Germany - 20-23 Aug 15

Posted: August 21, 2015 5:00 PM - 3863 Hits

Round 9 - 2015 World Rally Championship

Live Results (Germany 2015) 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 - 07:30
SS9 Sat - 06:34
SS18 Sun - 06:07

Ogier hopes to break Volkswagen duck

Posted: August 21, 2015 3:18 PM

An elusive victory on home soil will be the target for Volkswagen?s flying trio of drivers at the Rally of Germany in Trier this weekend.

Amazingly, the all-conquering German manufacturer has never won the event but in reigning world champion Sebastien Ogier, Jari-Matti Latvala and Andreas Mikkelsen they have three favourites for the predominantly asphalt race.

Ogier starts the race late on Thursday with a huge advantage in the World Rally Championship standings and is eager to put the record straight.

"I have mixed feelings about the Rally Germany. On the one hand, I won there in 2011 (with Citroen) and have always been fast," he said on the eve of the race.

"On the other hand, I experienced the pain of minor errors on the narrow streets being penalised immediately in 2014. But that is history. We want to do better this year and that is definitely possible."

Team mate Latvala arrived in Germany on the back of victory in his home race in Finland earlier this month and is keen to maintain his momentum.

"Naturally the home event in Germany is special to the team. I am definitely ready. The win in Finland has given me a massive motivational boost. Things weren't going very smoothly before that, but at my home rally I showed that I can prevail in a head-to-head battle."

Round nine of the FIA World Rally Championship is based in Trier, which hosts Thursday?s start. It features 21 stages covering 374.43km in the narrow Mosel vineyards, the Eifel hills, Saarland country roads and Baumholder. All the territory is familiar from previous years, with subtle changes to keep crews on their toes.

Friday kicks off at Sauertal near the Luxembourg border, which will be used in the reverse direction to 2014, before the Waxweiler stage on the Eifel slopes. Two tests in the fast vineyards complete the loop, before all four are repeated in the afternoon.

Saturday brings a mix of everything ADAC Rallye Deutschland offers. A trip through the vineyards and Saarland country roads near St Wendel are blended with Panzerplatte, and all are repeated in the afternoon.

The final leg close to Trier comprises two identical loops of two tests. It ends with the Dhrontal live TV Power Stage in the vineyards, which offers bonus points to the fastest three drivers and magnificent views for fans at the Gallery Dhron section.

Craig Breen determined to make his mark in Deutschland.

Posted: August 15, 2015 5:01 PM

Anyone that has followed the career of Peugeot Rally Academy driver Craig Breen will be well aware of his never give up attitude. On occasions when the odds were stacked against him and others would have given up, Craig stayed strong and achieved the seemingly impossible. This week the Peugeot Rally Academy driver returns to the World Rally Championship very much hoping he will get an unhindered chance to show that both he and the 208T16 have what it takes to replicate their European Rally Championship success at World level. The ADAC Rallye Deutscland (Aug 20th - 23rd) will see Craig and his co-driver Scott Martin tackle their fourth round of WRC this season in the SAINTELOC Racing run Peugeot 208T16. The all asphalt Trier based event will see the Peugeot Rally Academy duo compete against a host of WRC2 rivals on one of the most challenging sealed surface events where drivers will have to adapt their driving style throughout the weekend to cope with a mixture of roads through bumpy narrow vineyards, military tracks, mountains and smooth countryside. The weekend gets underway with a 4.6km shakedown stage at Konz near Trier on Thursday morning where Craig will be able to make some final setup adjustments before the Porta Nigra start ramp later on that evening. Friday will see the cars compete over eights stages in the Eifel region, close to the Luxembourg and Belgian borders with the mosel broken by a mid-day service back in the Trier service park. Saturday mixes country roads with vineyard tracks and this year drivers will face back to back runs over the daunting Panzerplatter stage where the much feared hinkelsteins will be waiting to catch the World's best as they have done in the past especially if the unpredictable weather turns wet. Though only four stages Sunday's final leg in the Mosel wine area will be far from a lazy spin to the finish. Again split by a mid-day service the narrow bumpy lanes that zig-zag their way through the vineyards will keep the drivers on their toes right up to the finish ramp at Porta Nigra in Trier city centre around lunch time. Because Craig won the World Rally Academy class on this event back in 2011 he has what it takes to be a winner on this event. He has also sampled the terrain more recently as he was due to compete on the event twelve months ago but despite being passed medically fit by his Irish Specialist after a back injury on WRC Finland was refused a start by the event medical team on safety grounds. Put together that past success and a relatively recent recce and you can understand why Craig is optimistic he can put his WRC2 season woes behind him and push for a win. Before leaving for Germany Craig said
"We've had disappointments with our WRC2 season so far there?s no denying but we have to stay positive, move on and prove our pace".

