This season’s World Rally Championship has become a real battle for both Drivers’ and Constructors’ titles: after eight rounds of the 13-event calendar, both are still wide open.
The Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT currently head up both championships. Thierry Neuville leads the Drivers’ title chase on 153 points, 21 ahead of his nearest rival Sebastien Ogier of M-Sport WRT, with Toyota Gazoo WRT’s Ott Tanak third on 107 points.
The Constructors’ title chase is an exciting one after the Rally of Finland, when a superb victory by Tanak and a third place from Jari-Matti Latvala put the Toyota team just one point behind M-Sport WRT.
The current standings are 153 points for Hyundai, 202 for M-Sport, Toyota on 201 and Citroen Total WRT with 153 following an excellent drive from Mads Ostberg to a solid second spot in Finland.
Tomorrow the 107 competitors tackle the shakedown stage before the first special stage of the ADAC Rallye Deutschland, in the town of St Wendel in Germany.
Eighteen special stages over 325 km of the total distance of 1 221 km make it one of the toughest tarmac events on the calendar.
First joining the WRC circuit in 2002, it proved to be a good event for Citroen with victories every year until 2014, when Neuville took the win for Hyundai.
Sebastien Loeb claimed nine of the French manufacturer’s victories with Ogier and Sordo taking one apiece.
Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT will field championship leader Neuville, Andreas Mikkelsen and a return for Spaniard Dani Sordo.
Ogier heads the M-Sport WRT with team-mates Elfyn Evans and Teemu Suninen.
It’s business as usual for Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT with Tanak, Esapekka Lappi and Jari-Matti Latvala.
Citroen will field a two car team with Ostberg and Craig Breen. Rough vineyard tracks and the daunting Baumholder military roads await the teams.