Toyota has achieved a second straight victory in the World Rally Championship with Ott Tänak winning Rallye Deutschland at the weekend, following his triumph in Finland three weeks ago.
The Estonian cleared the field by 39.2 seconds on the tricky German roads to deliver the Toyota Yaris WRC its maiden win on asphalt.
As in Finland, the Toyota GAZOO World Rally Team achieved a double podium with Esapekka Lappi finishing third.
The result lifts Toyota to second in the manufacturers’ championship, just 13 points off the lead.
It was the third win for Tänak and co-driver Martin Järveoja’s since joining Toyota this year and the pair’s second victory in Germany in as many years.
Tänak has now closed to within 36 points of the leader in the drivers’ championship and is just 13 points behind second place with four rounds remaining.
Esapekka Lappi and co-driver Janne Ferm were third in Germany, their second podium in the space of three events and their first on asphalt in the WRC. It also strengthens Lappi’s fourth place in the drivers’ standings.
Jari-Matti Latvala, who was within 0.8s of second place after winning two stages on Saturday, had to retire from the rally on the first stage of the final day due to a hydraulic pump failure that caused his car to lose drive.
Tänak said this was the hardest victory he had ever achieved, while remaining coy about his championship chances.
“I am really happy for the whole team: we were really strong this weekend,” he said. “We are moving in the right direction in the championship, but I am still taking it event-by-event.
Team principal Tommi Mäkinen, praising his drivers, said it was another great moment for the team.
“Everybody has worked very hard to achieve this great result on asphalt and everyone is motivated to give their maximum effort for the rest of the year,” he said.