THE DS 3 WRCS MOVE ONTO TARMAC

Posted: August 15, 2015 4:57 PM

Having secured eleven consecutive wins here between 2002 and 2013, Citroen Racing boasts an impressive record on the roads of Rallye Deutschland. Very competitive again in 2014 thanks to the efforts of Kris Meeke and Mads Ostberg, the Citroen Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team returns to a familiar hunting ground nestled between the Luxembourg border and the banks of the Mosel river.

With rallies in Germany, France and even Spain - the majority of which will be contested on tarmac - the final part of the season is set to be punctuated by this surface. For the entire team, the month of August goes hand in hand with applying a new configuration. The drivers, engineers and mechanics all need to adopt specific methods for this surface.

As regards the DS 3 WRC, although the body shells remain unchanged, the suspension, shock absorbers and brakes are all adapted for use on tarmac. The set-up is specifically defined for the challenges thrown up by an event like Rallye Deutschland. A test session held in France, close to the German border, enabled the crews to begin work on adjusting to the pace of the surface ahead of recce.

On tarmac, the DS 3 WRCs will benefit significantly from the upgrades made during the first half of the season. The improved engine performance, the rear suspension geometry and the 2015-spec aerodynamics will all help the drivers. The recent tests also provided an opportunity to work with the new range of Michelin tyres, which are available from Rallye Deutschland onwards. Tyre choice will once again be a key aspect at this event. In August, the weather in the region can change very suddenly and this can have a significant impact on the race set-up.

For Mads Ostberg, Rallye Deutschland will give him the chance to finish in the top 10 for the twelfth event running, a feat that has only been achieved once in the last four seasons. Consistent and quick with three podium finishes this year, the Norwegian currently lies third in the World Championship standings.

Leader of Rallye Deutschland with three stages to go last year, Kris Meeke knows how this highly specific event can catch you out. The Northern Irishman, winner of Rally Argentina in the spring, will be in with a good chance on tarmac.

Competing in a third DS 3 WRC with the support of his partners, Stephane Lefebvre will be making his competitive debut in the top-flight category. Having risen to prominence in the PSA Peugeot Citroen group's promotional formulas, he won the FIA Junior WRC and WRC3 titles last year in a DS 3 R3. This year, he has continued to learn about rallying at this level in a DS 3 R5 and a DS 3 RRC as part of the WRC2 championship.

QUOTE, UNQUOTE

Yves Matton (Citroen Racing Team Principal):
"Rallye Deutschland marks the start of the run-in and the return to tarmac after two very fast gravel rallies. It's a radical change of setting and surface and it's also a very special event for Citroen Racing, one where we have enjoyed a lot of success over the years. The team has an awful lot of experience here. This first round of the season on tarmac will give us the chance to assess the progress of the DS 3 WRC on this surface. Kris and Mads will be free to choose their strategy for the race. Kris has already shown his potential on asphalt, especially in Germany, and Mads is continuing to make progress on tarmac. For Stephane Lefebvre, this will be another opportunity for him to keep on learning. This first appearance in a DS 3 WRC shows that the formula offered by Citroen Racing works. Sixteen months ago, he made his World Championship debut in a DS 3 R3. He has worked hard to get to w here he is today. A totally new challenge now lies ahead for him."

Mads Ostberg: "The DS 3 WRC is an exceptional car on tarmac, so I can't wait to get going on this, the first proper rally on this surface on the 2015 calendar. Testing went very well. I was able to fully concentrate on my driving, to get my bearings again. The upgrades made by the technical team are undoubtedly going to help us to compete with our main rivals. I know Rallye Deutschland pretty well now, having competed here five times before. It's a great event, which calls for a lot of concentration. My aim is to do my best and be as quick as possible. The roads vary a lot throughout the rally, with stages in the vineyards, the forests and the military base and so you need to keep adjusting your driving style. A top 5 or top 6 finish would be a pretty good result, because we need to score points for the championships."

