Germany - 21-24 Aug 14

Posted: August 23, 2014 8:59 AM - 6930 Hits

Round 9 - 2014 World Rally Championship

Live Results (Germany 2014) | Also available at: rally-base results
Radio: WRC All Live Audio Stream
News: irallylive.com | www.wrc.com
Event Website: Rally Germany

First stage each day - Irish/UK Times (Germany is 1 hour ahead of Ireland/UK)
SS1 Fri - 07:38
SS7 Sat - 06:38
SS15 Sun - 06:28

KUBICA TAKES TO THE TARMAC

Posted: August 22, 2014 9:09 AM

s the FIA World Rally Championship journeys to the first true asphalt event of the year, RK M-Sport World Rally Team fans will get a taste of what they have been anticipating all season – a sign of what Robert Kubica and the Ford Fiesta RS WRC are capable of on Tarmac.

Asphalt is undoubtedly the Pole’s most preferred surface and following an inspired performance on the sealed-surface roads of Rallye Monte-Carlo – in which Robert secured two stage wins for the M-Sport squad – expectant fans are relishing the opportunity to see the Formula One race winner in action.

Of course Robert puts no expectations on his shoulders and remains focussed on his primary objective of gaining the experience that will prove vital to his future success. Experience is everything in rallying, and the Pole is determined to make the most of his first true asphalt test of the year.

Rallye Deutschland is arguably the most arduous of the championship’s end-of-season events. Tight hairpins in the Mosel vineyards demand exceptional handling and precision whilst the broken asphalt and perilous concrete blocks – or Hinkelsteins – that line the Baumholder military ground pose an ever-present threat.

Often referred to as three rallies in one, the route provides much variation in character – challenging crews to get up to speed amidst continuous changes of terrain. Those looking for the top results have to find the right balance between speed and survival and work in harmony with their safety crews who advise on changes to the conditions and grip from the pre-event reconnaissance.

The Pole will certainly feel more at home on the German asphalt and carries a wealth of experience forward from his 2013 encounter when an impressive drive saw him pilot his regional rally car to WRC 2 victory and fifth place overall.

The Pole was also in asphalt action in Italy last month – piloting an A-Style prepared Fiesta RS WRC to victory at Rally Internazionale del Casentino.

Robert Kubica said:
“Next on the list is the first proper Tarmac rally of the season. Of course in Monte-Carlo we had some mixed conditions with quite a lot of Tarmac, but Germany is more typical with very narrow and twisty asphalt roads. There are many hairpins and many low speed sections, but there are also a lot of short and fast corners which make it an extremely difficult and technical event.

“We've done some tests and the feeling on Tarmac is quite good. The weather was a bit unreliable, especially on day one in the vineyards, so it was quite difficult to do some consistent work on the set-up of the car. But a part from that everything went smoothly and I think that we are well prepared.

“Some people have high hopes when it comes to my result, but I think we have to be realistic. It will be a difficult rally. The characteristics of these roads with lots of hairpins and tight junctions are extremely difficult with my limitations. I had a few issues there in 2013 and this year it might be even trickier since some of the stages are reversed. From what I remember, that means that there will be lots of very tight uphill hairpins and it’s always more difficult to turn the car into these types of hairpins than it is on the downhill sections.

“There will be at least six or seven drivers who can fight for the podium and that is why we need to be realistic. For sure the Volkswagens will be very strong at their home event and Citroen have won the previous 12 editions of Rally Germany. Those cars are driven by some very good drivers so we will just try to do our own rally and remember how tricky these stages can be. If the weather stays inconsistent and we get a lot of rain it will be an extremely difficult event.”

PIRELLI LAUNCHES NEW RK ASPHALT TYRE EVOLUTIONS IN GERMANY

Posted: August 22, 2014 9:08 AM

Pirelli will debut the first evolution of the RK tyre, a tyre that was introduced only at the beginning of this year specifically for the latest World Rally Championship regulations, at Rallye Deutschland this weekend.

The latest RK will be brought to Germany in both RK5A hard and RKW7 soft compounds, the hard being the prime choice and the soft being the option. The consistency and durability of the hard tyre has improved, while the soft benefits from improved wet-weather performance.

Nonetheless, both RK5A and RKW7 use the same tread pattern and construction, in accordance with the latest WRC regulations that require a single pattern for all asphalt events.

Also available to the WRC1 cars for the first time this year is the ‘emergency tyre’. As required by the regulations, this is a direct evolution of the Sottozero snow tyre first seen in Monte Carlo, which will be used only for heavy rain and deep pools of standing water.

Rallye Deutschland is the first sealed-surface event of the year and one of the most diverse rounds of the WRC, as originally it was made up of three national rallies rolled into one. Day one takes place on tight and twisty vineyard roads; made slippery by grape mulch, while day two includes the concrete roads of the notorious Baumholder military terrain. The final day is held on open and faster roads, meaning that the tyres experience every different type of asphalt surface possible.

Pirelli drivers in Germany
Pirelli has opted to focus on customer competition this year, and this event will be one of the busiest that the Italian firm has dealt with this year, with 11 customers competing on the demanding roads of Rallye Deutschland, including WRC2 leader Lorenzo Bertelli. The Pirelli crews contesting Rallye Deutschland are:

    22 Jaroslav Melicharek/Ernst Melicharek (Ford Fiesta RS WRC)
    23 Sam Moffett/James O’Reilly (Ford Fiesta RS WRC)
    33 Bernardo Sousa/Hugo Magalhaes (Ford Fiesta S2000)
    36 Armin Kremer/Klaus Wicha (Skoda Fabia S2000)
    37 Lorenzo Bertelli/Mitia Dotta (Ford Fiesta R5)
    39 Julien Maurin/Nicolas Klinger (Ford Fiesta R5)
    122 Hermann Gassner Jr/Ursula Mayrhofer (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 10)
    123 Hermann Gassner Sr/Katrin Thannhauser (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 10)
    127 Sebastian Schwinn/Felix Griebel (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 10)
    131 Philippe Chevallard/Frederic Arnaud (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 10)
    136 Armand Fumal/Xavier Portier (Citroen DS3 R3T)
The tyres available
For Rallye Deutschland, Pirelli will bring the latest evolution of the RK tyre in RK5A hard compound and RKW7 WRC soft compound. As an emergency tyre, for extreme wet conditions (and only for WRC1) Pirelli will supply the Sottozero tyre. In total, Pirelli will bring nearly 600 tyres to Trier.

