CRAIG BREEN ENDS ON A HIGH NOTE
Although Mads Østberg and Torstein Eriksen unfortunately went off at the start of today's final leg, Craig Breen and Scott Martin returned to the good form they had showed on Saturday's leg. They moved back up to finish seventh overall, proving that yesterday's performance was no flash in the pan.
Extended this year to almost thirty kilometres whilst retaining its constant changes in rhythm between countryside roads and narrow sections through the vineyards, the Grafschaft stage – contested twice this morning before the Power Stage – promised to be a stern test. And that is precisely what it turned out to be.
Sadly, like several other drivers, Mads Østberg was caught out on the first pass. His first rally on tarmac in the C3 WRC therefore came to a premature end, just as he was beginning to really up his pace.
Craig Breen didn't take long to regain his confidence behind the wheel, setting the third fastest time on the day's second stage. He certainly looked like he had a chance of doing something on the weekend's final test. Perfectly at one with his C3 WRC, he even muscled in on the fight between the contenders for the drivers' world title on the Power Stage (14.04km). He claimed the fourth fastest time, 4.2s off the leading time and just two tenths behind the third-placed driver.
WHAT THEY SAID
"Obviously, it's a shame about the rain on Friday and my mistake yesterday afternoon, because I really wanted to fight with the very best drivers throughout the race. But we managed to make it through yesterday and I also had a good feeling again in the car today. I'm going to give it my very best shot to secure a good result in Turkey. Everyone will be starting from scratch there, so we should be in with a serious chance."
"On a fast left-hander, I oversteered and ran wide into the bushes. The impact caused damage to the car's cooling system and we were unable to continue. It's a shame, but there were still some positives this weekend. We gradually upped our pace and managed to set some decent times despite a lack of knowledge of the car on this surface."
FINAL PROVISIONAL CLASSIFICATION
- Tänak / Järveoja (Toyota Yaris WRC) 3:03:36.9
- Neuville / Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 WRC) + 39.2
- Lappi / Ferm (Toyota Yaris WRC) + 1:00.9
- Ogier / Ingrassia (Ford Fiesta WRC) + 1:34.5
- Suninen / Markkula (Ford Fiesta WRC) + 2:02.9
- Mikkelsen / Jaeger (Hyundai i20 WRC) + 2:13.8
- Breen / Martin (Citroën C3 WRC) + 2:39.1
CHAMPIONNAT DU MONDE PILOTES
- Thierry Neuville – 172 points
- Sébastien Ogier – 149 points
- Ott Tänak – 136 points
- Esapekka Lappi – 88 points
- Andreas Mikkelsen – 65 points
- Dani Sordo – 60 points
- Jari-Matti Latvala – 55 points
- Elfyn Evans – 52 points
- Mads Ostberg – 48 points
- Craig Breen – 47 points
CHAMPIONNAT DU MONDE CONSTRUCTEURS
- Hyundai WRT – 254 points
- Toyota Gazoo Racing – 241 points
- M-Sport Ford WRT – 224 points
- Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT – 159 points