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Germany - 19-21 Aug 16

Posted: August 20, 2016 7:14 PM - 3396 Hits

Round 9 - 2016 World Rally Championship

Live Results (Germany 2016) Also available at: rally-base results
Radio: WRC All Live Audio Stream
News: www.wrc.com
Event Website: Rally Germany

First stage each day - Irish/UK Times
SS1 Fri - 09:06
SS6 Sat - 07:15
SS15 Sun - 06:13

Asphalt at last! Volkswagen looking forward to home rally event in Germany

Posted: August 17, 2016 6:51 AM

Nothing but asphalt far and wide – Volkswagen is greatly looking forward to the home event in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC). After the team from Wolfsburg made peace with the Rally Germany with a one-two-three result last year, and have established themselves in the ideal starting position as championship leaders in first, second and third place this season, the team is the favourite ahead of the ninth round of the season. For Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F), Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jæger (N/N) and Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN), who will all have to open the route, the starting disadvantage of the last six gravel rallies in a row is no longer an issue on asphalt. Depending on the weather conditions, the first starting positions could even be an advantage on this surface. With the rallies in Germany, China and France, there are now three asphalt rounds in a row on the WRC calendar. In Germany, the participants will take on 18 special stages covering 306.80 kilometres against the clock – including the notorious "Panzerplatte" and the picturesque vineyard stages.

"After six rallies we won't be fighting with a starting disadvantage – since we are on asphalt for the first time after gravel," said Volkswagen Motorsport Director Jost Capito. "Then there is also the fact it is Volkswagen's home event, the historic one-two-three result from last year and the championship positions one, two and three behind us – the conditions ahead of the Rally Germany are the best of the season so far. But we are also aware that our rivals Hyundai, Citroën and M-Sport-Ford are strong and that the Rally Germany is unpredictable and extremely demanding. Which is exactly why we are ready for the task."

Made (it) in Germany: When Volkswagen made peace with the Rally Germany

Victory at the third attempt – and what a victory. After the Volkswagen team missed out on victory, in part dramatically, in 2013 and 2014, they achieved an acclaimed one-two-three result at the rally around Trier in 2015. Finally, the number 1 Polo R WRC of Sébastien Ogier finished in first place, ahead of his team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala and with Andreas Mikkelsen in third place. The result over the 21 special stages in total was just as impressive – with the exception of one stage, the three rally Polos won all of the special stages, including the Power Stage.

Three, two, one … "go": Ogier, Mikkelsen and Latvala first to take to the track

As in 2015, Volkswagen will start the Rally Germany from the first three starting positions in 2016. The order is determined by the current positions in the championship standings up to and including the rally Saturday. Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia have continuously topped the overall standings since March 2014 and currently have 143 points – they will open the stages for the 31st time in a row. Their fiercest rivals are in the Volkswagen camp: Andreas Mikkelsen and Anders Jæger reduced the deficit to 45 points last time around. Third place is occupied by the third Volkswagen duo: Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila, who moved up into third place in the championship after finishing second at the Rally Finland, and now have 87 points.

"Panzerplatte", "Mittelmosel", "Dhrontal" and co. – the sporting challenge

Three different rally worlds in three days – the Rally Germany is not only the first full asphalt event of the WRC year, it is also a real challenge for man and machine in terms of its characteristics. Fast stages through forests and open landscape, narrow, winding paths through vineyards and the highlight with the "Arena Panzerplatte" on the military training ground in Baumholder. Friday will be determined by the two stages "Mittelmosel" and "Moselland", as well as the spectator stage "Ollmuth". Saturday will be characterised by the stages on the "Panzerplatte" with three passes of the short spectator stage and two passes of the "Panzerplatte Lang" stage. Which makes it 90 kilometres against the clock on the military training ground in Baumholder alone, with its notorious "hinkelsteins", which uncompromisingly border the track and have been responsible for the downfall of many cars suspension in the past. Sunday will be rounded off by the two special stages "Dhrontal" in the vineyards, and the closing Power Stage "Sauertal".