The rules
The overall number of tyres that may be used is 28. A total of 28 RK5A tyres are supplied to each WRC1 crew with 20 of the RKW7 WRC option also available. WRC2 crews have 24 prime and 20 option tyres available. The ‘emergency tyre’ allocation is eight tyres for WRC1 crews only.

Quote
Matteo Braga, Pirelli senior tyre engineer:
“Germany is a significant event for many reasons. Firstly the nature of the rally itself, with variable surfaces and weather conditions that test every aspect of a tyre’s performance. Secondly, we have a healthy number of customers choosing to use our products. Thirdly, we are launching evolutions of the RK tyre for both wet and dry asphalt. The current rules mean that we are only allowed to use one tyre pattern for all conditions, reflecting the situation that ordinary drivers on the road face. However, rallying is clearly much more extreme, so it’s a very big challenge to design a tyre for competition use that is so versatile. However, by working with the compounds, we’ve been able to come up with a new RK tyre that performs just as strongly in the dry as in the wet. For cases of extreme heavy rain, we have the Sottozero as the ‘emergency tyre’, derived from the snow product, which once again demonstrates the versatility of our range.”

Craig Breen's WRC Rallye Deutschland snatched away at the eleventh hour.

Posted: August 21, 2014 11:54 AM

Following a stewards meeting yesterday evening in Trier where they received a report from the FIA Medical Delegate and the rally Chief Medical Officer against allowing Car No. 14 to take part in the event the stewards have decided that Peugeot Rally Academy driver Craig Breen and his co-driver Scott Martin will not be given permission to start WRC Rallye Deutschland 2014.
The decision has been made on safety grounds in light of Craig’s recent back injury received after a heavy landing over a jump at WRC Rally Finland two weeks ago. Although given full clearance by his Specialist to compete on his third planned WRC event of 2014 the stewards have concerns that Craig would further damage his back by taking part in the rally.

On receiving the news Craig said
“I am bitterly disappointed by this decision, I have followed the correct procedure leading up to this event. I have medical clearance to compete, I feel great and I haven’t any pain even after our pre event test here this week. I must respect the stewards decision and move forward”

This comes just one week before Craig’s regular Peugeot Rally Academy FIA European Rally Championship duties restart in the Peugeot 208T16 at round eight the Barum Czech Rally Zlín.

You can keep up to date with Craig’s 2014 season by visiting: www.craigbreen.com or www.peugeot-sport.com

Breen Ruled out of Germany

Posted: August 21, 2014 8:33 AM

Video: Eamonn Boland Pre Event Test

Posted: August 18, 2014 9:29 PM

Videos: Breen/Moffett/Fisher pre event test

Posted: August 18, 2014 9:21 PM



Craig Breen going to Rallye Deutschland

Posted: August 16, 2014 9:37 PM

Having suffered a back injury after landing heavily over one of WRC Rally Finland’s famous jumps two weeks ago many doubted that Peugeot Rally Academy driver Craig Breen would travel to Germany to compete in his third planned WRC event of 2014. But yet again Craig has shown his career long determination and been given the all clear by his doctors to start the ADAC Rallye Deutscland (Aug 21st – 24th) in Trier on Thursday.

Just one week before his regular Peugeot Rally Academy FIA European Rally Championship duties restart in the Peugeot 208T16, Craig and his co-driver Scott Martin will take on what many drivers see as the most difficult of the WRC season’s asphalt rallies. Early on Thursday morning Craig and Scott will get a chance to compare themselves up against the WRC regulars on asphalt for the very first time through a 4.6km shakedown stage and this will also give them a chance to make any final adjustments to the same Kel-tech Fiesta RS WRC that they last used in gravel specification. Following a ceremonial start at Trier’s historic Porta Nigra later that evening the real action gets underway on Friday when the drivers will tackle six stages that wind their way through the scenic vineyard roads now synonymous with the event. New for this year the rally will head further north than usual for a sixteen and a half kilometer stage near the Belgian border twice during the day and this will give the less experienced drivers a chance to make up some time on those that have competed on the event before.

It’s the tricky Panzerplatte military tests that have in previous years created the drama on Saturday and the crews face eight stages in the region that include two runs over a mammoth 42km stage full of huge tank stopping kerb stones, known as hinkelsteins that will be waiting to catch drivers out should they stray from the tracks that are slippery in the dry and treacherous in the wet. Sunday sees the stages return to the bumpy and narrow Mosel vineyards for the final four stages of which one is the power stage with the finish back in Trier shortly after lunch.

Because Craig won the World Rally Academy class on this event back in 2011 on his way to winning the WRCA championship he has be really looking forward to driving a world car here and said “I am very grateful to all those that have aided my recovery since Finland, and although I have had success here in the past I face a completely different challenge by using a WRC car this time.”

THE DS3 WRCS RETURN TO TARMAC

Posted: August 16, 2014 9:35 PM

First ran in 1982, Rallye Deutschland moved to its current base in Trier in 2000. Since 2001, the year before it joined the WRC calendar, Citroën Racing has remained unbeaten at the event.

The first win, achieved as part of the European Rally Championship, was claimed by Philippe Bugalski and Jean-Paul Chiaroni in a Citroën Xsara WRC. In 2002, the first year Germany was included in the WRC calendar, Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena won their first ever top-level rally.

