There are few more difficult asphalt challenges than ADAC Rallye Deutschland (17 - 20 August) which lives up to its oft-used tagline of ‘three rallies in one’.
A mind-boggling mix of asphalt features narrow and bumpy corkscrew vineyard tracks on the banks of the Mosel river, daunting multi-surface military roads at the Baumholder tank-training area and fast, smooth country lanes in Saarland.
The differing characteristics throw up all kinds of conundrums concerning car set-up, tyre selection and management and driving style. Add in the constant threat of rain and it’s clear to see why this is one of the WRC’s trickiest encounters.
The base has moved to the shores of the picturesque Lake Bostalsee. The action starts with a spectacular opening ceremony and prologue speed test in the centre of regional capital Saarbrücken on Thursday night.
On Friday competitors blast through the hairpin-strewn vineyards near Trier with a double pass of the familiar Mittelmosel and Grafschaft stages. They are sandwiched by three runs of a new circuit test at Wadern-Weiskirchen.
Saturday accounts for almost half the competitive distance and features the infamous Panzerplatte military roads. The surface changes constantly between smooth asphalt, broken concrete and cobblestones with giant hinkelstein kerbstones, used for keeping tanks in place, lining the roads.
Morning and afternoon visits to Baumholder are followed by two country road tests in Saarland.
A revised Sunday itinerary brings two loops of the new Losheim am See stage, close to the border with France and Luxembourg, and the returning St Wendeler Land. The second pass of the latter forms the live TV Power Stage with bonus points for the fastest five drivers.
It ends on the edge of the service park and is immediately followed by the podium celebrations in the Bostalsee base.
The 21 stages cover 309.17km in a total route of 1165.25km
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