The 22-year-old is in his first season in the SWRC with the Red Bull Skoda team and is fifth in the standings after scoring points on the four starts he’s made to date.
“We have been looking forward to this event all year and we are well prepared,” said Gassner Jr. “A home rally is a very special thing for every driver. I know most of the stages very well but I have never driven my Fabia S2000 here. We try to push, maybe not from the beginning, but a podium finish would be okay and we will try for it.”
Of his progress this season, Gassner Jr said: “The speed has been there this year and we have made no big mistakes but now we go to Tarmac and we really want to do well. The results of the tests we have done are perfect and I feel very comfortable in the car so I am hoping to finish high.”
Gassner Jr, who will be co-driven by Katharina Wustenhagen, has tipped his team-mate, Juho Hanninen, to run at the front in Germany.
“Juho will challenge for the win, no question,” said Gassner Jr. “We talk about the set-up a lot and work together quite well. He gave me advice for Finland, I am trying to give back some advice here.”
Asked what would be his biggest challenge in Germany, Gassner Jr said: “It depends on the weather. When it is raining, it will be really slippery and difficult in the vineyards. Panzerplatte can be quite a challenge, too, but it is a stage I like very much.”
Red Bull Skoda team chief Raimund Baumschlager said: “We will be prepared well for this very special rally. Hermann will make his debut on asphalt with the Fabia here and, for the first time this year, he will be allowed to drive without the handbrake pulled up. He can and has to drive full blast in his home rally. Juho is still hungry for victories, so he will also drive aggressively in Trier. I expect both our crews to finish high.”
After five rounds, Hanninen heads Martin Prokop in the standings by 18 points. The Finn has won the last two events.