. On a stage the world champion has traditionally excelled on, Ogier gave it “everything I have” on the first pass but was overhauled by both Meeke and Latvala to drop to fourth place behind the trio of Toyotas.

That set the tone for the rest of the afternoon, with a stall hampering him in the proceeding test. A puncture on the second run through Panzerplatte compounded his woes, dropping the Citroen man from fourth to eighth place.

Dani Sordo vaulted past teammate Andreas Mikkelsen and Citroen’s Esapekka Lappi across the afternoon to lead the Hyundai charge after Neuville’s calamity, sealing fourth place overnight.

Neuville overhauled Mikkelsen on the day’s final stage despite losing the rear of his i20 Coupe WRC and spinning the car around. He recovered from his earlier puncture to hold fifth, sandwiched by his two Hyundai teammates.

A frustrated Lappi is seventh and joined his teammate in vocalising his frustrations with the Citroen C3’s performance, describing Panzerplatte 2 as a “nightmare” where “the time was rubbish.”

Takamoto Katsuta picked up a front-right puncture on Arena Panzerplatte 2, which allowed M-Sport driver Gus Greensmith into ninth overall.

Greensmith’s teammate Teemu Suninen survived a power steering scare to complete the loop with multiple top-five stage times, but is still over 40 minutes in arrears after his early electrical retirement on Friday. His focus is therefore already on Sunday’s points-paying Power Stage.

Jan Kopecky continues to lead the WRC2 Pro class in his Skoda Fabia R5 Evo in 11th overall.

shares
comments
Neuville's Rally Germany win hopes dashed by puncture

Previous article

Neuville's Rally Germany win hopes dashed by puncture

Next article

Germany WRC: Tanak wins, Toyota locks out podium

Germany WRC: Tanak wins, Toyota locks out podium
Load comments
How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain Prime

How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain

While all pre-event chat focused on the two World Rally Championship title fighters, their closest challenger charged into the spotlight on Rally Spain. Thierry Neuville's star turn and another strong drive from Elfyn Evans in his fight with Sebastien Ogier made for an intriguing event as the 2021 campaign nears its crunch point

WRC
Oct 18, 2021
The steely determination behind the WRC’s Solberg 2.0 Prime

The steely determination behind the WRC’s Solberg 2.0

Two decades after Petter Solberg emerged as a World Rally Championship winner, his son Oliver is ready to take the WRC by storm. Having secured a part-time WRC factory drive for Hyundai in 2022, he's raring to repay the marque's faith in him and follow in his 2003 champion father's footsteps

WRC
Oct 14, 2021
Analysing the key moves in WRC’s 2022 silly season Prime

Analysing the key moves in WRC’s 2022 silly season

The World Rally Championship will step into a new hybrid era in 2022, but the car changes haven't been the only excitement that has built within the paddock. WRC's 'silly season' kicked off in a big way and all the key driver moves for 2022 - of which there are many - look set to shake things up.

WRC
Oct 13, 2021
Why winning in Finland was Evans' true WRC coming-of-age Prime

Why winning in Finland was Evans' true WRC coming-of-age

By his own admission, the fifth World Rally Championship victory of Elfyn Evans' career in Finland last weekend was the drive of his life. Winning five stages in a row and soaking up huge pressure from the Hyundais on the fastest gravel stages around, the Welshman put in a faultless showing that proved what he is truly made of

WRC
Oct 4, 2021
Does Neuville have a point with his WRC Rally1 rant? Prime

Does Neuville have a point with his WRC 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 Rovanpera reached new heights in the Greek mountains Prime

How Rovanpera 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 Prime

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 Prime

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