50 years of Volkswagen Motorsport – Celebration with historic racing cars and rally cars

Volkswagen's 50th anniversary of motorsport action will be duly celebrated at the home event around Trier. The Formel V Europa e.V. association was formed on 11 July 1966, from which the present-day Volkswagen Motorsport GmbH stems. The spectators will not only be given a view of the history of the brand at the exhibition in the service park. There will also be demo rides in historic rally cars to celebrate the anniversary. Dieter Depping, test and development driver at Volkswagen, will lead the field in a replica of the Golf GTI 16 V, with which Kenneth Eriksson won Group A of the World Rally Championship in 1986, as the zero car. The same Dieter Depping, three-time German rally champion, with three wins at the Rally Germany (1994, 1996 and 1997) is the second most successful driver, after Sébastien Loeb (nine wins), in the history of the unique asphalt rally. However, with another win, Sébastien Ogier could draw level with him this year (currently two wins).

Quotes ahead of the Rally Germany

Sébastien Ogier, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #1
"I always look forward to the Rally Germany, but slightly more than usual this time around. Finally, Julien and I have a realistic chance of fighting for the win under our own steam again after the difficult gravel rallies. Accordingly, I am highly motivated and very keen to repeat the success of last year. The Rally Germany is also Volkswagen's home event and so the whole team wants to deliver a particularly good performance in front of the fans. Testing in the run-up went really well. Making the change from gravel to asphalt was quick and without issue. We had a mix of sunshine and a few showers, so we were able to try out the various set-up version for the Polo R WRC - and Michelin's new wet tyres. That could play a role since the stages are extremely tough in wet weather and errors are punished without mercy."

Jari-Matti Latvala, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #2
"I used the free time ahead of the Rally Germany to test the current Polo and the Polo for the 2017 season. I also contested the historic rally in Finland with my Audi quattro, which is always a great deal of fun. Now I am ready for Germany. Sébastien was very strong last year, overall I was pleased with second place. Finishing in the top three again would be a good result for me this year. Last year I was a little bit too cautious on the Panzerplatte stages and lost a lot of time there. I want to improve on that this year. The Panzerplatte is a real toughie. There are seven different types of surface on that stage. From new concrete, through old, crumbly concrete, to very coarse concrete, and even asphalt, it really does have everything. You have to get used to these conditions first. It is also important to have a good feel for the car when braking on the Panzerplatte stages, since there are many junctions. It is also important to have a well-positioned car in the many fast passages. Only then do you feel confident and can really go on the attack."

Andreas Mikkelsen, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #9
"I'm really looking forward to the Rally Germany, which is always a great challenge. The weather is extremely changeable and the grip level constantly changes on the different asphalt surfaces, which means the set-up needs to be adjusted frequently. This is extremely tough on the drivers and co-drivers, but also the mechanics and engineers in Germany. Compared with last year, there are a few new special stages that I am very excited for. I am particularly looking forward to 'Panzerplatte'. This stage is always a highlight. In the championship, we have consistently reduced the deficit to Sébastien Ogier in the previous rallies and of course it would be great if we were able to do that again this time. But it won't be easy since Seb has always been extremely fast in Germany in recent years. It is Volkswagen's home event so the rally is something very special, but that doesn't really change our preparations. We finished in the top three positions last year. It will no doubt be difficult to repeat that, but we will try."

Did you know that ...

... Volkswagen has clocked up four podium results at the Rally Germany? In addition to the one-two-three result of Ogier/Ingrassia, Latvala/Anttila and Mikkelsen/Fløene in 2015, Mikkelsen/Fløene finished third and secured another podium place for Volkswagen in 2014. Incidentally: Volkswagen were in the clear lead for much of the race each time they started.

... the start and finish podium in Trier will be at the Porta Nigra in front of thousands of spectators? The oldest city in Germany with its trade fair grounds is also the mainstay of the ninth round of the WRC season.

... 3000 volunteers help out at the Rally Germany?

... this year is the 34th edition of the Rally Germany? It is the rally's 14th time as part of the World Rally Championship.

... Volkswagen appeared on the list of winners for the first time in 1987? Back then with a Golf GTI 16V with Jochi Kleint/Manfred Hiemer at the wheel.

M-SPORT POISED TO PROVE TARMAC PACE

Posted: August 17, 2016 6:49 AM

M-Sport World Rally Team’s Mads Østberg and Éric Camilli will tackle the first in a string of asphalt events next week when the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) journeys to ADAC Rallye Deutschland.

Keen to prove the sealed-surface pace of the Ecoboost-powered Ford Fiesta RS WRC, the pairing will be looking to spring a surprise or two.

