Vintage Tanak in complete control in German wine country

Trier (Germany) (AFP) –


Estonia's Ott Tanak remained on course for a second successive victory when he swept five of Friday's six stages on the Rally of Germany, deep in the heart of the country's wine region.

Tanak, in a Toyota and who triumphed in Finland last month, opened up a 12.3sec lead over five-time world champion Sebstien Ogier in a Ford with Hyundai's Thierry Neuville, the championship leader, in third, almost 30 seconds off the lead.

Ogier claimed the day's opening stage but from then on it was all Tanak who thrived on the asphalt surface in and around the Mosel Valley, Germany's premier wine producing area.

"I think we have had close to a perfect day today. The driving was clean and the car was working really well," said Tanak.

"Everything was new for me, driving this car on these very specific stages, but I could adapt quickly, the rhythm was there from the first stage and I was able to push hard all day.

"This afternoon it was more difficult because it rained during lunchtime and every corner had a different level of grip, but we had a clean run with no mistakes."


1. Ott Tanak-Martin Jarveoja (EST/Toyota Yaris) 54:15.1, 2. Sebastien Ogier-Julien Ingrassia (FRA/Ford Fiesta) at 12.3 sec, 3. Thierry Neuville-Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL/Hyundai i20) 27.4, 4. Elfyn Evans-Dan Barritt (GBR/Ford Fiesta) 37.8, 5. Jari-Matti Latvala-Mikka Anttila (FIN/Toyota Yaris) 38.8, 6. Dani Sordo-Carlos del Barrio (ESP/Hyundai i20) 42.7, 7. Esapekka Lappi-Janne Ferm (FIN/Toyota Yaris) 42.8, 8. Craig Breen-Scott Martin (IRL-GBR/Citroen C3) 58, 9. Andreas Mikkelsen-Anders Jaeger(NOR/Hyundai i20) 59, 10. Teemu Suninen-Mikko Markkula (FIN/Ford Fiesta) 1:21.4