In the Xsara WRC and the C4 WRC, the Franco-Monegasque crew went on to claim eight consecutive wins. Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia took up the mantle in 2011 in the DS3 WRC, before Loeb and Elena took one final victory here in 2012. Last year, the winning run was kept up thanks to Dani Sordo and Carlos del Barrio, also in a DS3 WRC.

LOWER RIDE HEIGHT, HARDER SHOCK ABSORBERS AND BIGGER BRAKES FOR THE DS3 WRCS

In the next two months, three of the four rallies will be held on tarmac. This surface requires very specific parts and set-up, which have consistently given the cars prepared in Versailles an advantage.

“For everyone – the technicians, the engineers and the crews – it’s an important point of the season,” emphasized Yves Matton, Citroën Racing Team Principal. “We need to get to grips again with conditions that we haven’t experienced since the Rallye de France in October 2013. Testing will be just as important for the drivers as the rest of the team. You need to re-hone some of your reflexes again to prepare for this first round of the season on tarmac. And Rallye Deutschland is especially important for Citroën in that we are on a run of eleven consecutive wins.”

The DS3 WRCs are not very different to those driven recently in Sardinia, Poland and Finland. “They are the same cars,” confirmed Didier Clément, the DS3 WRC’s Chief Operations Engineer. “Given that we are limited to six chassis per season for both crews, there is no specific body shell for the tarmac rounds. The only differences concern the level of the struts, the shock absorbers, the brakes, the wishbones and the tie-rods.”

Preparations began with a tried and tested set-up, on the banks of the Mosel and at the Baumholder military base:
“The car has to be easy to drive so the drivers feel confident to push on the quick stages through the vineyards. We have also tried to develop our knowledge of how the tyres respond in varying weather conditions. During the race itself, one of the key aspects will involve having accurate weather forecasts. In the last ten years, Rallye Deutschland has been contested on completely dry roads on very few occasions.”

A NEW CHAPTER FOR MADS ØSTBERG

Competitive on all road surfaces, with podium finishes in Sweden, Portugal and Italy, Mads Østberg has gone two rallies without scoring a point. The Norwegian will be looking to put an end to his poor run in Germany: “Although we had good pace, I was obviously disappointed with the final outcome at the last two rallies. Rallye Deutschland should give me the chance to put this bad run behind me! I like driving on tarmac. And the more miles I cover, the more comfortable I feel. With four appearances here under my belt, I’m beginning to feel I’m pretty experienced on the stages.”

Currently fourth in the World Championship standings, Mads will be competing at his first tarmac rally in the DS3 WRC: “I have a lot of faith in the team. The car has always been quick on this surface. Now it’s up to me to produce the goods to have a chance of a strong result. If everything goes well, I think we can aim for a top-five finish.”

KRIS MEEKE HASN’T FORGOTTEN HOW TO DRIVE ON TARMAC

Although he has never driven in Germany in the DS3 WRC, Kris Meeke is delighted to be back on tarmac in the car in which he finished third at Monte-Carlo.
“I haven’t competed in an all-tarmac rally for three years,” confirmed the Northern Irishman. “But it all comes back to you quickly, it’s like riding a bike! I know that the DS3 WRC is competitive and that team knows the rally perfectly. I have everything I need to do well here.”

Whilst he has missed the rally for last two years, Kris has already performed well in Germany, collecting a podium and a win in the JWRC almost ten years ago: “I have some very fond memories of competing here in the C2 Super 1600 and of my experience in the WRC in 2011. There are three very different types of road. The pace is constantly changing. I’ll have to get to grips with some things in the DS3 WRC, but I hope I can pick up where I left off in Finland.”

FROM THE VINEYARDS TO PANZERPLATTE

The shakedown for Rallye Deutschland gets underway on Thursday, 21 August at 9.30am. Each crew must complete at least two runs on Konz, a 4.55km test located close to the Messepark service park. The ceremonial start will be held in front of the Porta Nigra in Trier. Following an autograph-signing session at 7.00pm, the competitors will drive their cars into parc ferme after stopping off on the podium.

On Friday, the cars will head west, with the running order that of the World Championship standings. Not far from Luxembourg, Sauertal (14.14km – 8.38am/2.42pm), already contested in 2013, will be followed by Waxmeiler (16.40km – 9.56am/4.00pm), a brand new stage close to the Belgian border, and then Moselland (21.02km – 11.19am/5.23pm), completed in the opposite direction to last year.

Saturday’s leg will be begin towards the east, with Stein & Wein (17.53km – 7.38am/2.31pm), still in the vineyards, and then Peterberg (11.08km – 8.38am/3.31pm) and its many changes of direction. The loop will then continue in the Baumholder military base. This year, two stages have been designed in this unique setting on the WRC calendar: firstly, a short stage, Arena Panzerplatte (3.03km – 9.51am/4.44pm), and then the huge Panzerplatte Lang (42.51km – 10.06am/4.59pm) with theHinkelstein and the famous Gina’s jump.

The schedule for the final day features two stages, located to the north-east of Trier, each run twice: Dhrontal (18.03km – 7.28am/10.55am) and Grafschaft (19.27km – 8.04am/12.08pm), which will be the Power Stage on the second pass. The rally is scheduled to finish at Porta Nigra from 2.30pm.

Project “Home Rally Reconciliation” – Volkswagen has big plans for their WRC home rally in Germany

Posted: August 16, 2014 9:33 PM

Back home with a score to settle – Volkswagen goes into the ninth race of the season in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), the Rally Germany, with hoping to improve considerably on last year’s result. World Champions Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F), as well as Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN) and Andreas Mikkelsen/Ola Fløene (N/N) will roll across the starting ramp at Porta Nigra for Volkswagen in first, second and third place in the world championship. At the brand’s home rally (21 – 24 August), the defending champion is leaving nothing to chance in the quest to wipe out the memory of the result twelve months ago. The Rally Germany of all rallies was the only WRC leg in 2013 in which no Volkswagen driver made it onto the podium. After that, however, the team from Wolfsburg did wonders for their self-confidence: they won all of the following twelve rallies. On top of this, the added incentive is also the possibility of securing the championship title in the manufacturers’ standings for Wolfsburg at the home rally on asphalt.

