One driver in particularly who is keen to impress is Hermann Gassner Jr, the reigning German rally champion who has been nominated by the event organisers, along with Florian Niegel, as a wildcard entrant.
The nomination means Gassner and Niegel can score P-WRC points in their respective Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IXs and take advantage of other benefits including a more advanced road position and a larger allocation of Pirelli PZero tyres.
Gassner Jr, 21, hails from Surheim in Germany and works as a mechanic to help fund his rallying career, which is being supported this year by energy drink giant Red Bull. He has vowed to do all he can to make the most of the opportunity on his home rally. “Of course there is more pressure racing at home but I like this rally a lot and cannot wait to get started and achieve the best result possible,” said Gassner Jr.
“It won’t be easy because it is a difficult rally and I do not know the pace of some of the other guys in the P-WRC. But I did a good test in Austria recently and feel very confident I can be on the podium at the finish.”
Gassner Jr topped the Group N standings when Rallye Deutschland last appeared in the world championship in 2008. He says he still remembers the achievement with great fondness. “It’s definitely one of the best memories I have from my career,” said Gassner Jr. “But I also remember the only way you can achieve a good result like that is to drive a good, clean race. This is a very important rally for me. I was not happy with my results in Sweden and Portugal so I am looking to get a good result on my home rally.”
Gassner Jr’s main opposition in Germany is expected to come from title leader Armindo Araujo and Patrik Flodin, who is currently eight points behind the Portuguese in the drivers’ standings. Flodin, from Sweden, undertook a Tarmac test in Russia recently to build his limited experience of driving on asphalt, a surface on which Araujo traditionally excels.
Double P-WRC champion Toshi Arai will also be taking part in Germany and, like Flodin, has limited sealed-surface experience. The Subaru Impreza ace tackled the European championship-counting Ypres Rally in Belgium in late June in order to adapt his driving style to Tarmac competition.
The five Pirelli Star Drivers will be in action on the Trier-based event in their Lancer Evolution Xs, although with the exception of Nick Georgiou and Alex Raschi, they have limited knowledge of competing on asphalt.
Ex-Champ Car racer Michel Jourdain Jr could be a dark horse for honours in Germany. Although the Mexican is embarking on only his first full season as a rally driver, his career as a racing driver means he has a wealth of Tarmac competition experience to call upon.
You’ll find more information on ADAC Rallye Deutschland, including this year's itinerary and links to the rally website, in the Rally Deutschland section of wrc.com.
Follow this link to see the more information about the ADAC Rallye Deutschland entry list.
“It won’t be easy because it is a difficult rally and I do not know the pace of some of the other guys in the P-WRC. But I did a good test in Austria recently and feel very confident I can be on the podium at the finish."