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Germany (P/J/T) - 18-22 Aug 10

Posted: August 22, 2010 12:43 PM - 4943 Hits

Round 9 - 2010 World Rally Championship
P – Production Championship
T - FIA WRC Cup for S2000 Teams
J – Junior Championship

Live Results: www.wrc.com
WRC All Live Audio Stream
SS1 - 8:43am Irish Time

Video Clip - Duvals off

Posted: August 22, 2010 12:43 PM


Posted: August 18, 2010 9:16 PM

Red Bull rally driver Patrik Sandell will resume his bid for Super 2000 World Rally Championship glory on the all-asphalt Rallye Deutschland from August 19-22 full of confidence following a successful two-day test in Austria recently.

Sandell, who is currently fifth in the SWRC drivers' standings after making four appearances in the series so far this season, spent the test fine-tuning the set-up of his Red Bull-backed Skoda Fabia S2000 and also adapting his driving style to the requirements of Tarmac competition.

"My experience of driving on asphalt is not completely zero but it's not too much either so any chance I get to drive on this kind of surface is very useful," said the former Junior world rally champion. "We did some work on the set-up to make sure the car works perfectly when we get to the rally but I also received some really good advice from my team chief Raimund Baumschlager."

Baumschlager, whose BRR preparation company runs Sandell's Skoda, doubles up as a rally driver in his spare time and recently secured his 10th Austrian championship crown aboard a Fabia S2000. With 90 per cent of the Austrian rallies based on asphalt, Baumschlager has plenty of sealed-surface driving experience and accompanied Sandell during the test.

"Raimund has done thousands of kilometres in the Skoda on Tarmac so he has a lot of knowledge," said the 28-year-old Sandell, who hails from Sweden. "He was able to give me advice about the set-up and also some tips on my driving such as when to brake later when he was with me in the car. It was a really big help and I feel really confident for the rally because of this."

Sandell reckons his closest opposition in Germany will come from SWRC points' leader Xevi Pons, fellow Swede P-G Andersson and Czech driver Martin Prokop.

"It will be a big battle between us far but I really believe I can do very well against them all," said Sandell, who took part on Rallye Deutschland in 2007. "I really like the stages and sometimes the road can be quite slippery, especially when it rains, which is a challenge I enjoy. But there is a lot of work to do on this rally because you have to change the set-up quite a bit between some of the stages as there is quite a big variety of layouts and surfaces."

Rallye Deutschland is based in the historic city of Trier. Following a ceremonial start on Thursday evening (August 19), action proper gets underway on the morning of Friday August 20 and features 405 competitive kilometres over 19 special stages prior to the finish on Sunday afternoon. It is the longest round of the WRC so far this season in terms of stage distance, a fact Sandell is relishing.

"My physical level is always very good so it is not a concern to me that the rally is so long," said Sandell, who will be co-driven by regular navigator Emil Axelsson. "If anything the distance provides me with extra motivation to do well."


Posted: August 18, 2010 9:11 PM

Hermann Gassner Jr has vowed to make the most of his wildcard entry in the Production Car World Rally Championship on Rallye Deutschland, which takes place in Trier from August 19-22.

The Red Bull-backed 21-year-old from Surheim in Germany is one of two drivers nominated by the event organisers to score points in the category for two-litre turbocharged production cars on the all-asphalt contest.

Driving a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX for the Baumschlager Rallye and Racing operation, Gassner Jr says he will do all he can to score a strong result in front of his home fans.

"Of course there is more pressure racing at home but I like this rally a lot and cannot wait to get started and achieve the best result possible," said Gassner Jr.
"It won't be easy because it is a difficult rally and I do not know the pace of some of the other guys in the PWRC. But I did a good test in Austria recently and feel very confident I can be on the podium at the finish."

Gassner Jr topped the Group N standings when Rallye Deutschland last appeared in the world championship in 2008. He says he still remembers the achievement with great fondness.

"It's definitely one of the best memories I have from my career," said the Germany rally champion. "But I also remember the only way you can achieve a good result like that is to drive a good, clean race. The Panzerplatte stage on day two of the rally, for example, is very tough. It is 48 kilometres long and very hard on the car but also the tyres. You have to be smooth at the start of the stage and not overheat the tyres, otherwise you stand no chance."

As well as taking on the leading drivers in the PWRC, Gassner will also be going up against his father, Hermann Gassner Sr, a vastly experienced and successful driver in his homeland.

"For sure it is not so important to think about beating my father because my focus has to be on the other drivers in the PWRC," said Gassner Jr, who will be co-driven as usual by fellow German Katharina Wuestenhagen. "But of course it will be nice to try and be better than him.

"Whatever happens, this is a very important rally for me. I was not happy with my results in Sweden and Portugal so I am looking to get a good result on my home rally. It is really important to prove to the people in Germany I have the speed and the ability to be a successful rally driver."

Rallye Deutschland, round nine of the World Rally Championship, features 405 competitive kilometres over 19 special stages. Action gets underway on the morning of Friday August 20 with the finish in Trier on Sunday afternoon (August 22).

Franz Wittmann/Klaus Wicha compete in the ADAC Rally as preparation for the IRC

Posted: August 16, 2010 11:22 AM

Franz Wittmann and Klaus Wicha are aware of the challenge. Following the long break in the IRC it is paramount to be perfectly prepared for the next assignment (Barum-Rally from August 27 to 29 in Zlin). Therefore the Interwetten Racing-duo, without further ado, chose a World Championship run in order to get into gears again. Thus Franz Wittmann will steer his Peugeot 207 S2000 through the vinyards alongside the Mosel or the legendary military training area Baumholder at the ADAC Rally Germany next weekend.