“We have a score to settle with the Rally Germany since last year, as missing out on the podium at our home event is not a nice memory to have,” said Volkswagen Motorsport Director Jost Capito. “Winning in front of your home crowd is always special. No German automobile manufacturer has ever won the German round of the World Rally Championship. Volkswagen has the opportunity to be the first. We have proven this season that we are capable of winning in any conditions. We have an extremely successful World Rally Car in the Polo R WRC, the three best driver/co-driver pairings in the world at present, and a team that is highly motivated and works meticulously. We know our strengths – but we also know that you cannot take success for granted in sport. Particularly not in motorsport. As such, we will approach the Rally Germany with the same commitment, precision and focus as we have done the twelve victorious rallies leading up to this event, in order to finally give our fans in Germany a win to cheer about.”

First all-asphalt rally of the year – change and challenge

The character of the World Rally Championship changes dramatically with the Rally Germany. The calendar throws up an all-asphalt rally for the first time in the 2014 season. As such, the World Rally Cars will line up with a completely different rally set-up to the six previous gravel rallies. The set-ups for the asphalt and gravel versions of the Polo R WRC differ greatly, including the ground clearance, which is adjusted by exactly 95 millimetres. The grooved Michelin tyres typically used on gravel, on 15-inch wheels with 215-mm treads, are replaced with 18-inch wheels with 235-mm treads. The chassis is also adapted to the specific demands of driving on asphalt and is given a far more rigid set-up. Considerably larger brake discs and callipers are also fitted on the Polo R WRC, allowing extremely late braking. The Rally Germany represents the first direct comparison between the four manufacturers – Citroën, M-Sport Ford, Hyundai and Volkswagen – in these conditions. The weather could also play a key role: the end of August could see extremely high temperatures soar above the 30-degree mark, but is also well capable of producing continuous heavy rainfall.

Match points for all three WRC titles – an added incentive

The German team is even more motivated by the possibility of being able to secure all three WRC titles. With 305 points in the manufacturers’ standings, Volkswagen are already 175 points ahead of their direct rivals Citroën. If they manage to keep the gap at at least 172 at the Rally Germany, just like last year Volkswagen will win the manufacturers’ world championship. The works duos could also secure the drivers’ and co-drivers’ standings at the Rally Germany. If WRC leader Sébastien Ogier manages to keep 112 points of his current 121 point advantage over Mads Østberg (N, Citroën), only one of the three Volkswagen drivers will finish as world champion.

A balance of new and tried and tested – the rally route

With classic stages such as “Drohntal”, “Grafschaft” and “Stein & Wein”, the Rally Germany is keeping with tradition in 2014. But it also has a modern twist: The new special stage “Waxweiler” close to the Belgian border will be a new challenge for the drivers. Without a doubt, the “Panzerplatte” stage is still the crème de la crème of the stages at the Rally Germany. Four special stages will be held on the military training area of Baumholder, which, with its unyielding menhirs, is extremely unforgiving. With the very short “Arena Panzerplatte” at just 3.03 kilometres, and the 42.51-kilometre version “Panzerplatte”, this special stage that is characteristic of the rally will ensure there is variety.

Driving style is key – absolute precision is required

Eleven of twelve WRC events in Germany have been won by French drivers in the past – Sébastien Loeb won ten, Sébastien Ogier won one, both of them were driving for Citroën. As well as the technical requirements of the set-up and basic configuration of the vehicle, it’s the driving style that is key to success on asphalt. In short: drifting is fatal. At the asphalt rallies the set-up of the World Rally Cars for achieving good special stage times is not all that popular. Sébastien Ogier who comes from the French school of rallying is regarded as the current master of this art. But Jari-Matti Latvala, who since switching to Volkswagen has changed his driving style to match the central European way of driving, is now also one of the best drivers on asphalt.

Secret summer wedding – Ogier and his “co-driver” Kaiser

Secret, quiet and low-key – all these adjectives describe the wedding of Sébastien Ogier and his girlfriend Andrea Kaiser. The World Champion and the German TV presenter said “I do” this summer, surrounded by close family and friends. Volkswagen wishes the two newlyweds all the best for their future together. With a new co-driver at his side – in his private life naturally – the Volkswagen driver with car number one on the Polo R WRC heads to the Rally Germany – where maybe he will have his next reason to celebrate.

VIPs at the home rally – Volkswagen welcomes famous guests in Trier

Volkswagen Motorsport will host well-known faces at the Rally Germany once again this year. Stratospheric jumper Felix Baumgartner, who visited Trier and the surroundings in 2013, doesn’t want to miss out on following the rally action from the Volkswagen hospitality area this year. Others who have signed up include rock legend Peter Maffay, windsurfing world champion Philip Köster, former swimming world champion Mark Warnecke and actor Axel Stein, who has experienced being a guest starter in the Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup. Matthias Malmedie, presenter and co-inventor of the German TV show “GRIP – Das Motormagazin”, will also be there, as will Harald “Toni” Schumacher – the trip to Trier is just a short hop for the former goalkeeper of the German football team and vice president of 1. FC Köln.

Quotes ahead of the Rally Germany

Sébastien Ogier, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #1
“We want to continue the success we have enjoyed so far this season at the Rally Germany. And it is also important to make amends for last year’s miserable result by winning this time around. We have already tested successfully on asphalt this year. This surface also suits the Polo R WRC, so we believe we will be very quick. We have a great chance to successfully defend our World Championship title in Germany, and are determined to take this opportunity. The entire team is under greater pressure at its home event than at other rallies, but that can also be an advantage, as you are generally more focussed under these circumstances. Whatever happens, the Rally Germany will not be a stroll in the park. The ‘Panzerplatte’ stage has proved the undoing of many drivers in the past, as it is so demanding and treacherous. We also have some real asphalt specialists in the field – including Thierry Neuville, who was in contention here last year. I believe Hyundai will be very strong. And I will also be keeping an eye on Kris Meeke. He was damn quick in Finland and is very good on asphalt.”

