A short spectator-friendly stage based almost entirely within the famous Panzerplatte arena and a new test near the Belgian border are the highlights of the ADAC Rallye Deutschland route announced this week.
The 3.31km Arena Panzerplatte will run twice on Saturday’s leg. It will start and finish in the heart of the most popular spectator area on the Baumholder military land.
It will be followed immediately by the 42.23km Panzerplatte, which will use the maze of roads which make Baumholder one of the toughest challenges of the season.
“It’s a stage designed to be more attractive for fans,” said rally secretary Waltraud Wünsch. “It can be televised easily and it will provide a great show for spectators.
“A lot of people watch in the arena and if there is a stoppage in the longer Panzerplatte test, we can pretty much ensure the stage in the arena will go on,” she added.
Last year’s double run over Panzerplatte was reduced to a single pass following an accident in a supporting historic event that ran as a show between the two scheduled WRC stages.
Friday’s opening leg heads further north than usual to tackle the new Waxweiler stage in the Eifel hills. The 16.40km test, which will be used twice, is close to the Belgian border and near Thierry Neuville’s home town of St Vith.
The rally, round nine of the WRC, runs from 21 - 24 August. It will again be based in Trier with the historic Porta Nigra hosting the start and finish. Cologne, which hosted the start in 2013, will not feature this year.
The route includes the popular vineyard stages alongside the Mosel river and country tests in northern Saarland in addition to Baumholder. Several stages will be used in the opposite direction to last year and competitors will face 18 tests covering 326km.