“It’s a perfect fit since the Rally Germany and the IRC run in the Czech Republic can be handled logistically within one week. Additionally, it was important to prepare for the IRC with a racing assignment after the long break. Testing, of course, is also very important but one can’t compare that to the tension of a competition.”

Still, the Lower Austrian is entering his second World Championship run (after having given his debut in Sweden in 2004) far from unprepared. Last week some testing runs took place in the vinyards and on the military training ground. For even if it is only a testing assignment, Franz Wittmann nevertheless wants to cut a fine figure. After all, his S2000-competition features the likes of Henning Solberg (Nor), Xavi Pons (Spa), Per Gunnar Andersson (Swe) or Martin Prokop (Cz) among others.

“We did very well on the set-up during the last days. Currently the IRC has top priority for me, of course, but it surely will prove to be very interesting to compete with these top drivers here in Germany”, explains the Interwetten-Racing driver.

The ceremonial start of the “ADAC Rally Germany” traditionally takes place at 20.00 in front of the Porta Nigra in Trier on August 19. 19 special stages with a length of 407,31 kilometres are then scheduled from August 20 to 22. The overall length of the rally measures 1.194,13 kilometres. The finishing line will be crossed on Sunday (August 22) at 15.45 once more in front of the Porta Nigra.

Red Bull Rallye Deutschland preview

Posted: August 16, 2010 11:17 AM

The last time that Kimi Raikkonen set foot on military ground was probably when he did national service as a youngster back home in Finland.

Everyone aged 18 or over has to do military service in Finland, even Formula One World Champions. So every year 27,000 Finnish boys (women are exempted) join the army. In return for getting up at 5am and enduring cold showers for up to a year, the young conscripts are paid between four and 10 Euros per hour.

Most people are keen never to go back. Yet Kimi will return to military duty once more this weekend, when he takes on some of the most challenging asphalt stages on the World Rally Championship, held in the Baumholder military area on day two of the Rallye Deutschland in Germany.

These long stages are made up of concrete roads that were previously used for testing tanks. By the side of the road are huge stone blocks known as hinkelsteins: these were originally designed for preventing the tanks from going off the road. Needless to say, hitting one of these in a rally car is not recommended.

Luckily, Kimi has a considerably more sophisticated vehicle than a tank at his disposal: the all-conquering Citroen C4 WRC. And the remaining two days of the Rallye Deutschland, on Friday and Sunday, are somewhat more normal than the unique challenge of Baumholder.

The difference between driving on a circuit and on an asphalt rally stage is huge. But Bulgaria last month showed Kimi's potential on sealed surfaces in a rally car, and he is determined to capitalise on the experience in Germany this weekend.

"I don't know exactly what the German stages will be like, but I know that they will be very different to Bulgaria," said the 2007 Formula One World Champion and winner of 18 Grands Prix.
"In racing, the surface of one circuit is not massively different to the surface of another, although there are some small changes. In rallying, the difference is huge on every event. There is so much variety on a rally: every kilometre and every corner is different. That's why experience is so important in this sport. So I just need to keep on building up my knowledge: I will try my best in Germany but I really need to make sure that I am there at the finish so that I can learn all about this event. Everyone tells me that the stages are quite complicated so we will have to be careful, especially if it is raining."

Co-driver Kaj Lindstrom knows what to expect from the Rallye Deutschland, having competed on the event twice previously alongside four-time World Champion Tommi Makinen: one of the many rally experts who have been impressed by what Kimi has done in his first year of the world championship.

"This is only going to be Kimi's second World Championship asphalt rally, and just his ninth WRC event," added Kaj.
"Germany is not going to be an easy one, but Bulgaria was very good for us and we continued making progress in Finland. I'm really pleased by the way that Kimi has come so far in an extremely short space of time: nobody has rallied at this level before with so little experience, and that's a great achievement. For me, the most important thing in Germany is that we continue learning, work hard on our pace notes, and try to get a solid result. Like Kimi said, it's all about getting the experience."

Luckily for Kimi, Rallye Deutschland is the only time that he will be forced into military action this year. The 'iceman' is 30, and the obligation to be called into the army in Finland ends when you are 28.

The Citroën Junior Team heads to Germany

Posted: August 13, 2010 3:30 PM

The Rallye Deutschland, the second asphalt round of this season, has been eagerly awaited by the Citroën Junior Team. Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia make a return to the cockpit of the number 7 C4 WRC and their aim is to consolidate the potential that they showed in Bulgaria. Kimi Räikkönen and Kaj Lindström, who naturally feel comfortable on asphalt, have exactly the same objective.

After a very encouraging performance in Bulgaria, the Citroën Junior Team is hoping to do even better on a rally that contains quite different types of asphalt.
“Everyone in the team has very good memories of our trip to Bulgaria,” commented team manager Benoit Nogier. “Kimi, who had so much to learn this year, showed just what he is capable of on his first asphalt World Championship Rally and Sébastien was very competitive too. However, the Rally Bulgaria was new for everyone. In Germany, we will be up against drivers with plenty of experience of the terrain. So the objective we have fixed for our drivers is not to make any mistakes. I’m sure that our C4 WRCs are capable of some excellent results.”

Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia are currently second in the World Rally Championship for drivers after eight of 13 rounds and they are contesting the Rallye Deutschland for the second time. Their first time in Germany dates from the 2008 season, when they claimed victory in the Junior World Rally Championship classification, driving a Citroën C2 Super 1600.
“Things will be completely different at the wheel of the C4 WRC” said Sébastien. “ The route in Germany is very specialised, with one stage in particular that stands out. On Saturday we will drive a stage that is nearly 50 kilometres long twice, on a military range, and that is really going to separate the men from the boys. Generally speaking, one characteristic of the rally is several grip changes. It’s important to make a good set of pace notes and work well with your safety crew. The goal is to try and get to the end without making mistakes, hopefully coming close to the pace of Sebastien Loeb – who is definitely the man to beat in Germany!”