Jari-Matti Latvala, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #2
“Winning the Rally Finland was very special. The fans gave me incredible support – and to win on home soil is a unique feeling. I want to take that with me into the next rally – another home event, this time for Volkswagen. One of the greatest challenges at the Rally Germany is the weather: it can be very changeable. When it rains some of the sections become very wet and thus extremely slippery, while other parts of the route are relatively dry and can be taken at high speed. That makes driving and tyre selection quite tricky. I have no problem with the surface itself – I like asphalt rallies, and particularly the character of the route on the Rally Germany. I am looking forward to the ‘Panzerplatte’ more than anything else. Unfortunately I had a bad experience with the standing stones last year, when I hit a stone whilst leading the rally. I can obviously not allow that to happen to me again this year. My goal is to follow on from my success at the Rally Finland and challenge for the win again – however, a top-three finish would be great.”

Andreas Mikkelsen, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #9
“Unfortunately I was not able to take part in the Rally Germany last year. As we did complete the ‘Recce’, however, I was able to gain a good impression of the special stages and the surface. Ola and I ought to benefit from this experience this year. In 2012 I finished sixth in a Škoda, beating several more powerful World Rally Cars in the process, so I am quite confident. I am looking forward to finally contesting Volkswagen’s home rally in the Polo R WRC. It is particularly important for Volkswagen to get a good result at the Rally Germany. Everyone involved will be particularly focussed, and the interest in the media will be huge. The many fans on the route and in the service park will once again give us fantastic support. However, the rally will by no means be easy, as the opposition is strong and it will be a completely new ball game at the first asphalt rally of the year.”

Did you know that ...

... the Rally Germany has never been won by a German car manufacturer since it has been on the WRC calendar? With the exception of 2009, when the event around Trier was not part of the WRC calendar, all victories have gone to Citroën. Record world champion Sébastien Loeb won ten times and Sébastien Ogier and Dani Sordo each won once.

… the Rally Germany, since it has been on the WRC calendar, only took a “trip” to Cologne for the ceremonial start and awards ceremony in 2013? At Volkswagen’s first WRC home rally, the drivers, co-drivers and World Rally Cars were all presented on the southern part of the square near Cologne Cathedral, the “Roncalliplatz”. This year the Rally Germany returns to Germany’s oldest town, Trier, with the impressive backdrop of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Porta Nigra.

… the Volkswagen Group brand Audi was successful at the Rally Germany in 1984? Hannu Mikkola (FIN) and his German co-driver Christian Geistdörfer won the event that was not part of the WRC in an Audi Sport quattro.

… Volkswagen duo Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN) had their best result at the Rally Germany in 2012? The two Finns finished the rally in second place in their Ford.

… Volkswagen test and development driver Dieter Depping won the Rally Germany a total of three times (1994, 1996 and 1997)? Until France’s Sébastien Loeb went on his winning streak, the German held the record for the most victories.

The number of the Rally Germany: 32

21 WRC starts for the Polo R WRC, 32 podium finishes – that is Volkswagen’s record going into the Rally Germany. The home rally around Trier of all rallies is the one with a zero next to it in the statistics for the World Rally Car from Wolfsburg. To date, one of the Volkswagen duos in the Polo R WRC has finished in first place 18 times, in second place nine times and in third place five times. Going into the ninth rally of the 2014 season and since the debut at the Rally Monte Carlo last year, the victory rate is 86 percent and the podium rate 54 percent.

M-SPORT LOOK TO IMPRESS ON ASPHALT

Posted: August 16, 2014 9:30 PM

M-Sport World Rally Team’s Mikko Hirvonen and Elfyn Evans will be looking to make an impression on asphalt next week as the FIA World Rally Championship embarks on the first pure Tarmac event of the year – the fearsome ADAC Rallye Deutschland.

Regarded as three rallies in one, the German fixture is one of a kind. Incorporating marked variation in character, the blacktop stages demand precision driving and expert preparation. Changing grip levels and unpredictable forecasts are the order of the weekend and crews have to master a blend of speed and adaptability.

Littered with junctions and tight hairpin bends, the angular tracks through the Mosel vineyards offer a stark contrast to the country roads of Saarland where the Ford Fiesta RS WRCs are let loose at maximum speed. But it is arguably the perilous dash between the ‘Hinkelstein’ concrete blocks of the Arena Panzerplatte for which the event has become famed.

Those in the hunt for the top positions need to be on the pace throughout each variation of the rally’s diverse character. There’s no resting on your laurels in Germany and complete trust in your car and safety crew is essential. Settle into a comfortable rhythm, and you risk being swiftly left behind; attack each mud-strewn bend and deceptive cut with blind faith, and you risk bringing your rally to an untimely end.

The German asphalt certainly demands respect and there are few more experienced than Hirvonen and co-driver Jarmo Lehtinen. The Finns know what it takes to tame the daunting roads of the Rhineland and will apply all of their knowledge in pursuit of a strong result.

The Finns have been plagued by misfortune this season, but having finished on the podium three times in Germany they’ll be determined to prove a point.

Embarking on the second phase of their development, Evans and co-driver Daniel Barritt will be looking to show further progression. The Welshman is anticipating an easier transition to his top-specification Fiesta on asphalt, but remains true to his character as one of the championship’s most grounded young talents.

The youngster takes a wealth of four-wheel-drive experience forward having secured a highly impressive sixth place behind the wheel of his Ford Fiesta R5 in 2013, but his attention remains firmly fixed on gaining the vital knowledge and experience to support his future ambitions.

Mikko Hirvonen said:
“It’s going to be an interesting rally. I really enjoyed the Fiesta in the tricky conditions in 2011 so it will be good to see how it handles on asphalt this year.

“There’s no getting away from the fact that Germany is a challenging event. The grip levels are constantly changing and you have to understand the road and the changes in conditions.