Kris Meeke:
"I can't wait to get started. Rallye Deutschland is an event that I particularly enjoy. Last year, we were on the pace. For my first race on tarmac in the DS 3 WRC, I had found the confidence to push very quickly. The car is just incredible on this surface. I hope that the experience I'm accumulating at each round will help me to be among the frontrunners again. I'd prefer it to be hot and dry, although the weather is always very difficult to predict in this region. If it rains, the early runners drag a lot of mud on the lines and it becomes more difficult. Finishing on the podium here is a realistic goal. If I manage to be consistent and keep out of trouble, I know that we'll be at the front. But anything can happen!"

Stephane Lefebvre:
"I really enjoyed getting to grips with the DS 3 WRC during my first runs in testing. This is not the first time that Citroen Racing has given a driver a debut in a WRC, so I felt like I had plenty of support and encouragement from the team whilst learning about rallying at this level. There is more power under the bonnet and the braking is breath-taking on tarmac. I have, of course, been thinking about this event since the start of the year, although I never became fixated on this date. I'm trying not to put any extra pressure on myself. I see it as another step forward as I progress towards competing with the top drivers. The aim is to start well with the DS 3 WRC and get as many miles as I can under my belt. If the conditions are right and I feel good, then I'll try and show what I can do!"

PANZERPLATTE AND MANY OTHER TRICKY SECTIONS

Although the 45.61 kilometre-long Panzerplatte test, run twice on Saturday's leg, may go a long way towards determining the outcome of Rallye Deutschland, almost all of the other stages are exceptionally difficult with road surfaces that change from one section to another.

On Thursday morning, each of the crews will be using the shakedown, held on Konz (4.60km), to get their bearings one final time before the start. The ceremonial start of the rally will see the crews pass under the Porta Nigra Roman gate in Trier before returning to parc ferme.

In championship standings order, the cars will arrive in the service park from 8am on Friday morning to prepare for an opening loop of four stages located to the north, each run twice: Sauertal (14.84km), Waxweiler (16.40km), then Moselland (23.24km) and Mittelmosel (13.67km) through the heart of the vineyards. The morning and afternoon loops will be broken up by a 30-minute service at 1.10pm. The leg is due to finish from 7.20pm in Trier.

The crews and teams face an early start on Saturday morning, setting off at 6.10am for Grafschaft (18.35km) in the vineyards and the very fast Bosenberg (17.13km). They then head for the Baumholder military base with two runs on the short Panzerplatte Arena (2.87km), followed by the monster Panzerplatte (45.61km). More of the same in the afternoon after a service, but with just one run on Panzerplatte Arena. The crews are expected back in Trier from 8.42pm.

On Sunday, the priority crews will start in reverse order of the overall rally standings, tackling two runs on Stein & Wein (19.59km) and Dhrontal (14.08km), along the banks of the Mosel. The Power Stage is due to get underway at 12.08pm. The rally is scheduled to finish in front of the Porta Nigra from 3pm.

No compromises - Volkswagen starts the Rally Germany with a hunger for victory yet to be satisfied

Posted: August 15, 2015 4:51 PM

Victorious everywhere except for Germany so far - if Volkswagen get their way, between 20 and 23 August 2015, Sebastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F), Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN) or Andreas Mikkelsen/Ola Floene (N/N) will close a small but crucial gap in the resume of the Polo R WRC. The Rally Germany, the ninth event in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), is the only rally to date that the 318 hp World Rally Car is yet to win. Even though Volkswagen weren't exactly blessed with luck at their home event around Trier in 2013 and 2014, retiring early with different drivers in the lead at each of the rallies, the team is taking its usual meticulous and highly motivated approach to the task in hand. However, the business of getting a home win is anything but easy: The Rally Germany is the first real asphalt event of the WRC in 2015, and is regarded as the "beast" that really does cause dramas.