Kimi Räikkönen has been comfortable with the Citroën C4 WRC on asphalt since he first drove it, and now he will have a new playing field on the challenging stages that run along the shores of the Mosel River.
“This will be another new rally for me,” commented Kimi. “On my first asphalt rally with the Citroën C4 WRC, I had a good feeling immediately. The most important thing is for me to get used to driving a WRC car on this surface. From my past experience I can say that I find driving on asphalt a bit more natural, but driving a rally car is still a completely different thing to any form of circuit racing.”

Kaj Lindström, who has been alongside the former Grand Prix champion since he made his rally debut, is also feeling optimistic. “We’re making progress on each rally, which is essential for us this year,” he concluded. “Our performance in Bulgaria, on our first asphalt rally, was the most impressive we have put in since the start of the season and I know that there is still plenty more to come from Kimi.”

Three questions to... Sébastien Ogier
Has second place at the end of this year’s World Rally Championship become an objective for you?
“We’re going to try and hang onto this second place. It would be a great result if we finished runner-up in the World Rally Championship. So far we’re off to a good start. There are several asphalt rallies ahead of us where we should hopefully be able to stay in front of Jari-Matti Latvala, who is currently behind us in the championship classification.”

This will be your first Rallye Deutschland in a WRC car, while there are other drivers who already have seven starts under their belts...
“We know that it’s going to be quite a lot more difficult than the rallies we have done recently. Our objective remains to acquire experience while staying humble. This is an event that we do not know very well, as we have only done it once in a C2 Super 1600. On that occasion it went well, as we won the Junior classification. But in a WRC car, things will be completely different. Our goal is to beat the Fords at least and to come as close as we can to the best...”

At the end of this season, you’re splitting your time between the Citroën Total World Rally Team on gravel and the Citroën Junior Team on asphalt. Is it tricky switching from one team to another?
“Citroën is like a big family, so the Citroën Junior Team and the Citroën Total World Rally Team are quite close. In Finland, which was my debut in the factory team, everything went extremely well. But it will be very easy to work with my Citroën Junior Team colleagues again. I’m not worried about it at all!”

Loeb and Elena on the way to new records?

Posted: August 13, 2010 3:28 PM

For Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena, Rally Germany is an exceptional event. Since its reintegration into the World Championship calendar in 2002, the Franco-Monegasque pair have won it on every occasion and they are determined to pursue their unbeaten record! In the Citroën Total World Rally Team’s second C4 WRC, Dani Sordo will have a new co-driver for the first time, Diego Vallejo.

After Bulgaria, Rally Germany is the second of the four asphalt rallies in the 2010 FIA World Championship. This event has nothing but good memories for the Citroën Total World Rally Team beginning with Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena’s first real victory (2002). Six more successes have followed, and Seb and Daniel hold the record for the number of consecutive wins in the same event.

An eighth success would enable the six-time world champion duo to improve their statistics, but that would be purely incidental. Should the French national anthem rings out on Sunday at the Porta Nigra in Trier, it will signify that the Citroën crew is well on its way to another world title. In the eight rallies already run this season, Loeb and Elena have always finished on the podium and four times on the topmost step. With 48 and 61 points in hand over Sébastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala, the leaders find themselves in an ideal situation - one which they can still improve!

“I’ve always felt good in this rally and things have always gone well for me here. My aim in Germany is obviously an eighth victory,” says Loeb who will be racing only a few dozen kilometres away from his native Alsace. “But three other good drivers also have C4 WRCs, the best car of the moment. That means that I’m going to have to pull out all the stops to stay in front of them. It’s an interesting challenge as the three legs are all different. The stages among the Mosel vines have nothing in common with those in the Baumholder military camp. As is often the case, the weather can play a very important role in the outcome of the event, so it looks like it‘s going to be an exciting and unpredictable race.”

After competing in Rally Finland in the Citroën Junior Team, Dani Sordo is back in the cockpit of the no. 2 C4 WRC. The Spaniard will be backed up by Diego Vallejo, who has replaced Marc Marti.
“It isn’t a sudden decision, but I reached the conclusion that there were some things I had to change to progress,” explains Dani. “Marc has given me a lot over the past six seasons and we parted on friendly terms. Diego and I have known each other for a long time; we’re on the same wave length and I think we’re going to work together in real harmony. It will be his first outing in Rally Germany but I don’t think it’s one of the most difficult events for a co-driver.”
Dani was second in this event in 2006 and 2008 and intends to do at least as well this year.
“As in Bulgaria, I’ll try and score the maximum number of points for Citroën. It won’t be easy and in particular, I will have to watch out in the 47-km stage in the military camp. It’s very hard on tyres and you have to adopt the right rhythm to avoid punctures.”

Three questions to Olivier Quesnel
Let’s look back on Rally Finland. With Sébastien Ogier in second place and Sébastien Loeb just behind, several people expected you to inverse the positions
“Like in Portugal we opted for the sporting aspect by not interfering in the classification in an artificial manner. You had to have an overview of the situation. Mikko Hirvonen had retired and Petter Solberg was behind our two drivers. Third place for Sébastien Loeb was a very good result in the context of the drivers’ championship. By leaving Sébastien Ogier in second place we were able to keep up the pressure on Jari-Matti Latvala. At the same time, this result meant that Ogier didn’t lose too many points in relation to Latvala, his direct rival in the championship. I’d like to add that we talked the situation through with our two drivers and Sébastien Loeb told us that he didn’t want to finish second in such conditions.”

Does that mean you’ll allow your drivers to fight it out between themselves till the end of the season?
“Citroën Racing’s aim is to keep the World Rally Championship Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ titles. At present, we’re on target to achieve this as Sébastien Loeb and Citroën lead both championships. As in Finland, we’ll have to analyse each situation as it arises.”

