This weekend the World Rally Circus ships off to Rally Germany. The Rally, as in previous years will be based in one of germany’s oldest cities, the city of Trier. Where the First Tarmac round will Take place with the opening ceremony based outside the accienet Porto Neigra.
Despite Rally Germany being only a few miles away from the Borders of France. In the past 9 years that the event has ran, it’s become known as Loebs Rally. The 8 Times Champion had won this event 8 years in a row. Bring beaten for the first time last year my team mate Sebastien Ogier. This year, with Ogier out of the running, due to competing in S2000 for VW, It will be a cruse to victory for Seb Loeb…. Won’t it?
There are 2 maybe 3 men that Loeb may need to look out for. The one being Fords Flying Finn, Jari Matti Latvala. The young Finn hasn’t had the best of luck this season, and only took 1 win back in Sweden. But as he showed last year in Spain espcially, his performance on the hard stuff improved dramatically, enough to even impress Super Seb. Latvala will be hoping to continue his improved performance this weekend. And Ford too with their Fiesta. So far they have only been able to match Citroen’s DS3 on Rallies, let’s hope the changed made in Pre event testing will help them push the limits. The 2 man that could knock Loeb off the top step this weekend, is his former team mate, Prodrive’s Mini countryman Driver Dani Sordo. He has always been quick here and on Tarmac in particular. Come 3rd last year on Germany despite the mini still being in development. Has the Sordo/Mini combo got what it takes this year. Anther man who is quick on Tarmac is Petter Solberg, his last win on Tarmac was back in Corsica but it’s was a long time ago. Mikko Hirvonen in the other DS3 has never been comfortable on Tarmac in the past when he was driving for Ford. Will his DS3 suit his Tarmac driving style better here?
Other drivers on the entry list to watch out for will be Chris Atkinson. He will be in a Mini for team Portugal, the only WRC Driver to have driven all 3 WRC cars this season. The best of the rest should be Mads Ostberg and Evgeny Novikov, although both of them prefer gravel to tarmac they could score well in the top 5 in Germany.
The Rally itself features 19 Stages and a total competitive distance of 362km’s. 6 Stages on Friday, which will be based along the scenic Mosel River. Similar stages as the ones used last year but in a slightly different configuration, SS1 & 2 being short than last years running.
On Saturday, there’s another 6 stages, 3 stages in morning then re-run in afternoon loop. The Shortest stage of the day being the 9.37km Peterberg Stage, which hasn’t been used since 2004. The biggest stage of the rally and final stage of day 2 will be the infamous Panzerplatter, based in military grounds, the stage itself is used for testing German Tanks. Section of the Stage are lined either side with Concrete ‘Teeth’ sunk 3 meters into the ground, designed to stop a tank going off the road. And as Petter found out in 07, they will demolish any Rally car that comes close to them.
The 3rd and final day holds just 4 stages. 30.74km Dhrotal and the 4.37km Circus maximus Trier. The super special and Power Stage. Both stages ran twice.
Tyres will be important. The weather plays a big part, and we’re expected to have high temperatures with heavy rain. Soft compound will be the main tyre of choice, but the high temperature could mean that they could wear down very quickly.
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