"One thing's for certain: Our record at our home event reflects neither our ambitious goals nor our previous performance in Germany," said Volkswagen Motorsport Director Jost Capito. "There is no other WRC event at which our desire to win is so great and so unfulfilled. We could have got the win under our own steam in 2013 and 2014, but retired with Sebastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala in the lead respectively. But even though luck hasn't exactly been on our side at home, there is no reason why we shouldn't be fighting for first place again in 2015. With S?bastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala we have two winners on asphalt lining up, and Andreas Mikkelsen is more than ready for his first ever race victory, and is pacy on all surfaces. And the team behind the three of them is also a winning bunch: They won't be making any compromises at the Rally Germany, each of them will be putting in that extra bit of hard work and perfection."

No fear of the "beast" Rally Germany

Volkswagen will take on the "beast" Rally Germany with the same respect as they have for every WRC event, but by no means with fear. Unlike in the previous years, Volkswagen will not be using newly built chassis for Sebastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala, instead they will be using tried and tested chassis that were in action at the "Monte", in Mexico, Portugal and Poland. And there is another difference from last year: Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila are proven asphalt winners - at the Rally France in 2014 they celebrated the first Finnish success on this surface in 14 years, eleven months and 23 days, and also got the win at the fastest asphalt race of all time. Andreas Mikkelsen/Ola Floene also took this opportunity to prove that they are absolute all-rounders - coming second, after finishing in this position on ice and snow in Sweden and on gravel at the Rally Poland.

To build on these successes at the first pure asphalt event since then, Volkswagen has prepared meticulously for the special conditions at the Rally Germany during testing on Corsica and in Germany, and has devised basic tuning for the second generation Polo R WRC for all three driver pairings.

Four passes of Panzerplatte and real classics to finish - the 2015 route

The WRC drivers and co-drivers will be familiar with much of the 2015 edition of the Rally Germany. None of the special stages are completely new to the participants. The notorious Panzerplatte on the military training area of Baumholder - with its unyielding "menhirs" - is on the itinerary four times on Saturday with two different stages. The area, which is only open to civilians during the Rally Germany, has caused all sorts of dramas in the past due to its particularly slippery asphalt combined with those menhirs that are intended to stop tanks. The world's elite will take on the drift of these special stages with the respect they deserve - at 2.87 and 45.61 kilometres in 2015, they are the longest and the shortest stage of the Rally Germany. However, the highlight is the two special stages on Sunday. "Stein & Wein" and "Drohntal" are characterised by the serpentine road along the vineyards, symbolic of the Rally Germany. The second pass of the Drohntal stage will be the closing "Power Stage" on which bonus points are awarded for the top three driver/co-driver duos.

Volkswagen's best: Andreas Mikkelsen and the 2014 podium

They celebrated Volkswagen's only podium result in Germany to date: Andreas Mikkelsen and Ola Floene. They finished the manufacturer's home rally in third place in 2014. Six weeks later they proved their pace on this surface again - finishing second at the Rally France, which was still held in Alsace in 2014. Going into his 60th WRC start, Mikkelsen has ten podium results to his name - only one type is still missing: a win.

"Match point" number one: Ogier and Ingrassia have a theoretical chance of WRC title number three

Only a win would see S?bastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia crowned world champions already at the 2015 Rally Germany. And even then, they would be relying on the help of their direct rivals Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila, Mads ostberg/Jonas Andersson (N/S, Citroen), Andreas Mikkelsen/Ola Floene and Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (B/B, Hyundai). Ogier/Ingrassia would need to extend their current lead of 89 points by 23 to make it 112. 25 points are awarded for a win, with a further three for winning the Power Stage.

Unfinished business: Jari-Matti Latvala, driving on asphalt and the Rally Germany

On a make-up tour of his own: Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila want to make peace with the rally around Trier in Germany. In 2014 they drove in a league of their own on "Planet JML" and had built up a lead of more than a minute before they came off the track on the final day and were forced to put the dream of their first win on asphalt to bed. This came soon afterwards in France. If Latvala/Anttila were to finish higher than seventh, the early championship victory of Ogier/Ingrassia would be deferred.