Dani Sordo will have Diego Vallejo as co-driver in this rally. Is it the start of a new season for him?
“I certainly hope so! With the exception of Rally Bulgaria, Dani has experienced a fairly difficult season so far. It became obvious that a change was necessary as the rallies unfolded. It was up to him to take the decision. He’s made his choice calmly after examining several possibilities. We’d like to welcome Diego Vallejo, and we hope he’ll help Dani to finish the season on a high note. I’m still convinced that his first victory in the world championship isn’t too far off.”

Ford looks to transfer high-speed win from gravel to asphalt

Posted: August 13, 2010 12:52 PM

BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally team take their assault on the FIA World Rally Championship to the German city of Trier next week for round nine of the series. Rallye Deutschland (19 – 22 August) returns to the world stage after a year's absence from the demanding and unpredictable roads. The changing nature of the characteristics and surface of the speed tests and the ever-present threat of rain can offer the type of conditions that make it a tricky event for competitors.

Victory for Jari-Matti Latvala and his co-driver Miikka Anttila on their home event of Rally Finland earlier this month earned Latvala a place in the record books becoming the youngest driver to win the famous Jyvaskyla-based event since the WRC began in 1973. The pair also moved into third place in the drivers' standings. Finnish team mates Mikko Hirvonen and co-driver Jarmo Lehtinen will be looking to get back on the pace after an accident on day one put them out of their home event.

The rally is based in Germany's oldest city, Trier, close to the border with Luxembourg and the speed tests cover three vastly different types of road. The bumpy, narrow roads in the Mosel vineyards on the first and last legs comprise fast sections linked by hairpin bends as they rise and fall among the grapes. Corners are frequently hidden by tall vines and there is no rhythm to the artificial tracks. The public roads in Saarland that are used on Saturday are faster and more flowing, but are often wooded and can be equally tricky in the wet. But the infamous Baumholder military ranges provide the sternest test and the 48.00km Arena Panzerplatte test that is used twice during the second leg is the longest of the season.

The roads there are used for tank training by US soldiers and are unique to the series. Fast, wide asphalt contrasts with bumpy, abrasive concrete which will demand high durability from Pirelli's tyres. Massive kerb stones known as hinkelstein, designed to keep the tanks on the road, sit on the edge and will punish the slightest mistake. The tracks are always dirty, a mix of sand and gravel making conditions slippery in the dry and treacherous in the wet.

This will be Hirvonen's sixth start here, third in 2007 being the 30-year-old Finn's best result.
"I have a love, hate relationship with this rally! When it's dry the stages are really nice to drive but when the conditions are wet it makes the roads very tricky with all the mud and water around. Of all the three different characteristics we see in Germany I prefer the vineyards. We have fantastic grip, the stages are not very technical and we can build up a really good rhythm because of the high speeds.

The Baumholder stages are a unique challenge. The surface is changing all the time, it's very tricky and the road is bumpy meaning that the right car setup is crucial. I was disappointed with the result in Finland but encouraged by our speed. With the all the improvements we've made I'm looking forward to seeing what's possible. I want to be fighting for the podium." commented Hirvonen.

Latvala has six Rallye Deutschland starts to his name.
"Germany's stages have many cuts and so the roads are dirty giving me a lack of confidence when the grip level is changing so regularly. That's why this has always been a difficult event for me. Previously I have set some good times on the Baumholder sections because you can't cut the corners and I prefer the wide, fast roads in this military area. The weather can be changeable and you have to adapt very quickly to the conditions..

Driving at the Nurburgring taught me that if I turn into corners later, I will get a better speed at the exit to the corner and that has improved my style and speed on asphalt. Winning Rally Finland has really boosted my confidence and I'm hoping for a top five position." added Latvala

Abu Dhabi's Khalid Al Qassimi and Michael Orr will drive the team's third Focus RS WRC in their third appearance in Germany. "Rallye Deutschland will be the first asphalt round of the WRC so far this season for Michael and I, so we will be hoping to adapt to the different surface quickly and put in a competitive performance."

Team News
* Tyre partner Pirelli will provide two tyre specifications for the BP Ford Abu Dhabi drivers. The standard PZero asphalt tyre will be available primarily in hard compound, but with a limited amount of soft compound rubber for use in cold or wet weather. Teams are not allowed to hand-carve additional cuts into the rubber in the event of rain or mud and each car can carry two spares.

* The team began a four-day pre-event test yesterday (Thursday). Latvala drove for one day in France before Hirvonen tackles two days at the wheel in Germany today and Saturday. The session ends with Latvala testing for a final day in Germany.

* Five other Focus RS WRCs are entered. Matthew Wilson / Scott Martin will be joined in the Stobart M-Sport Ford team by François Duval / Denis Giraudet, while Ken Block / Alex Gelsomino will drive a Monster World Rally Team car. Bernhard Ten Brinke / Eddy Chevaillier and Erik von Loon / Harmen Scholtalbers will also drive privately-entered cars. The rally is the seventh round of the S-WRC and eight Ford Fiesta S2000 cars will start, five of which are registered for S-WRC points. It is also the fourth round of the Fiesta SportTrophy International series and six Fiesta R2 cars are eligible to score points.

* The rally has huge significance for Ford. The company's European headquarters in Cologne is 165km from the rally base in Trier and the Saarlouis factory, home of the Focus road car, is only 65km away. Mikko Hirvonen and Jarmo Lehtinen will visit the plant on the Monday (16 August) where they will sign autographs and meet employees.

