ADAC Rallye Deutschland
|ADAC Rallye Deutschland|
|Stages:||18 (325,76 km)|
- Mind-boggling mix of asphalt features bumpy corkscrew vineyard tracks, daunting multi-surface military roads and fast, smooth country lanes.
- More vineyard action than ever. Friday’s opening leg features two repeated tests among the grapes, both narrow and littered with hairpin bends. Two tricky super special stages at Wadern-Weiskirchen complete the schedule.
- It’s back to the service roads on Sunday for two runs at the 29.07km Grafschaft test overlooking the Mosel river, a huge challenge of stamina and concentration.
- The feared Baumholder military roads provide the sandwich to accompany the wine on Saturday. There is almost 100km of stages on the intimidating multi-surfaced Panzerplatte tank training tracks.
- Two fast and narrow tests on country lanes take Saturday’s action up to more than 150km - not far off half the rally’s competitive distance.
- Sunday’s closing Bosenberg Power Stage finishes just outside St Wendel, ahead of the podium ceremony in the town centre.
- A fearsome test of driver and machine, Panzerplatte’s roads send a chill down the spine. They have everything: tortuous twists and turns, fast and smooth asphalt, rough and broken concrete and cobbles. Add in roadside hinkelsteins – massive kerbs designed to keep tanks on the road – and there is plenty to trap the unwary.
- Viewed as the most difficult of the end-of-season asphalt encounters.
- Working efficiently with safety note crews, who drive the stages ahead of competitors to provide up-to-date information about road conditions.
- Unpredictable weather makes tyre choice tricky.
- Avoiding Baumholder’s hinkelsteins on roads that can be dusty and slippery in the dry and treacherous in the wet.
- Vineyard roads that snake through the terraced Mosel landscape are hard on brakes.
- Asphalt suspension – low settings which provide stability and improved balance.
- Different road characteristics in the same group of stages mean set-up is often a compromise.
- Hard compound rubber available for hot and dry conditions, with soft option for wet or cold weather.
- First held in 1982, the rally was part of the European Championship.
- It relocated to Trier in 2000 and joined WRC in 2002.
- Citroën won every Rallye Deutschland since it entered WRC until 2014. Sébastien Loeb took nine victories, with one each for Sébastien Ogier and Dani Sordo until Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville topped the podium in 2014.
What’s new for 2018
- New start and finish in St Wendel. Thursday night’s opening is followed by a compact circuit super special stage in the nearby Wendelinuspark.
- Bosenberg returns to the schedule after a year’s absence, hosting Sunday’s rally-ending Power Stage.
- Last year’s 2.87km Panzerplatte Sprint has tripled in length this year and been rechristened Panzerplatte Arena. It runs twice on Saturday.
- Thursday evening’s St Wendel start. Competitors drive through the start arch in Schlossplatz (castle square) where they will be introduced to fans. Other events include an autograph session with the WRC stars, who will also sign the town’s Golden Book. Fans can watch the subsequent opening stage on a giant video wall.
- The Bostalsee service park. It hosts morning and evening service as well as mid-leg visits on Friday and Saturday. Plenty to see and do in a stunning location.
- Saturday’s Baumholder military stages. As well as the fearsome hinkelsteins, the Gina jump always proves spectacular with cars logging 40 metre flights.
- Grape growers must despair when the WRC comes to town. Rows of vines regularly fall victim to over-ambitious drivers, but it makes for spectacular viewing.