Tanak wins in Germany, Ogier back on top of standings
WRC Rally Germany

Tanak wins in Germany, Ogier back on top of standings

Ott Tanak clinched victory in Germany as his M-Sport Ford team-mate Sebastien Ogier rebuilt a 17-point World Rally Championship lead over Thierry Neuville.

In the lead fight from the outset, Tanak hit the front for good amid Friday afternoon's torrential rain - when he was one of a handful of drivers to give the WRC's 'monsoon' tyre its competitive debut - and controlled the remainder of the event.

His second WRC win, and first on asphalt, came just three rallies after his maiden triumph in Sardinia.

Both Neuville and Ogier, who had arrived in Germany level on points, made errors in Friday's slippery conditions.

They began day two third and fourth with Neuville slightly ahead, but his Hyundai broke its suspension in a cut on Saturday's opening Panzerplatte stage.

Though Neuville hoped he could still salvage some bonus points from the powerstage when he rejoined on Sunday, he never got back on the pace as he struggled for confidence and with the car's set-up.

The only consolation for Neuville was that Ogier couldn't catch Andreas Mikkelsen for second place, as the world champion decided to play it safe once Neuville was out.

Ogier wasn't a big scorer on the powerstage either, but his fourth place there was two points more lucrative than Neuville's sixth.

Mikkelsen, the leader for much of Friday, never gave up on chasing Tanak for victory and finally finished 16.4-seconds adrift.

His second place was only the second WRC podium for a Citroen driver this season after Kris Meeke's Mexico win in March.

While Mikkelsen, whose programme beyond this rally is uncertain, got Citroen back in the victory hunt, its nominal team leader Meeke crashed less than a mile into the event on Thursday's superspecial.

He rejoined under Rally2 and ran at the tail of the field until a water-pump failure on Saturday afternoon.

Juho Hanninen recovered from a mistake on Friday and damper problems on Saturday to claim fourth when Elfyn Evans briefly went off on the final morning.

Evans had been a top-five factor at first but his DMACKs were not as rapid when the weather improved and he lost fifth place to Craig Breen on the very last stage.

The other Toyotas of Jari-Matti Latvala and Esapekka Lappi were in top five contention on Friday before a misfire dropped Latvala down the order and Lappi crashed.

Latvala salvaged seventh ahead of Hayden Paddon, who was off the pace and delayed by an early puncture, with Lappi consigned to Rally2.

Dani Sordo briefly led early on but was another Friday crasher.

Like Lappi, he showed what might've been with stage wins after rejoining - including the powerstage, by 0.2s over the Finn.

M-Sport fielded an additional World Rally car for German veteran Armin Kremer, who finished ninth ahead of his WRC2-winning team-mate Eric Camilli.

Skoda WRC2 driver Jan Kopecky had led the event outright by setting the pace on the Thursday evening superspecial, but a puncture on Saturday cost him a potential class win.

His team-mate Pontus Tidemand wrapped up an early WRC2 championship title as third in class in Germany cemented the advantage he'd built with four wins in the opening rounds.

Related news

Fernando Alonso to retire from Formula One at the end of the season

Fernando Alonso to retire from Formula One at the end of the season

McLaren has announced Fernando Alonso will retire from Formula One at the end of the 2018 season.

Lorenzo defeats Marquez in late Austria battle

Lorenzo defeats Marquez in late Austria battle

Ducati's Jorge Lorenzo took his third victory of the 2018 MotoGP season after outduelling Honda rider Marc Marquez at the Red Bull Ring.

Marquez pips Dovizioso to claim Austrian GP pole

Marquez pips Dovizioso to claim Austrian GP pole

MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez will start the Austrian Grand Prix on pole position for Honda after beating Italian Andrea Dovizioso's time by 0.002 seconds in qualifying on Saturday.

Ducati's Dovizioso wins three-way Czech GP thriller

Ducati's Dovizioso wins three-way Czech GP thriller

Italian Andrea Dovizioso won a Czech Grand Prix thriller in a Ducati one-two on Sunday while Honda's Marc Marquez finished third to stretch his MotoGP lead to 49 points.