Rally Route
The route shows few variations from 2008, although organisers have taken advantage of new regulations to increase the competitive distance to 407.31km. most of the roads have been used in previous years although there is one new stage in Saarland during the second leg. The rally is again based around the service park in Trier, although the second day includes two remote service areas at Birkenfeld. After Thursday evening's start ceremony at Trier's historic Porta Nigra, a UNESCO World Heritage site, Friday's action is based in the Mosel. Saturday is split between tests in northern Saarland and Baumholder before the final day returns to the vineyards. The rally ends with a spectacular super special stage around Porta Nigra. Drivers tackle 19 stages in a route of 1194.63km.

Tarmac tester looms for FSTi crews in Germany

Posted: August 13, 2010 12:04 PM

The Fiesta SportTrophy International (FSTi) series will move to Germany next week for the ninth edition of Rally Deutschland where six Fiesta R2 entries will prepare for the FSTi’s first asphalt round of the season.

The seven-round series follows the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) calendar and the ADAC Rally Deutschland is the fourth round of this year’s FSTi championship. It will be the first asphalt round of the year in the FSTi championship and with only one of the six competitors having contested the event since its inception into the WRC in 2002, it will be a tough event.

The three-day event will kick off with an opening ceremony at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Porta Nigra on Thursday 28 August and will feature a total distance of 1,194 km, comprising of 19 special stages covering 407 km.

Harry Hunt (21) and co-driver Sebastian Marshall (22) will be fighting hard to try to take back their lead in the FSTi series and close the 13 point gap on current championship leaders, Victor Henriksson (22) and Håkan Palm.

78 - Harry Hunt (21) & Sebastian Marshall (22) – Fiesta R2 FSTi position: 2

The British duo are currently running second in the FSTi series, having lost their lead when they were forced to retire at Neste Oil Rally Finland after sustaining too much damage to continue after a crash on the final day. Hunt currently lies in eighth position in the FIA Junior World Rally Championship (J-WRC) but has not selected this rally as a nominated points scoring round for the J-WRC. The young Briton gained valuable experience driving his Fiesta R2 on asphalt when he contested Rally Bulgaria in June, but was forced to retire on the final day. The 21-year-old is hoping his experience from Bulgaria will give him an advantage in Germany where he will be looking to secure his third points finish in the FSTi series.

Harry Hunt (21) said:
“I’ve never been to Rallye Deutschland before so I’m not sure what to expect. From what I’ve heard about the stages, it looks like this will be a tough round and the days are very long. We had some good experience of driving the [Fiesta] R2 on Tarmac at Rally Bulgaria so I’m hoping this will help our performance in Germany. It’s a very different feeling to driving on gravel, so I’m hoping this will give us an advantage over some of the other FSTi entries. I’m looking forward to the challenge and we’ll be pushing hard to try and take the FSTi championship lead from Victor [Henriksson].”

79 - Bader Al Jabri (25) & Stephen McAuley – Fiesta R2 FSTi position: 3
Team Abu Dhabi members, Bader Al Jabri and co-driver Stephen McAuley finished second in FSTi at the Vodafone Rally de Portugal and third at the recent Neste Oil Rally Finland. The duo has demonstrated great potential on Tarmac, and it is Al Jabri’s preferred surface despite having less experience compared to driving on gravel. Al Jabri’s only Tarmac experience in the WRC has been at the 2009 Rally de España, when he showed good pace in his Fiesta ST and it is hoped that the young Emirate can demonstrate a similar performance in Germany. The duo is just eight points behind Briton’s Harry Hunt and will be aiming for a third consecutive points finish next week to try to move up into the top two.

80 - Majed Al Shamsi & Allan Harryman – Fiesta R2 FSTi position: 6
Majed Al Shamsi and Allan Harryman got off to a flying start this year as the duo took victory in the FSTi series in June’s tough Vodafone Rally de Portugal. However, the Team Abu Dhabi crew were less fortunate at Neste Oil Rally Finland when they were forced to retire on the final day due to a reported loss of oil pressure on their Fiesta R2. Like team-mate Al Jabri, Al Shamsi’s WRC experience on Tarmac is limited to 2009’s Rally de España in his Fiesta ST. He is just four points off snatching fifth position in the FSTi series and will be looking to produce a strong performance in Germany to move into the top three.

149 - Christian Riedemann (22) & Josefine Beinke (18) – Fiesta R2 FSTi position: 12=
After a significant lead on his first gravel event in Portugal, disappointment struck when Christian Riedemann and Josefine Beinke succumbed to the rough Portugal conditions with a broken steering arm on the final day and were forced into retirement. However, the young Germans quickly bounced back and went on to take a class win and impressive fourth place overall at Rallye Niedersachsen in Germany. Riedemann then went on to impress at Neste Oil Rally Finland when he crept up the leaderboard, moving into third position on the final day. However, disaster struck and he had to retire just three stages from the end with a broken driveshaft. Riedemann has been nominated as the J-WRC Guest Entry for ADAC Rally Deutschland and is a strong favourite to win FSTi on his home rally.

81 – Khalil Al Shaikh (27) & Killian Duffy (27) – Fiesta R2 FSTi position: N/A
Khalil Al Shaikh and Killian Duffy make up the final crew of Team Abu Dhabi in Germany, after the team has given him the chance to show his mettle in the WRC. Like his Abu Dhabi team-mates, Al Shaikh has little experience of driving on Tarmac. Despite being his first FSTi round of the season, Al Shaikh has been building up his experience in preparation for the WRC over the last two years in various Middle East rallies and is aiming for a to cross the finish line on his debut WRC event.

85 - Joachim Müller-Wende & Hans-Joachim Grimberg – Fiesta R2 FSTi position: N/A
The German duo both have extensive rallying experience and have previously competed in Rallye Deutschland in 2001, 2002 and more recently in 2008 with FSTi. In 2008’s Rallye Deutschland, Müller-Wende finished third in the N3 class and second in the FSTi classification. The German businessman also took his first FSTi stage win at the event. Tarmac is Müller-Wende’s preferred surface and, with the only driver to have past experience of the stages in Germany, he will be tough competition for the other FSTi competitors to beat.

