Rally Germany: Tanak still ahead as Mikkelsen cuts his advantage – WRC

Ott Tanak protected his lead over Andreas Mikkelsen on the first loop of Rally Germany’s final day, as Sebastien Ogier lost touch with the leaders in third.

Although Citroen driver Mikkelsen went faster than Tanak’s M-Sport Ford on both early Sunday stages and declared he wanted to keep the pressure on, he was only able to reduce the gap from 21.4 seconds to 18s.

But Mikkelsen (pictured below) did manage to drop Ogier, extending that gap from 8.2s to 19.3s as the world champion admitted he did not have enough confidence in his car to go flat-out with points at stake.

Ogier’s World Rally Championship title rival Thierry Neuville rejoined for leg three under Rally2 following his Saturday morning suspension breakage.

Neuville is focused on salvaging maximum bonus points from the powerstage, but he was only sixth quickest on the first running of the St Wendeler Land stage where the extra score will be awarded later on.

Elfyn Evans overshot a junction on the day’s opener, which allowed stage pacesetter Juho Hanninen to move up to fourth.

Evans is now fifth, but coming under pressure from Craig Breen, who is 7.1s behind.

Jari-Matti Latvala and Hayden Paddon remain seventh and eighth, with M-Sport’s guest driver Armin Kremer just ahead of his WRC2-leading team-mate Eric Camilli in ninth.

Esapekka Lappi, running under Rally2 since crashing on Friday, was fastest on the first running of the powerstage route.

Autosport Live coverage of Rally Germany resumes with the powerstage at 11am UK time

Leading positions

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Ott Tanak, M.Jarveoja M-Sport World Rally Team Ford 2h44m33.0s
2 Andreas Mikkelsen, A.Jager Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT Citroen 18.0s
3 Sebastien Ogier, J.Ingrassia M-Sport World Rally Team Ford 37.3s
4 Juho Hanninen, K.Lindstrom Toyota Gazoo Racing WRC Toyota 1m50.4s
5 Elfyn Evans, D.Barritt M-Sport World Rally Team Ford 2m03.5s
6 Craig Breen, S.Martin Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT Citroen 2m10.6s
7 Jari-Matti Latvala, M.Anttila Toyota Gazoo Racing WRC Toyota 4m06.7s
8 Hayden Paddon, S.Marshall Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai 4m39.8s
9 Armin Kremer, P.Winklhofer Ford 9m45.1s
10 Eric Camilli, B.Veillas M-Sport World Rally Team Ford 9m49.2s

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