18 - 21 Aug 11
Categories:WRC, SWRC, WRC Academy
Most Recent Winner:Sebastien Ogier (2011)
Rallye Deutschland has the honour of being the first world championship event of the 2011 season to take place on asphalt, although it’s an asphalt rally like no other with all three days of the event held on different types of sealed surfaces.
Based in the historic city of Trier in Germany’s wine-producing Mosel region, the event was the longest on last season’s schedule in terms of competitive distance. As in the previous seven editions, Sebastien Loeb took the honours in dominant fashion.
Loeb, world rally champion on seven occasions, points to the need to maintain an extremely high level of concentration as the secret behind his success, particularly in the Baumholder military training area, where giant boulders, known as hinkelsteins, line the route.
“It’s an absolute challenge,” he says. “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 Mosel 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, 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.”
One of the highlights of Rallye Deutschland in recent seasons is the inclusion of the Circus Maximus superspecial stage, which runs through the centre of Trier, Germany’s oldest city, and marked the scene of ex-Grand Prix driver Kimi Raikkonen’s first stage victory in the WRC when the Finn went fastest of all last year.