Duval rejoins Stobart for Rallye Deutschland

Posted: August 13, 2010 11:10 AM

François Duval and co-driver Denis Giraudet will join the Stobart M-Sport Ford World Rally Team for the ADAC Rallye Deutschland next week.

Duval, an experienced tarmac driver, has contested Rallye Deutschland every year since its inception to the FIA World Rally Championship in 2002. The 29-year-old Belgian driver has had three second place finishes in 2004, 2005 and in 2007; where he finished just 20 seconds behind the leader. His last outing at the Trier-based event was with the Stobart M-Sport Ford team in 2008 when he finished third overall.

Joining Duval as the other nominated points scorer in Germany are regular Stobart M-Sport crew members Matthew Wilson/Scott Martin. The British duo will be looking to improve on their last performance at the event in 2008 when they finished twelfth overall.

Wilson and Martin have been preparing hard for the second asphalt round of the season by undergoing testing in the south of France last week. They finished the first asphalt round of the season, Rally Bulgaria, ninth overall so will be keen to improve their performance in the Ford Focus RS WRC this time round.

Henning Solberg/Ilka Minor will also be entered under the Stobart M-Sport Ford banner but will be back behind the wheel of a Ford Fiesta Super 2000 for this year’s Rallye Deutschland. The Norwegian driver will not be nominated to score any manufacturer points but will return to drive the Ford Focus RS WRC at Rally Japan in September.


Posted: August 13, 2010 11:08 AM

There is no such thing in life as a cast iron guarantee but a Sebastien Loeb victory on Rallye Deutschland is about as close as it gets. French ace Loeb, the six-time world champion and lead driver of the Citroen Total World Rally Team, has never been beaten in Germany since the country's all-asphalt event was elevated to world championship status in 2002.

He starts this year's rally, which returns to the WRC schedule following a one-year absence, 48 points ahead of Citroen team-mate Sebastien Ogier and the clear favourite to land his eighth victory on the Trier-based event, which runs from August 19-22 and counts as round nine of the 2010 World Rally Championship.

Loeb, who has claimed 22 of his 58 WRC event wins using Pirelli tyres, described the task facing the crews and their tyres in Germany: "It's an absolute challenge. There are some very fast sections, some extremely difficult passages, narrow and then wide asphalt roads and the surfaces are so varied. The stages in the Moselle vineyards require 100 per cent concentration and the satisfaction afterwards [when you get it right] is immense because the roads are so narrow.

"Then you have the Baumholder [military ranges], which are unlike any other asphalt roads we know. There are rough, clean, wide and fast sections with gravel, mud and dust thrown in. Nowhere is it harder for a driver to find the right mix. If you want to win in Germany you have to be successful on these stages."

Like all his rivals competing in Germany in four-wheel drive machinery, Loeb will choose from the hard or soft compound version of Pirelli's PZero tyre, which has been designed specifically for asphalt use as part of Pirelli's three-year agreement as the official tyre supplier to the WRC. The hard compound is intended for dry conditions with the soft version offering better grip in the event of rain. However, because the road surface in the vineyard stages is less abrasive than on some other asphalt events, crews could opt for the soft compound even when there has been no rainfall.

"If the weather is dry then we expect drivers to use the hard compound PZero tyre in Baumholder but it is possible that some will use the soft compound in the vineyard stages," said Pirelli's senior WRC tyre engineer Matteo Braga.
"The Tarmac in the vineyards is not so abrasive like it was in Bulgaria, for example, and you don't have the long, high-speed corners, which means the soft compound tyre will not be so susceptible to wear. The surface in the vineyards is also quite smooth so the soft compound tyre can provide more grip."

Although it was largely dry during Germany's last appearance in the WRC in 2008, inclement weather has been a feature of the event in the past, a fact not lost on Braga and his team of engineers and tyre technicians, who will be supplying tyres to more than 60 competitors.

"We can have a lot of heavy rain in Germany so we will have a lot of people using the soft compound PZero tyre," said Braga.
"Because there are eight tyre changes on the rally, the Priority 1 and 2 drivers can use a total of 54 tyres, which is 14 more than in Bulgaria. They have an allocation of 40 hard and 32 soft compound tyres so it will be a busy rally for our team, particularly as there are two choices of tyre compound and lots of competitors.

"Like always, though, we are prepared for this big number and have provided extra resources to ensure we provide the same quality of product and service we do on all rallies."

As on most asphalt events, puncture risk is relatively low although it can be a factor on the Baumholder stages where a coating of dust and an aggressive surface combine to create a greater threat of deflations, especially as giant boulders, known locally as Hinkelsteins, line the road. Pirelli's PZero tyres feature reinforced sidewalls to help prevent against punctures and their strength and durability have been widely praised by WRC teams and drivers alike.

Rallye Deutschland is the fourth event of the season for the Pirelli Star Driver programme, a joint initiative between Pirelli and the FIA. It gives the opportunity for five promising young talents, Nick Georgiou, Peter Horsey, Hayden Paddon, Alex Raschi and Ott Tanak, to contest six rounds of the World Rally Championship in identical Pirelli-backed Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Xs.

As well as counting as round nine of the main WRC, Rallye Deutschland is also round six of the Production Car World Rally Championship, for two-litre turbocharged Group N cars, and round seven of the Super 2000 World Rally Championship, which uses normally aspirated two-litre cars. Pirelli supplies its hard and soft compound PZero tyres to both support championships, thereby underlining the performance and efficiency of the Italian rubber on a wide range of machinery.