“As we saw last year, it can sometimes be a rally of survival, but finding the right balance between survival and setting the good times is really tricky. Even if it’s dry, we need to remember that we are rallying through working vineyards so there is always a lot of gravel on the road. Then when it rains, a lot of mud gets pulled out from the cuts.

“The biggest challenge is being committed through the cuts. You need to be really brave and have complete trust in your car and your safety crew. Thankfully, my safety crew have done a fantastic job for me this year.

“We’ve been hoping to be on the podium at every event this year but for various reasons it hasn’t quite come together. We know it will be tough, but if everything comes together and we can be up there fighting, it would be absolutely perfect.”

Elfyn Evans said:
“This is an event that I’ve been looking forward to all season. It’s the first round of the year where we will have some substantial four-wheel-drive experience to carry forward and we drove a really good event here last year. I felt confident all weekend and I hope to carry some of that confidence forward next week.

“We’re used to the speed of a world rally car now so I don’t expect the transition to be as marked as it was on gravel, but my primary objective remains the same. Experience is everything in this sport and that is what we will be focusing on.

“I really enjoy the technical nature of the German stages and generally feel fairly confident on asphalt. It’s not an easy event by all means. It’s the most difficult of the pure Tarmac rallies with unpredictable weather, mud and plenty of obstacles to avoid!

“It’s effectively three rallies in one with tight, twisty sections through the vineyards, broken asphalt on the military ground and wide country roads in Saarland. If you’re going for the top positions you need to be on the pace through every change of surface; you can’t sit back and let the speed come gradually.

“Of course for us there is no pressure to be pushing for the top results just yet. This is the first of three Tarmac events so it’s important to get the mileage, gain momentum and secure the base knowledge that is so vital to doing well at this level.

“I don’t have a specific result in mind, but we’d like to see some good progression and positive stage times throughout the weekend. It would be nice to improve on last year, and if we can do that, then I think it will be a very positive event for us.”

ADDITIONAL M-SPORT DRIVERS

M-Sport continue to dominate the field with 44 per cent of the overall entry. Twenty-four different nationalities have opted for the Blue Oval – proving that M-Sport’s range of Ford Fiesta rally cars remain a firm favourite with competitors around the globe. Nine Ford Fiesta RS WRCs have been entered alongside two Ford Fiesta RRCs, eight Ford Fiesta R5s and 20 Ford Fiesta R2s.

In addition to Hirvonen and Evans, M-Sport will run a further three Fiesta RS WRCs for Robert Kubica, Dennis Kuipers and Yuriy Protasov. Dutchman Kuipers is making a welcome return to the championship and Ukrainian Protasov is making his debut behind the wheel of M-Sport’s top-specification Fiesta.

The M-Sport team will also run the Fiesta R5 of 2013’s FIA Junior World Rally Champion, Pontus Tidemand. The talented Swede secured a podium finish on his debut with the latest Fiesta at Rally de Portugal and will be capable of a similar feat next week.

Asphalt Switch Opens Up DMACK Fiesta Competition

Posted: August 16, 2014 9:26 PM

After three exciting rounds, where a number of drivers have been battling for victory, the Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy switches surfaces for the only all-asphalt round at Rallye Deutschland next week. Round four of the trophy could spring some surprises with a number of asphalt aces planning to charge as they chase rallying’s top prize of a full season in the 2015 FIA WRC 2 Championship.

Runaway series leader Sander Pärn has excelled on gravel on his way to claiming wins on all three rounds to date. But his grasp at the top of the standings could come under threat. The move to asphalt creates the ideal opportunity for Tarmac drivers such as Frenchman Quentin Gilbert, Spaniard Yeray Lemes and Belgium’s Ghislain de Mevius to up their game and claw back some points.

Lemes is third in the title race and a strong showing from either him or second-placed Brit Tom Cave could see them catapult up the championship table and set up a final-round showdown for the title. Cave has been closest to Pärn all season but broken suspension last time out at Rally Finland saw him slip down the order.

But Pärn has only contested four events on Tarmac and both Gilbert and Cave have signaled their intentions to take the fight to the Estonian as the championship title goes down to the wire. Pärn, who contested Rallye Wartburg last weekend, has a lead of 37 points over Cave and, with a maximum of 43 points on offer next weekend, it’s all to play for.

Finland’s Max Vatanen leads the Rookie runners but he’s not got much experience on asphalt. He and the other Deutschland debutants Szymon Kornicki, Nil Solans and Nicolas Amiouni are likely to find the event quite a challenge next weekend. It’s been a crazy season so far for Leo Urlichich. The Canadian lines-up next week with his fourth co-driver in four events after failing to start Rally Finland when Darren Garrod sustained a back injury in testing. British navigator Michael Gilbey will guide Urlichlich in Germany.

Both José Suárez and Marius Aasen won’t take the start next week – the pair deciding to withdraw from the trophy. The 10 remaining registered runners will be joined by a record seven additional Shoot-Out entries competing in their own cars on DMACK tyres with the hope of winning a place in the final to claim a one-off R5 drive.

The event is set to be a tough challenge for everyone with three distinct types of stage used on the Trier-based rally. The opening day’s action on Friday will primarily use narrow roads which wind and twist their way through the vineyards high on the hills above the Mosel river. They are bumpy, dirty and feature a mix of fast junctions and slow hairpin bends.

Competitors will also tackle the more traditional smooth country roads through the Saarland region which feature grassy verges and muddy cuts if the weather is wet. But the most daunting challenge of all is the abrasive military roads through the infamous Baumholder ranges. Renowned for their slippery surfaces and lined with rally-ending, tank-stopping stones called Hinklesteins, the stages will ensure Saturday’s action is as tough as ever.

To cope with the sealed surface, M-Sport will convert its Ford Fiesta R2 rally cars to asphalt specification for the first time this year. That means bigger front brakes, asphalt dampers and springs and a lower ride-height to improve stability and precision. DMACK will offer competitors its E-marked DMT-RC tyre featuring the WRC-style tread pattern. It will be available in two compounds to cope with the mix of weather conditions and crews will be allowed to use a maximum of 20 tyres.

