With the exception of the event-closing Circus Maximus Power Stage around the historic Porta Nigra UNESCO heritage site, all stages have undergone significant alteration for 2012, while the Peterburg stage not used since 2004 returns to the exciting itinerary, albeit with some tweaks.
Indeed, while the number of stages have been trimmed from 19 to 15, the average stage distance has risen to 24.5 kilometres, which will place the onus firmly on effective pace note preparation and delivery, car and tyre preservation and concentration.
As always, ADAC Rallye Deutschland is effectively three rallies in one with the competition contained in the tight and twisty vineyard tracks of the Mosel Valley, the fast and flowing sweeps through the woodland of the Saarland region, plus the Baumholder military training area’s punishing roads.
With a change to the regulations for this year preventing the use of mixed-surface stages, ADAC Rallye Deutschland is back as an all-asphalt affair but is no less demanding, particularly on the final day when crews will complete two runs of the 30.76-kilometre Dhrontal stage in succession.
However, it’s the Arena Panzerplatte test on Saturday that is set to provide the ultimate test with crews tackling the 46.54-kilometre run twice during the day.
Fans will also benefit from the changes with 27 of the 62 spectator points new for this year. The event’s central and accessible location ensures upwards of 200,000 people attend each season and with warm and dry weather conditions expected, ADAC Rallye Deutschland is set to be another highlight of the WRC season.
In addition to hosting the Circus Maximus stage and the permanent service park, Trier is also the setting of the spectacular ceremonial start beneath the Porta Nigra at 20:00hrs local time on Thursday 23 August ahead of the competitive action getting underway on Friday morning.
Next page: So who’s going to win?