Arguably the most challenging of the season’s autumn asphalt events, Rallye Deutschland demands much from team and crew alike.

The crews will have to quickly adapt to three very different stage characteristics. The vineyard stages are littered with junctions that require precise car control, but there are also fast roads in the Eifel Mountains and smooth country tests in Saarland.

If that weren’t enough, the crews will also have to tackle daunting speed tests at the Panzerplatte military area which hosts three sprint stages and two passes over a demanding 40 kilometre stage.

This is where the rally can be won or lost and the treacherous ‘Hinkelsteins’ – concrete blocks which are designed to stop tanks – must be avoided at all costs.

The crews must also make the most of the team’s accuracy in forecasting the region’s changeable weather and take advantage of vital information from their personal gravel crews to select the optimum tyre strategy.

Experience can be key and Østberg and co-driver Ola Fløene will have that on their side next week. Asphalt may not be the Norwegian’s preferred surface, but he has the experience and knowledge to make the most of this challenging event.

With 14 previous starts between them, Fløene has finished twice on the podium and Østberg secured his best result of fourth when piloting the Fiesta RS WRC in 2012. The pairing finished fourth on the last asphalt outing in Monte-Carlo and contested Rally Islas Canarias with the Ford Fiesta R5 earlier this year to perfect their sealed-surface skills.

Their previous experience should work to their advantage and Østberg should not be discounted for a strong result.

In the sister M-Sport Fiesta RS WRC, Camilli and co-driver Benjamin Veillas have been looking forward to the asphalt fixtures. More accustomed to sealed-surface rallying, the Frenchman’s career has been dominated by Tarmac rallies and he’ll be looking to showcase his potential on this surface next week.

With two previous starts to his name, Camilli made his WRC debut at the German event in 2014 and quickly impressed – leading the J-WRC category ahead of his more experienced rivals. Having followed that up with a second place in the WRC 2 category last year, he’ll be hoping to impress once again.

Both crews will share three full days of testing which includes roads in both the vineyards and the military ground to best prepare for the challenges ahead.

M-Sport will also run a third Ford Fiesta RS WRC for Ott Tänak and Raigo Mõlder. The Estonians have proven the pace of the Fiesta on gravel, and could also be candidates for a strong-showing on asphalt.

QUOTE, END QUOTE

Mads Østberg said:
“I naturally feel more at home on gravel, but I enjoy asphalt rallies and Rallye Deutschland is one of my favourites. The tricky conditions make it a really challenging event, and I enjoy that – the muddier and trickier the better!

“I secured my best result here with the Fiesta in 2012 and, as I remember, the car handles really well on Tarmac. We have one and a half days testing to perfect the set-ups and I feel that we are well-prepared.

“Earlier in the year, Ola and I contested Rally Islas Canarias with the Fiesta R5. We had good speed on those roads and we’re keen to take that knowledge forward. Ola also knows what it takes to be on the podium in Germany, so I couldn’t have anyone better sitting alongside me!

“We’re ready for the fight, and ready to give it our all as always.”

Éric Camilli said:
“This is the event that I have been looking forward to all year. It won’t be easy, but I am feeling more confident ahead of this one. I feel at home on asphalt, and I know this rally quite well having competed here twice before.

“We completed a test in the vineyards earlier this week, and we’ll be on the military range on Sunday. I’ve not experienced a world rally car on asphalt since Rallye Monte-Carlo, and the circumstances are completely different now. I was pleased with my speed in Monte, but now I have more knowledge and a lot more understanding so I hope it will be possible to do something next week.

“It is still important for us to gain experience but if we feel comfortable we’ll push hard. I hope we can build on the asphalt pace I showed at the very start of the season – that is the target.”

Team Principal, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said:
“Having already proven the potential of the Fiesta on gravel, we’re keen to do the same on asphalt. We know that we have a good package for Tarmac rallying and all of our drivers are capable of proving that next week.

“Asphalt might not be Mads’ preferred surface, but his experience and knowledge of this event means that he cannot be discounted. He and Ola have been working on their asphalt pace and could find themselves well-placed to challenge for a strong result.

“Éric has been looking forward to this one. At the beginning of the year he selected this event to show his true potential, and I think we could see that next week. So far he’s been gaining experience, but he knows this rally well. It is still important for him to secure the mileage, but there is less pressure and he can go out there and enjoy it.”

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