Rallye Deutschland is also a chance for the trophy technical partners to shine. GEM Fuel will again power the Fiesta R2 cars with its sustainable race fuel – helping the event become one of the most environmentally conscious in the world championship. Competitors will also rely on Morris Lubricants to deliver its high-specification engine oils and brake fluid to cope with the demands of heavy braking associated with high-speed asphalt rallying.

On Friday the rally route takes competitors north of Trier for a loop of three stages tackled twice. But Saturday throws down the gauntlet with over 148km of action including two passes over the mammoth 42.51km Panzerplatte test through Baumholder military range. Sunday’s stages head back to the vineyards with a more sedate repeat loop of two tests making up the 326km of asphalt action over the weekend.

The Main Points

    • Rally Deutschland will be only the fifth Tarmac rally for championship leader Sander Pärn. He has a 37-point championship lead over Tom Cave.
    • A total of 43 championship points are on offer in Germany.
    • Crews will have a choice of two compounds of DMACK tyres.
    • Pärn competed last year in JWRC and Quentin Gilbert in Citroen Top Driver.
    • Pärn and Ghislain de Mevius contested Rallye Wartburg last weekend.
    • It’s the fourth co-driver from four events for Leo Urlichlich and the first Tarmac rally for the Canadian. He tested in Belgium last weekend.
    • Max Vatanen leads the Rookie standings.
Dick Cormack, DMACK managing director, said:
“The switch to asphalt will be interesting and I’m expecting it to potentially open up the championship race a little. The weather conditions in Germany are also unknown so we’ve given crews a choice of two tyre compounds for the first time this season. I’m looking forward to seeing how drivers cope with this tough event and if anyone can close the gap to Sander Pärn.”

Malcolm Wilson OBE, M-Sport managing director, said:
“Following a series of gravel rallies, the competitors now turn their attention to asphalt and a chance for some new drivers to showcase their skills. Sander Pärn has had a perfect start to the season, but we’ll now see what the Tarmac specialists are capable of. The German stages are extremely technical and the crews are going to have to master a blend of speed and adaptability to succeed. They will also have two tyre options available, so it will be interesting to see how well they can manage their selection. Needless to say that another exciting battle awaits and I’m looking forward to seeing how each crew adapts to this notoriously difficult event.”

Driver Quotes

Nicolas Amiouni:
“It’s my first time in Germany and I’m looking forward to the challenge. Although gravel is super fun and I was learning a lot, I’m really looking forward to the surface change, because I’m a little more familiar with Tarmac. I will be doing a small test on Monday in Germany to get some experience of the conditions. This time I will push as hard as I can to see how close I can get to the guys in front.”

Tom Cave:
“This is the first time I will have contested Rally Germany and I can't wait to start the recce to see what I’m up against. I do really enjoy Tarmac driving and my target is to win this rally and go out and set as many fastest times as possible. It’s going to be the same mentality as Finland, I know I have the pace to win, but we need some other factors to all work for us and hopefully a little luck to guide us to the finish in top spot. It would be great to close the gap to Pärn and have the championship go down to the last round in Spain.”

Quentin Gilbert:
“Last year on this rally I was fighting for the podium so hopefully we can show the same pace again this year. After my second place in Finland I hope to move up one step on the podium. We are testing on Monday and I feel better in the car after this good result in Finland – I think we can fight again here for the victory. We really need to win and take a maximum number of extra points for stage wins to get back on the podium in the Championship.”

Yeray Lemes:
“I have more experience on asphalt so, for me, I’m happy that we are moving to Germany. We still have a chance of winning the championship so it will be important to use my experience and take some good points from this rally so that we can be in a position to challenge when we go to my home event in Spain for the last round.”

Szymon Kornicki:
“This is my first time competing in Germany so the specifics of this rally will be new to me but I have heard there are a mixture of surfaces with varying road widths so I am expecting to gain some valuable experience. I have competed on Tarmac far more often than gravel so I hope this experience will help me compete. I am looking forward to seeing how competitive I can be. My main target for this rally is to be happy with my driving and enjoy every stage.”

Ghislain de Mévius:
“I am happy that the trophy is moving to an asphalt race as I have much more experience on this surface. I want to put in a good performance and to really challenge for a place in the top five. I will find it easier to push for faster times on Tarmac and will generally feel more confident. My goal is to come top of the rookies and I feel I have a good chance of doing that.”

Sander Pärn:
“I competed on Rallye Deutschland last year as part of JWRC so I have some experience but this year many stages are different. I have only done four Tarmac rallies in my career so I’m still learning. Last weekend we drove on the Rallye Wartburg as a test and the plan for next week is to get some more good points. There are still two rallies to go and nothing is certain but I hope to maintain my comfortable lead using the same tactics as before, drive carefully and with good feeling and see what happens.”

Nil Solans:
“I enjoy driving on all surfaces so I’m happy that we are changing now to asphalt. This is my first attempt at the rally and I know it’s very difficult so the aim really is to finish, try and get as much experience as possible and maybe we can go for a top-five. We haven’t done anything since Finland so I expect to take a little time just to build up the speed.”

Leo Urlichich:
“I have never completed in Deutschland before nor on Tarmac – so I'm really looking forward to the fun. I'm teaming up with a fourth new co-driver this season, and I can only hope that we are able to finish the event. I have done a one-day test in Belgium on Tarmac, and I have to say that I loved it. I'm last in the championship, but at least that's not really through my own fault. I’m still happy that I haven't made any major driving errors so far, and that I haven't lost any of my passion and excitement, despite this difficult stretch.”

