Racer M-Sport’s Ott Tanak finished the leader of the first day of the Rally Germany, the ninth world rally championship in 2017.
For the most part the Friday of the course, the Estonian took second place behind Andreas Mikkelsen, but on the seventh special stage used a mistake of the Norwegian selection of tires and headed the General classification.
“Today was very difficult conditions, – commented on the Tanak, which is an advantage after SUPER 8 was 5.7 seconds. – At some point I even got stuck in the mud on slicks it was very hard to get back on track. But I’m happy, good day.”
Mikkelsen was also satisfied, given that Rally Germany is only the third stage in the part of the factory team Citroen.
“I’m actually happy. Today we have achieved the maximum, – shared his impressions of Norwegian. The conditions were difficult, therefore, to compare our pace is possible only with those who stood with us in the start list. We were faster Chris Mick for ten seconds, and it proves that we really attacked with all the forces.”
In the battle of two title contenders came out the winner Thierry Neuville. This morning the Belgian was only the sixth, but in the course of the day section has noticeably increased. Before a short spectator area he conceded Ogier of 18.7 seconds, but after the turn of the current champion climbed to the third position.
“Because of the reversal I lost about 20 seconds. It’s a shame, but nothing can be done, – said Ogier, who eventually became the fourth. – I knew today would be hard, as he could not find the optimal settings. But tomorrow is a new day.”
Fifth place was taken by the DMACK Ford driver Elfyn Evans, outpacing the 20 seconds the best representative of a Toyota Juho Hanninen. The other two Finns out of the factory team of the Japanese concern is not lucky – the car of Jari-Matti Latvala broke on the road section, but at least three times Vice-world rally champion continued participation and became the eighth, while Esapekka Lappi dropped out after damage to the left front wheel.
Between the two Toyota drivers wedged Craig Breen, rounded out the top 10 Hayden Paddon and WRC2 leader Jan Kopecky.
|1.||Ott Tanak||M-Sport World Rally Team||1:07.23,0|
|2.||Andreas Mikkelsen||Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT||1:07.28,7||+5,7|
|3.||Thierry Neuville||Hyundai Motorsport||1:07.51,2||+28,2|
|4.||Sebastien Ogier||M-Sport World Rally Team||1:07.53,6||+30,6|
|5.||Elfyn Evans||M-Sport World Rally Team||1:08.15,1||+52,1|
|6.||Juho Hänninen||Toyota Gazoo Racing WRC||1:08.37,7||+1.14,7|
|7.||Craig Breen||Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT||1:08.47,5||+1.24,5|
|8.||Jari-Matti Latvala||Toyota Gazoo Racing WRC||1:09.17,7||+1.54,7|
|9.||Hayden Paddon||Hyundai Motorsport||1:09.52,5||+2.29,5|
|10.||Jan Kopecky||Skoda Motorsport||1:10.59,2||+3.36,2|
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