Quotes ahead of the Rally Germany

Sebastien Ogier, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #1
"I have mixed feelings about the Rally Germany. On the one hand, I won there in 2011 and have always been fast. On the other hand, I experienced the pain of minor errors on the narrow streets being penalised immediately in 2014. But that is history. We want to do better this year and that is definitely possible. However, we need to be focussed and avoid errors. Ahead of the Rally Germany we also tested brakes during testing in Trier so that we are properly prepared for the challenges of the asphalt tracks. Many sections of this year's Rally Germany are similar or identical to those of last year. I particularly like the winding special stages along the vineyards. They are lovely to drive and are so much fun in the Polo. It would be possible for Julien and I to secure the title in the drivers' and co-drivers' world championship in Germany. But we will only be focussing on ourselves and want to complete the rally successfully - ideally finishing in the middle of the podium of course."

Jari-Matti Latvala, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #2
"Naturally the home event in Germany is special to the team. I am definitely ready. The win in Finland has given me a massive motivational boost. Things weren't going very smoothly before that, but at my home rally I showed that I can prevail in a head-to-head battle. Michelin are providing a new tyre for the Rally Germany, the H4, for which we adjusted the set-up of the Polo R WRC during testing a week ago. We also tested on Corsica this year. So I was able to get used to driving on asphalt. Asphalt rallies are something special because as drivers we need to get used to different surfaces with different characteristics in a short space of time. This is particularly difficult at the Rally Germany on the special stage 'Panzerplatte' - my favourite stage. It is a bit like in Finland: hilly, the road is wide, the grip changes constantly and the speed is high. I like it because it is smooth to drive. It's much more technical along the vineyards. In 2013 I led the Rally Germany up until Saturday afternoon, and last year until Sunday morning - this year it would be nice if I could keep the lead until the end. A top three finish is realistic. That's my goal."

Andreas Mikkelsen, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #9
"At the Rally Germany we drive three asphalt rallies in one weekend because the surfaces on the three days are so different. Ahead of the Rally Germany I tested in the vineyards so that I could get used to the surface at rally speed. I haven't driven on asphalt since the Rally Monte Carlo. But I'm looking forward to it. I like the special stages in Germany and I hope that I can find my rhythm quickly. Last year I was the best Volkswagen driver in third place. Naturally we want to do better as a team this year. I expect that we will be fighting for the lead. But we can't forget about the competition: My friend Thierry Neuville and Hyundai won here last year. On top of that, Citro?n with Kris Meeke and Mads ostberg are always quick on asphalt. The weather can also be a crucial factor, since it changes constantly. So there are many different challenges to master. My retirement at the Rally Finland means that I lost second place in the drivers' championship. I want to regain that with a good result at the Rally Germany. My aim is to be fighting for a top three spot."

Did you know that ...

... local heroes Erwin Weber and Matthias Berg won the first Rally Germany in 1982? Weber, who was active for Volkswagen from 1987 until 1990, won in an Opel Ascona 400.

... a German car manufacturer has never won the Rally Germany since it has been on the WRC calendar? With the exception of 2009, when the race around Trier was not part of the WRC calendar, eleven wins have gone to Citro?n and one to Hyundai.

... Volkswagen duo S?bastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia won the Rally Germany in 2011? The two Frenchmen were victorious at the wheel of a Citro?n.

... Record world champion S?bastien Loeb is also the record winner in Germany? The Frenchman won a total of nine times, and even eight times in a row from 2002 to 2010.

... as well as the WRC class and the supporting championships WRC2 and WRC3, participants of the RGT Cup introduced in 2015 will line up this year?

... Volkswagen test and development driver Dieter Depping won the Rally Germany a total of three times (1994, 1996 and 1997)? Until the winning streak of Frenchman S?bastien Loeb, the German held the record for the most victories.

... the show start and the prize-giving ceremony at the Rally Germany have only not been held in front of the impressive backdrop of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Porta Nigra once since it has been part of the WRC calendar? At Volkswagen's first WRC home event in 2013, it was "Viva Colonia" - the drivers, co-drivers and World Rally Cars were presented on the southern side of the cathedral square in Cologne, "Roncalliplatz".

The number of the Rally Germany: 50

Crew chief Ralf Arneke has a double celebration at the Rally Germany. In WRC action for the 50th time since Volkswagen started the Polo R WRC project, he will also be celebrating his 50th birthday on rally Saturday. And what is top of his birthday wish-list? See above.

