Ott Tänak (EST) wins the 2019 ADAC Rallye Deutschland. In front of 222,100 spectators, the 31-year-old Estonian claimed his third win in a row at the German round of the FIA World Rally Championship. Victory not only sees the Toyota driver extend his lead in the world championship, but Tänak's hat-trick also ensured that the Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT team claimed all three spots on the podium: Tänak was followed by Kris Meeke (GBR) and Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) in second and third place. Local fans were treated to a German one-two in WRC 2, courtesy of ¦koda drivers Fabian Kreim and Marijan Griebel.
Hermann Tomczyk, President ADAC Motorsports, was positive in his appraisal of the event: "Congratulations to Ott Tänak on his third victory in a row at the ADAC Rallye Deutschland. This year's ADAC Rallye Deutschland was once again a perfect advertisement for rallying. The event once again produced brilliant racing, with challenging special stages in Saarland, along the river Mosel, and in the Hunsrück region. Our new ideas to make the format more compact and spectator-friendly were well received by the fans. The German one-two in the WRC 2 class, courtesy of Fabian Kreim and Marijan Griebel, is a great conclusion to a wonderful festival of rallying, with more than 220,000 spectators enjoying the perfect weather. I would like to say a special word of thanks to the many volunteers and our incredible fans, as well as the Saarland government for their support."
The final day of the rally saw the stars of the WRC return to the Mosel vineyards for a further four tough special stages (SS). Tänak, who had opened a relatively comfortable gap of over 30 seconds over the previous three days, was able to manage his advantage over the changing pack without taking any major risks. Thierry Neuville (BEL) was the fastest man on both passes of the Grafschaft stage. The Belgian had matched Tänak blow for blow until the halfway point of the rally, but - like fellow championship contender Sébastien Ogier (FRA) - was thwarted by a puncture on the infamous Panzerplatte on Saturday. Tänak wrapped up his third overall victory at the ADAC Rallye Deutschland on the closing power stage, SS Dhrontal. The bonus points on the power stage went to Neuville (5 world championship points), Teemu Suninen (FIN, 4 points), Latvala (3 points), Meeke (2 points) and Ogier (1 point).
Ott Tänak: "Our team has missed out on a one-two-three a few times, so it is good to do it finally do it. Unfortunately, we had an issue on the penultimate stage. We suddenly only had one brake at the front, and I was no longer really able to push. However, it was enough for us in the end. This is a great moment for the whole team."
German rallying also enjoyed a top result: Fabian Kreim and Marijan Griebel claimed a German one-two in WRC 2. Kreim, at the wheel of the brand-new Skoda Fabia R5 evo, moved to the top of the WRC 2 standings on stage eleven (Römerstrasse 2), and held off a strong international field to take victory at the ADAC Rallye Deutschland. Victory in this round of the World Rally Championship is the biggest success so far in the career of the 26-year-old German. Fellow Skoda driver Griebel finished runner-up in the WRC 2 class at the ADAC Rallye Deutschland. The local favourite won the power stage to climb from third into second place. In the works-assisted WRC 2 PRO class, victory went to Jan Kopecký (CZE), also in a Skoda Fabia R5 evo.
Fastest stage times:
Tänak 8, Neuville 7, Latvala 2, Sordo 1, Meeke 1
Tänak SS1, Neuville SS2, Tänak SS3-19 (finish)