The WRC circus was back in action this weekend, and it was an important one for Volkswagen as the race was being held at home in Germany.

Moreover, the race was this season’s first on tarmac, which was important to championship leader, Sebastien Ogier. A WRC rule forces the championship leader to run first (a major disadvantage on gravel) to keep the racing tighter.

Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR), Anders Jæger (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC (2016) WRC Rally Germany 2016

Ogier and team principal Jost Capito have made no secret of the fact that they do not like the rule, but on tarmac, running first is no disadvantage. As a result, Ogier was sure to take full advantage of the leveled playing field, and eventually won the rally by more than 20 seconds.

Ogier extends his championship lead to 59 points ahead of the second place Andreas Mikkelsen, who also races for Volkswagen Motorsport.

Mikkelsen narrowly missed second place in Germany, but was slowed on the last day by a tire compound gamble that didn’t payout. He, instead, placed fourth at the ADAC Rallye Deutschland, but holds onto second in the championship.

Jari-Matti Latvala, meanwhile, suffered mechanical problems early and despite valiant effort could do no better than eighth. He is currently in 5 th  on the season.

Rally Germany 2016

This was Volkswagen’s and Ogier’s second win at the ADAC Rallye Deutschland in as many years and is an important step in winning his fourth driver’s championship, especially now that the season has been shortened.

A torrential downpour last week took out some of the roads on the Chinese rally map, forcing organizers to cancel the event, which was slated to be the next race on the calendar.

Instead, the teams will next meet in France at the end of September. After that, there will only be three rallies left this season in Spain, England, and Australia.

Rally Germany 2016