German Asphalt Switch Opens Up DMACK Fiesta Race

Posted: August 15, 2015 4:46 PM

Crews vying for the Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy title will aim to be asphalt aces when they rock up to ADAC Rallye Deutschland next weekend (21-23 August).

Three enthralling rounds of the 2015 series have already been and gone, with gravel events in Portugal, Poland and Finland testing drivers and their co-pilots to the very limit. However, a switch of surfaces awaits the 10 teams in Germany as they compete on the only all-asphalt round of the competition.

And the chase for the championship is hotting up. Leading the way are Norwegians Marius Aasen and Veronica Engan, victorious at round two in Poland, who are eight points clear of second placed UK crew Tom Cave and Craig Parry.

Cave recorded his first 2015 Trophy win in Finland earlier this month. The 23-year-old Brit also triumphed last year at Rallye Deutschland in the inaugural season of the Trophy and next week's event could be a chance for him to move into the series lead.

Just one point behind Cave in this year's standings is flying Finn Max Vatanen, who was also fast in Germany last year. All three will aim to take a giant stride towards the 2015 title at an event which boasts a picture postcard start and finish in front of the Porta Nigra Roman gate in Trier - Germany's oldest city.

There are three diverse stage types that crews must tackle in their sustainable GEM-fuel powered Ford Fiesta R2 cars. Bumpy, narrow Mosel vineyard roads and abrasive Baumholder military tracks, home to the punishing 45.61km Panzerplatte test, offer a distinct variation. Crews must also negotiate stages across smooth country tests in Saarland.

Drivers will have to avoid huge car-breaking kerb stones, known as hinkelsteins, in the Baumholder ranges where roads are slippery in the dry and treacherous in the wet. They can choose from two compounds of DMACK's E-marked asphalt tyres, T71 for the dry and W3 if it turns wet. Unpredictable weather makes tyre choice tricky, and the 21-stage event is truly technical and difficult.

The switch to Tarmac also opens up opportunities for a number of drivers to shine. Rookie star Mats van den Brand was blisteringly quick on his WRC debut in Germany last year, finishing second fastest Fiesta as he competed outside of the series as a privateer.

Ghislain de Mevius, a 26-year-old Belgian who prefers Tarmac to gravel, is sure to be another one to watch next weekend - he scored a podium last year despite rolling on the Baumholder ranges.

Kevin van Deijne, from the Netherlands, is currently fourth overall and the leading rookie runner. However, the 25-year-old is just a single point clear of Britain's Gus Greensmith, the youngest competitor in the series at just 18.

American Will Hudson and Italian Edoardo Bresolin will be looking to put poor results behind them and move their seasons forward. Newcomer Slovenian Tim Novak joins the series halfway through the season with Germany being his debut WRC rally.

The drivers' identical M-Sport-prepared Ford EcoBoost-driven cars will be converted to asphalt specification for the first time this year in Germany. That means bigger front brakes, asphalt dampers and springs and a lower ride-height to improve stability and precision.

Dick Cormack, DMACK managing director, said:
"We're halfway through the season and the chase for the championship is starting to become serious. Moving to Tarmac will certainly add a new dimension to the battle and I'm certain we will see a few more drivers come to the fore on this surface."

Malcolm Wilson, M-Sport managing director, said:
"As we turn our attention to the first asphalt event of the year, the championship could not be closer. We've had three different winners from three different rallies and, when you take drop scores into account, Marius [Aasen] and Tom [Cave] are tied at the top of the standings with Max [Vatanen] just behind in third.

"I'm also expecting some of the Tarmac specialists to really come into their own next week and with the challenging German roads never failing to deliver a surprise or two, the scene is set for another thrilling battle."

Driver Quotes
Marius Aasen from Norway said:
"In preparation for Rally Germany, I will compete in Rally van Staden with to get used to the Tarmac and how the DMACK tyres perform on it. I've been looking forward to this asphalt round since the beginning of the Trophy and because I drove Rally Germany in 2013, I'm eager to get back. I'll just think about my own driving and performance and be really consistent in the recce; hopefully we will achieve another great podium."

