Our home rally might not have delivered the overall result that we wanted, but there was a small positive on the final day.
Dani and Marc scored their fifth stage win of the weekend, and our sixth in total, with a strong run through the St. Wendeler Land Power Stage. The Spaniards added five extra points for the drivers’ championship at the end of a frustrating rally.
The result meant that they were equal with eventual winner Ott Tanak for most stage wins of the weekend.
“This hasn’t been the rally we wanted at all so it was nice to end it with a Power Stage win,” said Dani. “It shows what we might have been able to achieve without our problems this weekend.”
Hayden and Seb were the highest placed of our crews down in eighth place. They also improved their performances as the event progressed, claiming the second quickest time through Sunday’s SS20 (Losheim am See, 13.02km).
“When conditions were more consistent, we showed some improvement in performance compared to last year,” Hayden explained. “I am pleased that we made it to the end, showing better stage times.”
Our Belgians were unable to make any impression on the rally’s final four stages after their retirement on Saturday. Re-joining under Rally 2, they also saw an end to their impressive run of Power Stage points-scoring finishes.
“We made too many small mistakes and struggled with the handling of the car,” admitted Thierry. “It’s a massive disappointment to come away with so little from a rally in which we were hoping to be at the front.”
Break from the old routine
The result sees Thierry slip to second in the drivers’ championship, 17 points behind Sébastien Ogier. He remains upbeat despite the difficulties faced in Germany.
“The championship is not over,” he said resolutely. “I will give everything to turn things around in the final three rounds of the season.”
Our Team Principal Michel is also determined to move on from the disappointment.
“Not so much a weekend to forget, as a rally from which we must learn and bounce back,” he said.
We will have to wait until October to do that, as WRC heads into a six-week break before Rally de España. It will give us an opportunity to reflect and prepare for the final rounds of the season.
Michel concluded: “As I said after our disappointing Saturday, it is not in our nature to give up without a fight, and that’s the mentality with which we will tackle the three remaining rallies.”
Final Overall Classification – Rallye Deutschland
1 O. Tänak M. Järveoja (Ford Fiesta WRC) 2:57:31.7
2 A. Mikkelsen A. Jaeger (Citroën C3 WRC) +16.4
3 S. Ogier J. Ingrassia (Ford Fiesta WRC) +30.4
4 J. Hänninen K. Lindström (Toyota Yaris WRC) +1:49.2
5 C. Breen S. Martin (Citroën C3 WRC) +2:01.5
6 E. Evans D. Barritt (Ford Fiesta WRC) +2:03.4
7 J.M. Latvala M. Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) +3:58.2
8 H. Paddon S. Marshall (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +4:32.4
2017 FIA World Rally Championship for Drivers’ Standings
After round 10
1 S. Ogier 177
2 T. Neuville 160
3 O. Tanak 144
4 J.M Latvala 123
5 D. Sordo 89
6 E. Evans 87
7 C. Breen 64
8 J. Hänninen 58
9 H. Paddon 55
10 E. Lappi 49
2017 FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers’ Standings
After round 10
1 M-Sport World Rally Team 325
2 Hyundai Motorsport 261
3 Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team 213
4 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team 163
All results remain subject to official FIA confirmation.