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Ott Tanak has clinched his second World Rally Championship victory of the year after fending off Andreas Mikkelsen on the final day at Rally Germany, while his M-Sport Ford team-mate Sebastien Ogier reclaimed the championship lead with third place.

Tanak stormed to the front early in the German event and stamped his authority during the opening loop of Saturday’s running by pulling out almost half a minute on Mikkelsen in the Citroen Abu Dhabi machine.

The Estonian driver, who claimed his first WRC career win earlier this year in Italy, duly maintained his time cushion over Mikkelsen to the finish to win by 16.4 seconds. Behind the front two, Ogier held on for a comfortable third place after title rival Thierry Neuville was forced out of contention with a broken suspension unit on SS9 and now holds a 17-point lead in the standings aided two points on the Power Stage with three rounds remaining.

Drama continued to unfold behind the podium finishers with Juho Hanninen’s late charge on the final day saw him go from sixth to fourth for Toyota Gazoo Racing, with Craig Breen holding fifth place for Citroen as Elfyn Evans faded late in the DMACK M-Sport Ford for sixth place.

Jari-Matti Latvala endured a difficult race for Toyota in seventh place ahead of sole remaining Hyundai driver Hayden Paddon in eighth with local driver Kremer Armin in ninth.

Eric Camilli secured the WRC2 victory against Jan Kopecky for M-Sport Ford to also grab the final points finish in the overall classification with tenth place.

Esapekka Lappi recovered from an off to finish 21st, while Dani Sordo racked up stage wins, including the Power Stage, after an early technical issue with his Hyundai ruled him out of contention.


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