Mats van den Brand from Netherlands said:
"Tarmac is my preferred surface and gravel has been completely new to me so it will be great to get back to something more familiar. We've focused a bit too much on good results this season so in Germany we decided to start at the beginning and have fun, drive our own rally and make the kilometers. I'm looking forward to the challenge of the Panzerplatte, looking after the tyres and brakes will be crucial."

Edoardo Bresolin from Italy said:
"We have been watching the official onboard recce videos to help us get an idea of the stages in Germany. We have modest experience driving on Tarmac, in fact we have only done one race on this surface. Compared to Finland it will be hard for us to maintain the same pace, but we will try. It is essential to have accurate pacenotes in Germany if we are to negotiate the tight narrow corners and anticipate the gravel on the roads."

Tom Cave from UK said:
"After the great result in Finland I'm going to carry the momentum to Germany and put our winning experience from 2014 into practice. I'm confident we are in for a shout of another win. The weather will be unpredictable which makes tyre choice a gamble and starting so far back in the running order will mean a lot of mud and gravel on the roads. I've been going over the onboard footage from last year and seeing where we need to improve."

Kevin van Deijne from Netherlands said:
"I learnt to drive on asphalt so I'm looking forward to the surface change. The German stages are pretty similar to the Netherlands stages but a little bit harder so I hope for a good result here. I want to improve my result from last year and hold on to my fourth position in the championship. I think the vineyards are the most challenging areas to drive because a lot of the corners will cut and bring gravel on to the roads."

Gus Greensmith from UK said:
"I have watched onboard videos of Germany, mainly to locate where gravel tends to be pulled on to the road. I welcome the change of surface with open arms because I feel much more at home on Tarmac. My aim for the weekend is to finish as high as I can with as few mistakes as possible. If I manage to complete stage 3 in Germany I'll have bettered my performance in Finland and I'm confident I can achieve that."

Will Hudson from USA said:
"I've been taking some time out and away from rallying and it's really helped clear my head of the accident in Finland. I'll have a few laps around Nurburgring as well as some karting to get the feeling of Tarmac. This will be my first Tarmac event so it will be interesting to see how the Fiesta goes with an asphalt setup. I'll be driving with more patience in Germany because obviously my aim is to simply complete the rally; this season has been a bit of a disaster so far."

Ghislain de Mevius from Belgium said:
"I know the asphalt surface very well so I am very confident to drive on it again. I want to win in Germany and I will do the maximum to reach that goal. I will hopefully be on the pace in Germany because Tarmac roads suit my driving style so much more. I am confident of a good result. Making the correct tyre choice with the unpredictable weather will be the biggest challenge I feel."

Tim Novak from Slovenia said:
"I've been doing some testing just to get back in the rhythm and get some feeling back as I haven't raced since May. Tarmac is my favorite surface and I feel fairly confident going into this, my first Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy rally. I want to finish the rally and gain experience and as this is my first time in this car with these tyres. It is also my first WRC event so it is going to be a real challenge to keep calm and work progressively."

Max Vatanen from Finland said:
"We did Rallye Wartburg to get back on Tarmac and try get some kilometers in. I've also been doing some karting which I hope will help. It will be completely different to drive on Tarmac after three rounds on gravel but I'm looking forward to it. You still need to drive in a committed way to maintain a rhythm and I'm getting more confident on this surface. All I aim to achieve this rally is to drive my best and enjoy the race. I'll focus on one stage at a time and not think about the final result. I didn't do that in Finland and I think it showed."

NEW CHALLENGE FOR M-SPORT IN GERMANY

Posted: August 15, 2015 4:39 PM

M-Sport World Rally Team's Elfyn Evans and Ott Tanak will face a new challenge next week as the 2015 Ford Fiesta RS WRC makes its asphalt debut at the ninth round of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) ADAC Rallye Deutschland.

The new Ecoboost-powered Fiesta has already proven its pace on gravel and next week will see it let loose on the sealed-surface roads of the German Rhineland.

Both drivers were present at an extensive research and development test in the hills above Sanremo earlier this year, and the team are currently in the midst of a five-day, pre-event test - experiencing roads similar to those that give the German fixture one of the most intriguing routes of the year.

