Rallye Deutschland Pace Report

Rallye Deutschland Recap

It was another finely executed drive at Rallye Deutschland by Ott Tanak and Martin Jarveoja that led to another victory for the Estonian duo. Kris Meeke and Jari-Matti Latvala also had incident free, yet solid rallies, for an astonishingly rare podium lock out for Toyota Gazoo Racing.

Thierry Neuville was one of the biggest losers, for suffering a puncture on Panzerplatte demoted him from a lead battle to an eventual fourth. The loss of time changing the wheel also took the pressure off Tanak, who could then back off over the second pass of the monster stage and through Sunday.

Dani Sordo is another driver who could also have possibly finished on the podium. His times were solid across the weekend but it was a gearbox failure on Friday’s final stage of Wadern-Weiskirchen that lost him a good 50 seconds.

Teemu Suninen was also left asking ‘what if’. He had to sit Friday out when his Fiesta refused to cooperate on the day’s opening stage. The times he posted from first on the road over the weekend though were good enough to put him 4th on raw pace.

Difficult Tasks

Both Citroen drivers complained all weekend about the handling of their cars. Although improvements were made at service breaks, they could not conquer the understeer and handling problems. By Sunday Sebastien Ogier stated he ‘cannot drive this car‘, a huge statement. Esapekka Lappi managed to bend the chassis so much over a jump on Panzerplatte his windscreen cracked.

Andreas Mikkelsen had a largely incident free rally but without posting great times. An off on Sunday morning lost a position to Lappi but he regained this thanks to team orders within the Citroen camp. If his brief was to finish the rally and let Neuville and Sordo do the gambling within the Hyundai team, then the job was done.

Gus Greensmith had a good weekend and showed improvements from his outings in Portugal and Finland. He won the newcomers battle with Takamoto Katsuta and would have been about 2/3rds of a second of the winner but for hitting a tree on Stage 8 Freisen.

See the full results on wrc.com.

Chart showing WRC drivers classifications at Rallye Deutschland.
Rallye Deutschland, or Rally Germany, Highest/Lowest/Overall positions.

Rallye Deutschland Awards

Biggest Stage Win

Dani Sordo – SS8 Freisen 1. Over the 14.78km stage he was 0.189s/km quicker than second placed Suninen. With Suninen opening the road and Sordo running third they took advantage of the cleaner road on Saturday morning. A lot of the other drivers mentioned how dirty the road was becoming. 0.189s/km shows how close the racing was across the other stages and the benefits of running first. Tanak being Tanak, did not show he was running 11th on the road by finishing 4th, just 0.291s/km behind Sordo.

A look at WRC stage times over distance for Rally Germany.
The pace ‘fingerprints’ of each stage and WRC driver’s result. The best drivers are consistently near the top of the chart. If you are near the bottom you don’t want to do it on a long (wide) stage.

Technically speaking, Thierry Neuville’s win of Grafschaft 2 was bigger at 0.21s/km over 28.06km. But so many drivers had switched into cruise mode at this point in preparation for the Powerstage it makes Sordo’s the bigger victory.

Fastest Stage Winner

Ott Tanak – Romerstrasse 1. This knockout average speed of 123.69kph over 12.28km came just as Thierry Neuville came knocking on Tanak’s lead. The wide roads and flatter, open countryside allow for the high speeds but it has claimed some victims over the few years it has been used at Rallye Deutschland.

Award for Managed Pace

It’s as if Kris Meeke and Jari-Matti Latvala read my mid-season analysis of raw pace and wanted to do something about it. In contrast to their results in the first half of the season, in Germany both made up 3 positions by choosing to stay in the race and let others fall down the leaderboard.

Rallye Deutschland Pace Report Cards

O. Tanak & M. Jarveoja / Toyota Yaris

  • Overall Classification: 1st
  • Time: 3:15:29.8
  • Expected Classification (xC): 1st
  • Average Pace: +0.170s/km
  • Rally Time Rating: 99.28%
  • Stage Wins: 8/19
  • Points: 25
  • Power Stage: 8th
  • Best Pace: All weekend again. Once Neuville fell out the race, he could cruise.
  • Notable Time Loss: Minimal time loss whilst being pushed. He mentioned brake failure for a front wheel on the Sunday stages, but he would have been cruising sensibly anyway.

K. Meeke & S. Marshall / Toyota Yaris

  • Overall Classification: 2nd
  • Time: 3:15:50.6 (+20.8)
  • Expected Classification (xC): 5th
  • Average Pace: +0.230s/km
  • Rally Time Rating: 99.03%
  • Stage Wins: 1/19
  • Points: 20
  • Power Stage: 4th
  • Best Pace: Good all weekend with a stage win on the beastly 41.17km of Panzerplatte 2. At stage ends he didn’t seem concerned with times even from early on suggesting he had been told to finish. Perhaps better results were a side effect of the fresh attitude.
  • Notable Time Loss: Could afford to cruise on Sunday.