Rallye Deutschland marks the second time this season that Pirelli's RX tyre has been used by crews in the Junior World Rally Championship. Replacing the old RS design, the tyre uses the same technology incorporated into the 18-inch version of the RX, but it is now available in 17- and 16- inch dimensions. The tyre has been designed to provide more precision, reaction, durability and consistency for competitors in the young driver class. Crews also have a supply of RE7 tyres available for use in wet weather conditions.

Featuring 405.67 competitive kilometres over 19 special stages, the event is the longest in terms of competitive distance in the WRC so far this season. Action gets underway at 0943hrs local time on Friday August 20 with the final stage around Trier's historical Portra Nigra beginning at 1303hrs on Sunday August 22.

Pirelli's Rallye Deutschland bid in numbers
40: number of PZero hard compound tyres available for use by P1 and P2 drivers
32: number of PZero soft compound tyres available for use by P1 and P2 drivers
54: total number of PZero tyres P1 and P2 drivers can use for the entire event
32: number of PZero hard compound tyres available for use by all other 4WD crews
16: number of PZero soft compound tyres available for use by all other 4WD crews
37: total number of PZero tyres other 4WD crews can use for the entire event
28: number of RX5 tyres available for JWRC competitors
28: total number of RX5 and RE7 tyres JWRC competitors can use for the entire event
59: number of 4WD crews using Pirelli tyres on Rallye Deutschland
20: number of Pirelli personnel working on Rallye Deutschland
3874: total number of tyres transported by Pirelli to Rallye Deutschland

Sainz and Al-Attiyah with 80 % less CO2 at Rally Germany

Posted: August 13, 2010 11:07 AM

Carlos Sainz returns to the tracks of the World Rally Championship (WRC) in the Volkswagen Scirocco R.

The Spaniard who won the Dakar Rally with Volkswagen in January will drive a bio natural gas-powered Scirocco R as the course-opening car at the 2010 ADAC Rally Germany (19–22 August) on Friday. His team colleague Nasser Al-Attiyah will pilot the eco-conscious vehicle on Saturday and Sunday.

The two-time World Rally Champion Sainz will open the only German WRC round with the cleanest car in the field: the Volkswagen Scirocco R reduces CO2 emissions by 80 per cent thanks to bio natural gas.
“Our many fans around the road course are already familiar with this technology from the Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup and the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring,” says Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen.
“Now there’s a nice opportunity to present ourselves in another – and very popular – discipline.” More than 200,000 spectators line the tracks around the rally centre in Trier every year.

Carlos Sainz is looking forward to his return to the World Rally Championship scene in which he was at home from 1987 to 2005.
“Of course it’s nice to return to one’s personal past,” admits the Spaniard, who will run together with his “Dakar” co-driver Lucas Cruz.
“And with the Scirocco R it’ll definitely be fun to drive the special stages in front of the field and to make a contribution to the safety of the spectators in the process.”
The two-time WRC Champion finished his last motorsport competition in Germany in third place: six years ago Sainz mounted the podium at the ADAC Rally Germany in front of the famous Porta Nigra in Trier.

For Volkswagen factory driver Nasser Al-Attiyah the World Rally Championship is familiar territory: in addition to his commitment in cross-country rally racing, the 39-year-old from Qatar contests the Super 2000 category in the WRC this year. In the Scirocco Al-Attiyah will be navigated by Timo Gottschalk from Berlin with whom the Arab clinched second place at the 2010 Dakar Rally.

For the commitment in the road rally Volkswagen has modified the 202-kW (275 hp) Cup Scirocco R. To protect the car’s underbody, ride height has been increased by about 20 mm. A Kevlar board acts as a barrier toward the bottom for the engine and gearbox. In terms of tyres, Volkswagen has opted for a special road rally construction by its partner Dunlop. The bio natural gas will be supplied by a stationary and a mobile refuelling vehicle.

Ford Fiesta S2000 crews set for German asphalt challenge

Posted: August 13, 2010 11:03 AM

Six Ford Fiesta Super 2000 crews will make their way to Germany next week for the eighth round of the Super 2000 World Rally Championship (S-WRC).

The Ford Fiesta S2000 has achieved podium finishes in six of the seven rounds of the S-WRC so far and Spanish driver, Xevi Pons continues to lead the championship by 18 points. Fellow Ford Fiesta S2000 driver, Martin Prokop currently holds third position with Jari Ketomaa just two points behind, in fourth position.

After missing the previous round in Finland, Pons will rejoin the championship in Germany to try and hold onto his 18 point lead in the S-WRC championship. This will be the sixth time that Pons has contested Rally Deutschland and in 2005’s event he finished ninth overall. The Spanish driver’s extensive experience of the rally should hold him in good stead for a solid points finish next week.

Czech driver Martin Prokop has already racked up two podium finishes in the S-WRC class and is currently just eight points from snatching second position in the championship from P-G Andersson. In 2007, Prokop finished Rallye Deutschland eleventh overall. This year, Prokop will be keen to replicate his performance from 2007’s Rallye Deutschland in order to move up the S-WRC leader board into second position.

Bernardo Sousa finished fourth in the last S-WRC round he contested at Rally de Portugal in May. This was the Portuguese driver’s best performance in the S-WRC class to date. At last weekend’s Rali Vinho Madeira, Sousa reported the Fiesta S2000 handled well on tarmac. This is the first time that Sousa has contested Rallye Deutschland but his recent experience of driving on asphalt will hold him in good stead as he aims for a podium finish in the S-WRC.