Max Vatanen:
“I have no expectations going into Rallye Deutschland but I hope to finish and, as I have only raced on Tarmac a few times, it’s going to be a steep learning curve for me. I am feeling positive about the experience though. I’m happy to be the leader of the Rookie award but ideally I would like to be challenging for the main prize. However, I am still learning and this is all valuable experience. I’m doing a small test on a track here in Finland but, as is the case with all Scandinavian drivers, I struggle to find suitable Tarmac test roads here.”

Tänak Leads Drive DMACK Asphalt Assault

Posted: August 16, 2014 9:25 PM

Drive DMACK World Rally Team’s Ott Tänak and Raigo Molder will lead the DMACK charge when the FIA World Rally Championship switches to asphalt next week with round nine at Rallye Deutschland. As the first full asphalt event of the season, the German round of the world series attracts fans from across Europe while its demanding special stages are set to lay down another tough challenge for DMACK.

The asphalt rallying rulebook is thrown out the window for Rallye Deutschland. Its unique challenge comes from three different types of special stages with three different road surfaces to test DMACK’s DMT-RC asphalt tyre to the limit.

Many of the German stages run through the technical vineyards high in the hills overlooking the Mosel river. Their narrow, cambered roads are lined with walls and vines, demanding precision and instant turn-in from tyres. The surfaces can become slippery with dirt, soil and mud dragged out as drivers cut corners to find the quickest line.

However the toughest conditions will be faced on the broken asphalt roads on the Panzerplatte stage, which runs twice on Saturday through the infamous Baumholder tank training ground. Grip is compromised as the slippery surface pushes tyres to the limit while the abrasive, broken concrete really tests durability. If that wasn’t enough, huge stones called hinkelsteins line the route so there will be no room for mistakes when Tänak powers his Autotek-run Ford Fiesta R5 through the test.

The third surface is experienced on the more traditional public roads through the Saarland countryside but these smooth stages become treacherously slippery when wet.

To cope with such a wide mix of conditions across one event, the DMT-RC will be available to crews in hard H3 and soft S3 compounds. The tread pattern has grooves on the inside to maximise grip and traction while the outside of the tyre delivers the performance aspect allowing drivers to push and lean on the tyre.

Rallye Deutschland is again based in Trier close to the Luxembourg border. Friday’s action runs across the vineyards in the Mosel region with a three-stage loop repeated after service in Trier. Saturday’s four-stage loop is dominated by two passes over the daunting 42.51km Panzerplatte stage where crews get the opportunity to fit new tyres before the start.

Sunday sees two vineyard tests tackled twice before the 18-stage, 326km event finishes at the Porta Nigra UNESCO world heritage site in the centre of Trier.

The event is also round four of the Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy where 17 crews in Ford Fiesta R2 cars line-up in both the main series and the Shoot-Out for private teams.

Dick Cormack, DMACK motorsport director, said:
“With the mixed weather and range of different, technical surfaces, Rallye Deutschland is always a tough rally for crews. We’ve got two tyre compounds here to cope with the conditions but the demanding stages mean anything can happen. Our asphalt tyres have a tread pattern specifically designed to offer performance across mixed surfaces and we’re confident in their ability to cope in Germany.”

Ott Tänak said:
“I like Tarmac and also the stages in Germany. We’d had some good times here before but the roads are very difficult. You can have different weather on every stage in a loop so it’s always a compromise and the cuts can make things tricky for the second pass. I’m looking forward to the event though – I’m up for the challenge.”

Entry List

Posted: August 13, 2014 3:08 PM

Sam Moffet/James O'Reilly to enter Germany

Posted: July 22, 2014 10:15 PM

Sam Moffett will make his World Rally Championship debut next month on ADAC Rallye Deutschland in the Combilift Ford Fiesta RS WRC. It’s a dream come true for the former Motorsport Ireland Young Rally Driver of the Year who has only rallied on the continent once before, but he is relishing the challenge that lies ahead.

Speaking this week the 24 year old from Co. Monaghan said; “It’s always good to test yourself and there is no better test than the World Rally Championship. I didn’t get to compete on Rally Ireland when it was a WRC round so I can’t wait for Germany. I really enjoyed competing on the Circuit of Ireland against professional drivers this year as part of the European Rally Championship and it’s given me the confidence to try something different. My confidence in the Fiesta is growing all the time.”

Moffett will be partnered in the passenger seat by James O’Reilly and the pair have already had a very successful year winning three rallies outright, including the prestigious Killarney Rally of the Lakes. Germany though will offer a new challenge. Rallye Deutschland is famed for its testing conditions, from tight bumpy lanes through vineyards to wide, open roads through military ranges. Throw some unpredictable weather conditions into the mix and you have one of the most unforgiving rallies in the WRC. ADAC Rallye Deutschland runs from August 21st to 24th and is based in the town of Trier. Sam Moffett will make his World Rally Championship debut next month on ADAC Rallye Deutschland in the Combilift Ford Fiesta RS WRC. It’s a dream come true for the former Motorsport Ireland Young Rally Driver of the Year who has only rallied on the continent once before, but he is relishing the challenge that lies ahead. Speaking this week the 24 year old from Co. Monaghan said; “It’s always good to test yourself and there is no better test than the World Rally Championship. I didn’t get to compete on Rally Ireland when it was a WRC round so I can’t wait for Germany. I really enjoyed competing on the Circuit of Ireland against professional drivers this year as part of the European Rally Championship and it’s given me the confidence to try something different. My confidence in the Fiesta is growing all the time.” Moffett will be partnered in the passenger seat by James O’Reilly and the pair have already had a very successful year winning three rallies outright, including the prestigious Killarney Rally of the Lakes. Germany though will offer a new challenge. Rallye Deutschland is famed for its testing conditions, from tight bumpy lanes through vineyards to wide, open roads through military ranges. Throw some unpredictable weather conditions into the mix and you have one of the most unforgiving rallies in the WRC. ADAC Rallye Deutschland runs from August 21st to 24th and is based in the town of Trier.

Along with Craig Breen, there will be now be 2 Irish entered Fiesta WRCs.

Website / Details / Rally Guide

Posted: May 23, 2014 11:44 AM

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