Without a win on a pure sealed-surface event in the WRC since 2004, Ford is doing all it can to end that sequence on the 15-stage rally based in Trier where it will enter a brace of factory Fiesta RS WRCs for Jari-Matti Latvala and Petter Solberg.
“Testing has been going well, the guys have been putting in a lot of effort,” said Quinn. “Tarmac, as the drivers would admit themselves, is not their favourite surface but they’ve been doing a lot of work to get better on Tarmac and to certainly pull off a good result for Germany and France [later in the season].”
Solberg is Ford’s best hope for this year’s WRC drivers’ title, albeit with significant ground to make up to championship pacesetter Sebastien Loeb of the works Citroen team. Like Loeb, Solberg has competed in Germany on all nine occasions that the country has been included on the WRC roster.
“I like Rallye Deutschland a lot; it’s always a fantastic event, with a really good atmosphere and lots of fans, and it will be good to get back onto asphalt for the first time since Monte-Carlo,” said Solberg. “Obviously I still don’t have masses of experience with the Fiesta RS WRC on asphalt, but the general feeling is good so it will be interesting to see how we compare to our opposition in Germany.
“With [stages in] the vineyards and military area, Rallye Deutschland is not like other asphalt rallies. The biggest challenge is the changeable surface and grip levels, and the Baumholder with its hinkelsteins is particularly tricky - especially if it rains. The key will be to stay out of trouble.”