However, one of the other main talking points in Trier will be the return of Ramona Karlsson and co-driver Miriam Walfridsson to the WRC support category following their fiery exits from the previous round in New Zealand.
Although the Swedes were uninjured despite throwing themselves clear of their burning Mitsubishi Lancer, the car was destroyed when it became engulfed in flames.
Following weeks of frantic behind-the-scenes activity, the all-female crew will be back in action on ADAC Rallye Deutschland in a new car for their debut on asphalt.
“Just a few weeks ago we had no car and the entire situation was really upside down,” said Karlsson. “But thanks to our head mechanic Mikael Gustafsson and our sponsor Mitsubishi we were able to get a hold of a new car that Mikael has prepared for us. It’s been a hard time and a lot of work to get all the pieces of the puzzle into place, and the team has experienced very intense days. But when you really, really want something, you can do it.”
In terms of the title fight, Benito Guerra from Mexico heads the standings by 10 points over Valeriy Gorban from Ukraine. Guerra won in Mexico and Argentina, while Gorban triumphed in Greece. With both Mitsubishi Lancer drivers possessing ample knowledge of asphalt, they are expected to be at the front of the lead battle.
Subhan Aksa arrives in Germany - which hasn’t hosted a PWRC event since 2010 - on the back of two consecutive second-place finishes. However, unlike Guerra and Gorban, the Indonesian, who is third in the points, has limited experience of sealed-surface rallies.
Michal Kosciuszko topped the PWRC standings after two rounds but has slipped 22 points adrift of Ralliart Italy team-mate Guerra’s total after his non-score in Argentina. The Pole triumphed on the Tarmac stages of Rallye Monte-Carlo in January but lacks recent seat time having not competed in the PWRC since the trip to South America in late April.
Argentina’s Marcos Ligato will take the start in Trier on a high following his success on the last round in New Zealand. The leading Subaru Impreza exponent took part on his first Rallye Deutschland in 2003 but needs a strong haul of points following an indifferent start to 2012. Multiple Peruvian champion Nicolas Fuchs will also be playing catch up in the title race. Despite a brace of second places, the Symtech Racing pilot’s retirement from top spot in Greece means he trails Guerra by 26 points.
Other drivers in action include Briton Louise Cook, who can make it four wins out of four in the FIA Production Car Cup for Drivers of 2WD Cars, Mexican ace Ricardo Trivino and Ukrainian Oleksiy Kikireshko in a Mentos Ascania Racing Mitsubishi.