For many, Rallye Deutschland is considered three rallies in one. The character of the stages differ considerably - from twisting tracks through the Mosel vineyards, to the open roads of Saarland and the perilous 'Hinkelstines' that line the Baumholder military ground. It?s important to have the correct set-up for each variation, and the M-Sport team have focused on this.

Both drivers have historically performed well on asphalt and Evans in particular can boast an impressive track record from the Trier-based event.

The Welshman won the rally as part of the FIA WRC Academy in 2012 and was locked in an intense battle for the WRC 2 win in 2013 - trading the lead with Robert Kubica before conceding victory by just over 10 seconds.
In 2014 - his first season behind the wheel of a world rally car - he and co-driver Daniel Barritt produced a breakthrough performance. Out-performing a number of their more experienced rivals, the pairing secured a string of top-three stage times throughout the final day, including the sought-after Power Stage victory.

Last year's impressive final-day performance saw Evans finish just 5 seconds adrift of the podium, and the Welshman will certainly have earmarked this year's Rallye Deutschland to showcase his progression. Needless to say, the British duo has the potential to be knocking on the door of the podium once again.

In the sister M-Sport Fiesta RS WRC, Tanak may not have contested a pure asphalt event with the power and performance of a world rally car since 2012, but his previous performances mean he and co-driver Raigo M?lder could also be a dark horse for next week's podium positions.

The Estonian won the event as part of the S-WRC in 2011. Off the back of a number of impressive sealed-surface performances that year, he caught the eye of the Ford Motor Company and was elevated to the manufacturer squad for the 2011 edition of Rallye du Var.

Both drivers will have set their sights high for the ninth round of the WRC, and in true Rallye Deutschland fashion, anything is possible.

Elfyn Evans said:
"Rallye Deutschland is one of my favourite events and one that I look forward to year on year. We've had a lot of good results there in the past and we'll be hoping to continue that trend next week.

"It's a difficult rally, but I think that's one of the reasons why I enjoy it so much. Unlike other events, the stages don't have the same general characteristics. Some are fast and open, some are tight and twisty, and then there's Panzerplatte which is unlike anything else on the calendar.

"There's so much to consider - the weather, the road conditions, the stages themselves and you really have to be at the top of your game to do well there. We've had two extensive tests in the lead-up - one in Sanremo and one currently on-going in Germany so I'm feeling well prepared and can't wait to get out there.

"We've not had the best of luck in the last few events, but this is where I want to turn that around. We'll be looking for a clean and tidy rally in which we can show some good speed. If we can do that, anything is possible."

Ott Tanak said:
"I'm really looking forward to seeing what we can do at Rallye Deutschland. I enjoy Tarmac rallying, but my last proper Tarmac event with a world rally car was at the end of 2012 so there will be a lot to learn.

"This is one of my favourite Tarmac rallies and we have done well in the past. Each stage is different so it?s a real test of how quickly you can adapt to the changing conditions. You also have to have a strong relationship with your gravel crew and the best up-to-date information from the stages and weather reports.

"We're currently in the middle of an extensive pre-event test in which we're trying to get a taste for as many of the different roads and conditions as possible. Set-up is very important here and we want to be as prepared as possible before the event.

"It's one of those rallies where anything can happen and I'm really interested to see where our pace will be. It will be a challenging weekend, but I'm really looking forward to it."

Team Principal, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said:
"At the start of the year, our strategy was to start targeting podiums in the second half of the season and Rallye Deutschland is certainly an event we have set our sights on. As the first asphalt event with the new car, there is an element of the unknown but our Tarmac test programme has been extremely encouraging.

"Both drivers have historically performed well in Germany. Elfyn [Evans] proved just how competitive he could be last year and, although he has not competitively driven a world rally car on pure asphalt since 2012, Ott [Tanak] also has the potential to perform strongly.

"The entire team is highly motivated ahead of this event and we're looking forward to seeing what rewards the pace of Elfyn, Ott and the new car can produce on Tarmac."

ADDITIONAL M-SPORT DRIVERS

M-Sport will also run the Ford Fiesta R5 of Yurii Protasov and Pavlo Cherepin. The Ukrainians aren't registered for WRC 2 next weekend, but will be looking to develop their asphalt pace.

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