Dennis Kuipers is an M-Sport entry who will be a strong contender out of the six Fiesta S2000 crews after producing a second place finish in the Group N category at the recent Rally Bulgaria. The 24-year-old Dutch driver also gained valuable experience driving the Fiesta S2000 on tarmac at the same event but is not registered to score points in the S-WRC. Kuipers’ co-driver, Frédéric Miclotte, took a second victory in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) when he contested the Rali Vinho Madeira with Freddy Loix last weekend. Kuipers last contested Rallye Deutschland in 2008 when he finished eighteenth overall so will be looking to build on his past experience to improve on this result next week.

Henning Solberg has returned to drive a Ford Fiesta S2000 after making his debut in the new generation rally car at Rally Bulgaria last month. The Norwegian produced a first place finish in the Group N category whilst also gaining valuable experience of the Fiesta S2000 on asphalt. Solberg last contested Rallye Deutschland in 2008 when he finished seventh overall - his recent experience of driving the Fiesta S2000 in Bulgaria combined with his knowledge of the event will make the Norwegian tough competition to beat.

Mads Østberg will contest Rallye Deutschland in a Ford Fiesta S2000 for the first time next week. The Norwegian driver has been a regular in his Subaru Impreza WRC S12 but will compete in an M-Sport Ford Fiesta S2000 in both Germany and France this year. The 22-year-old driver recently finished the Neste Oil Rally Finland in an impressive seventh position overall and will be looking for a strong finish in his Ford Fiesta S2000 for his debut at Rallye Deutschland.

Xevi Pons said:
“For me, Rallye Deutschland is a good event – I know the stages well and it has always been a rally that I have done well at in the past. I’ve competed in this event a few times now so I think my experience of the stages will give me an advantage over some of the other drivers. I did over 200 km of testing in the Ford Fiesta S2000 two weeks ago and I’m feeling very confident with the car’s set up. Each day will be very different in Germany but that’s why I enjoy this rally – there’s always a new challenge. I’m really happy to be leading the S-WRC and I’m feeling confident that I can do well next week to hold onto my lead.”

Martin Prokop said:
“I’ve just finished three days testing in the Czech Republic and I’m happy with the car’s set up but Germany is a very difficult rally – this year it will be even harder with the longer stages. I am familiar with a few of the stages which should help give me an advantage over other S-WRC competitors who haven’t competed in this rally before. The weather and tyre choice will be critical during this rally and I just hope that the forecast remains dry for next week. I think it’ll be a close battle between myself and [Xevi] Pons so I’ll be pushing in Germany to try and close the gap between us.”

Bernardo Sousa said:
“This is a new rally for me and I think a lot of the other Fiesta S2000 boys will have good experience of this rally and know what to expect more than I do. I have driven the Ford Fiesta S2000 on tarmac on two rallies recently though so I think that this might give me an advantage over some of the others who are not so familiar with the road surface. We are going to need some work done on the car after a small incident we had in Madeira last week but it should be fine for Germany. I’m aiming for a podium finish in Germany, I think [Martin] Prokop will be tough competition to beat but I will try my best.”

Henning Solberg said:
“I had a great time driving the [Ford Fiesta] S2000 in Bulgaria – the car handles very well and drives nicely on tarmac. This will be the third time I have been to Rallye Deutschland, it is a tough rally and the days will be very long but I think that I can do well at this event. Last time I was in Germany I finished seventh so I’m hoping that I can do well again this year. I just want to enjoy the rally, gain more experience of the Fiesta S2000 and do as best as I can.”

Dennis Kuipers said:
“This is the second time I’ve competed in this rally. The last time I contested Rallye Deutschland was in 2008 and I finished eighteenth overall – it was my very first WRC event so it is quite a special rally for me. It will be a very long event and will not be easy but I like the stages. I had some good experience in Bulgaria of driving the Ford Fiesta S2000 on tarmac so this should help me next week. I’m also doing some testing next Monday. I’m feeling confident – it definitely helps that I’ve driven the car on tarmac before and that I know some of the stages.”

Mads Østberg said:
“Germany will be a new experience for me because I’ve never rallied a Ford Fiesta S2000 before. The closest I’ve been was testing a Peugeot 207 S2000 earlier this year but I’m really looking forward to driving the Ford Fiesta S2000 as I’ve heard so many good reports. This is a great opportunity for me to see what these cars can do. I’m feeling very confident at the moment after a good result in Finland last month - I can’t wait to get to Germany and push as hard as I can.”

Entry List

Posted: August 11, 2010 3:40 PM

Duval Set to Join Stobart in Germany

Posted: July 16, 2010 11:03 AM

François Duval will be joining the Stobart M-Sport Ford Rally Team as a guest driver in Rally Germany next month.

The 29-year-old Belgian driver will be competing at the wheel of a Ford Focus RS World Rally Car and will be nominated for points in the ninth round of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC).

In 2008, Duval joined Ford to complete four WRC rounds with the Stobart M-Sport Ford Rally Team and two further rounds with the BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team.

Duval has contested the German round of the WRC seven times and has finished second on three occasions. His last outing at the Trier-based event was with the Stobart M-Sport Ford Rally Team in 2008 where he finished fourth overall.

François Duval commented:
“It is of great credit to Malcolm [Wilson] and Christian [Loriaux] at M-Sport that I have been given this opportunity to drive for the Stobart M-Sport Ford Rally Team once again. I hope that I will have a good test in the weeks before Germany and that I will be able to get a good result for the team. Germany is a very nice rally and each year I have competed I’ve had very good results so I am confident I will be able to do well again this year.”

Ford Team Principal Malcolm Wilson commented:
“I’m delighted to see François back behind the wheel of a Ford Focus RS WRC again. He will strengthen the Stobart M-Sport Ford Rally Team at a crucial part of the season so we are very much looking forward to welcoming him on board. We really enjoyed working with François in 2008 and I have little doubt that he will continue to impress us when he joins us in Germany next month.”

Event Website / Details

Posted: January 1, 2010 12:01 AM

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