JM. Latvala & M. Anttila / Toyota Yaris

  • Overall Classification: 3rd
  • Time: 3:16:05.8 (+36.0)
  • Expected Classification (xC): 6th
  • Average Pace: +0.275s/km
  • Rally Time Rating: 98.84%
  • Stage Wins: 2/19
  • Points: 18
  • Power Stage: 3rd
  • Best Pace: Stage win to edge Ogier on SS14 and another to give breathing space to Sordo on SS17.
  • Notable Time Loss: Perhaps took SS16 a little too easily.
Chart analysing time lost on stages of Rally Germany for WRC drivers.
The Pace chart for Rallye Deutschland showing where the time was lost over the stages. In this chart a driver can only lose time to stage wins and penalties.

T. Neuville & N. Gilsoul / Hyundai i20

  • Overall Classification: 4th
  • Time: 3:16:28.3 (+58.5)
  • Expected Classification (xC): 2nd
  • Average Pace: +0.340s/km
  • Rally Time Rating: 98.57%
  • Stage Wins: 7/19
  • Points: 17
  • Power Stage: 1st
  • Best Pace: Matched Tanak very closely for most stages, giving a great battle for the lead through Friday and early Saturday. Pushed hard on Sunday in the event something could happen to the Toyotas.
  • Notable Time Loss: Puncture and wheel change on the first pass of Panzerplatte ended his hopes for the win. A spin on the second pass and a gear lever issue was salt in the wound.

D. Sordo C. Del Barrio / Hyundai i20

  • Overall Classification: 5th
  • Time: 3:16:46.4 (+1:16.6)
  • Expected Classification (xC): 4th
  • Average Pace: +0.305s/km
  • Rally Time Rating: 98.34%
  • Stage Wins: 1/19
  • Points: 10
  • Power Stage: 6th
  • Penalties: 30s late at TC – ordered by the team
  • Best Pace: Won the rally of Saturday Stages including the best stage win.
  • Notable Time Loss: Gearbox issue on SS7 cost about 50 seconds. Friday stage times couldn’t match those over the weekend.

A. Mikkelsen & A. Jaeger / Hyundai i20

  • Overall Classification: 6th
  • Time: 3:17:16.0 (+1:46.2)
  • Expected Classification (xC): 8th
  • Average Pace: +0.479s/km
  • Rally Time Rating: 97.98%
  • Stage Wins: 0/19
  • Points: 8
  • Power Stage: 9th
  • Best Pace: Consistently about 0.5s/km all stages.
  • Notable Time Loss: Consistently about 0.5s/km all stages.
Heatchart analysing pace of drivers results at Rallye Deutschland.
Rallye Deutschland Stage Time analysis by heatchart. The best times are dark green, fading to beige. Red times spell disaster.

S. Ogier & J. Ingrassia / Citroen C3

  • Overall Classification: 7th
  • Time: 3:17:26.1 (+1:56.3)
  • Expected Classification (xC): 7th
  • Average Pace: +0.508s/km
  • Rally Time Rating: 97.86%
  • Stage Wins: 0/19
  • Points: 7
  • Power Stage: 5th
  • Best Pace: Mostly faired best in a battle of himself, Meeke, Latvala and Sordo until the rally disappeared.
  • Notable Time Loss: Puncture on the second run of Panzerplatte showing anything Neuville can do, Ogier can do too.

E. Lappi & J. Ferm / Citroen C3

  • Overall Classification: 8th
  • Time: 3:17:32.0 (+2:02.2)
  • Expected Classification (xC): 9th
  • Average Pace: +0.467s/km
  • Rally Time Rating: 97.79%
  • Stage Wins: 0/19
  • Points: 4
  • Power Stage: 7th
  • Penalties: 20s, late at TC – ordered by team
  • Best Pace: Change of fortunes on the flowing roads of Romerstrasse, which most suited Lappi and the C3. Consistent across the other stages.
  • Notable Time Loss: Couldn’t match his team-mate for pace in matching cars, but was still asked to make way for him come the finish ramp.

G. Greensmith & E. Edmondson / Ford Fiesta

  • Overall Classification: 9th
  • Time: 3:21:52.0 (+6:22.2)
  • Expected Classification (xC): 10th
  • Average Pace: +1.223s/km
  • Rally Time Rating: 94.6%
  • Stage Wins: 0/19
  • Points: 2
  • Power Stage: 10th
  • Penalties: 20s, late arrival at TC
  • Best Pace: Times steadily improved Friday afternoon to +0.5s/km off stage wins. Most stages were well under 1s/km.
  • Notable Time Loss: Went off and hit a tree on SS8 which defined his finish classification. The first pass of Panzerplatte was just outside +1s/km citing confidence in the car, but improved vastly over the second run.

T. Suninen & J. Lehtinen / Ford Fiesta

  • Overall Classification: 29th
  • Time: 3:57:24.0 (+41:54.2)
  • Expected Classification (xC): 3rd
  • Average Pace: +0.217s/km (*Completed Stages)
  • Rally Time Rating: 68.47%
  • Stage Wins: 0/19
  • Points: 4
  • Power Stage: 2nd
  • Retirements: 1 – Mechanical failure on Stage 2.
  • Best Pace: The xC says it all. Very strong over all the stages he ran, including the Power Stage. Gutting for him that the retirement wasn’t his fault.
  • Notable Time Loss: Retiring on the first stage of the day stacking up 7 minutes per missed stage.

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