Andrea Dovizioso beats Valentino Rossi to pole at Brno

Andrea Dovizioso beats Valentino Rossi to pole at Brno

Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso took pole position for MotoGP's Czech Grand Prix, beating Valentino Rossi by two tenths in a thrilling pole shootout at Brno.

Daniel Ricciardo to leave Red Bull at end of 2018

Daniel Ricciardo to leave Red Bull at end of 2018

Daniel Ricciardo will leave the Red Bull Formula 1 team at the end of the 2018 season and is understood to be joining Renault.

Superior Tanak eases to Rally Finland victory

Superior Tanak eases to Rally Finland victory

Ott Tanak completed a dominant Rally Finland victory for Toyota with a calm run to the finish, while Thierry Neuville limited the damage to his World Rally Championship lead.

Hamilton eases to Hungary win, Vettel survives Bottas clash for second

Hamilton eases to Hungary win, Vettel survives Bottas clash for second

Lewis Hamilton took his fifth win of the season with victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix as title rival Sebastian Vettel and teammate Valtteri Bottas came to blows on track behind him.

Tanak takes step closer to Rally Finland win

Tanak takes step closer to Rally Finland win

Toyota World Rally Championship driver Ott Tanak will take a lead of nearly 40 seconds into the final day of Rally Finland.

RELATED NEWS

Fernando Alonso to retire from Formula One at the end of the season
Formula One news

Fernando Alonso to retire from Formula One at the end of the season

McLaren has announced Fernando Alonso will retire from Formula One at the end of the 2018 season.

Lorenzo defeats Marquez in late Austria battle
Austrian GP

Lorenzo defeats Marquez in late Austria battle

Ducati's Jorge Lorenzo took his third victory of the 2018 MotoGP season after outduelling Honda rider Marc Marquez at the Red Bull Ring.

Marquez pips Dovizioso to claim Austrian GP pole
Austrian GP - Qualifying

Marquez pips Dovizioso to claim Austrian GP pole

MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez will start the Austrian Grand Prix on pole position for Honda after beating Italian Andrea Dovizioso's time by 0.002 seconds in qualifying on Saturday.

Ducati's Dovizioso wins three-way Czech GP thriller
Czech GP

Ducati's Dovizioso wins three-way Czech GP thriller

Italian Andrea Dovizioso won a Czech Grand Prix thriller in a Ducati one-two on Sunday while Honda's Marc Marquez finished third to stretch his MotoGP lead to 49 points.

Andrea Dovizioso beats Valentino Rossi to pole at Brno
MotoGP Czech Grand Prix - Qualifying

Andrea Dovizioso beats Valentino Rossi to pole at Brno

Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso took pole position for MotoGP's Czech Grand Prix, beating Valentino Rossi by two tenths in a thrilling pole shootout at Brno.

Daniel Ricciardo to leave Red Bull at end of 2018
Formula 1 news

Daniel Ricciardo to leave Red Bull at end of 2018

Daniel Ricciardo will leave the Red Bull Formula 1 team at the end of the 2018 season and is understood to be joining Renault.

Superior Tanak eases to Rally Finland victory
WRC Rally Finland

Superior Tanak eases to Rally Finland victory

Ott Tanak completed a dominant Rally Finland victory for Toyota with a calm run to the finish, while Thierry Neuville limited the damage to his World Rally Championship lead.

Hamilton eases to Hungary win, Vettel survives Bottas clash for second
Hungarian Grand Prix

Hamilton eases to Hungary win, Vettel survives Bottas clash for second

Lewis Hamilton took his fifth win of the season with victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix as title rival Sebastian Vettel and teammate Valtteri Bottas came to blows on track behind him.

Tanak takes step closer to Rally Finland win
WRC Rally Finland

Tanak takes step closer to Rally Finland win

Toyota World Rally Championship driver Ott Tanak will take a lead of nearly 40 seconds into the final day of Rally Finland.