Stuart Loudon-clear guide to ADAC Rallye Deutschland

Stuart Loudon-clear guide to ADAC Rallye Deutschland

11.08.2017: The WRC hits fever pitch in Germany Welcome to the rally of three parts. It’s quite rare these days to find

The WRC hits fever pitch in Germany

Welcome to the rally of three parts. It’s quite rare these days to find a World Rally Championship round with such diverse roads and stages – but that’s always part of the appeal of ADAC Rallye Deutschland.

And, with the drivers’ championship so finely balanced, six different winners in nine rallies and the 2017 World Rally Car capturing the imagination of the motorsport world, next week’s Bostalsee-based counter couldn’t be more keenly anticipated.

I’ve done Germany three times, retired twice and scored one WRC Academy podium with John MacCrone in 2012. To the uninitiated, this is a Tarmac round of the world championship. Actually, it’s so much more than that: the three different styles of road really do bring their own unique challenge.

 For example, a car which works in the Baumholder military testing ground needs to be soft enough to give grip on an ever-changing surface – but when you get out into the country roads, you need the sort of high-speed precision that comes with a much stiffer set up.

And in the middle of those two, you have the vineyard stages up and down the Mosel Valley, where you feel like you’re threading the eye of a needle at 100mph it’s so narrow. And nothing slows you down like one of the many, many hairpins waiting at the end of every straight.

This event’s a brilliant mix of some of the best asphalt stages around. I love the challenge and I really look forward to next week and a new base in Bostalsee. It’ll be quite strange not being in Trier for the first time, but there’s nothing new in the areas the rally visits.

As I detail below in the weather section, trying to predict what’s coming on the meteo front is particularly complicated on this rally – and a source of significant frustration and stress! But, being an asphalt round, we have the safety crews back in the team.

These crews go through the stages roughly 90 minutes ahead of the competing cars and report back on the conditions. It’s fantastic to have the extra information, but managing that and translating it into what it might mean for the weather and the road surface is where the real art lies…

Stuart Loudon’s key stage: SS10/15 Panzerplatte 2 41.97km (26.08miles)

Concrete, broken concrete, asphalt, hinkelsteins, corners, corners, corners, Gina and her jump. That, in a nutshell, is Panzerplatte. It’s one of the most frustrating and rewarding stages in the championship. It’s vital to get into a rhythm in the technical, twisty section with all the junctions; it’s such a fine balance – once you start trying to steal a tenth of a second in these corners, you can easily overdrive, slide wide and drop time.

If that happens, everything starts to work against you: you overheat the tyres, lose more grip and then get ragged trying even harder to make up the time you’ve just lost. The key to Panzerplatte is rhythm and patience in the twisty and bravery in the quicker bits – especially over Gina’s jump.

Stuart will be watching… #6 Dani Sordo/Marc Marti (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)

Dani struggled a little bit last time out in Finland, but he won’t struggle in Germany. This rally is right up his street and he’ll certainly start among the favourites. He’s competed in Germany 12 times before, so he’s seen these roads in just about every conceivable condition and that gives him an incredible depth of experience to draw on when it comes to setting the car up. And, let’s not forget what happened here four years ago, when he took what has to be one of the most popular victories in the world championship.

Weather with you:

Predicting the weather in this part of the world is a nightmare, with the hills, mountains and micro-climates which lie in wait. Suffice to say, at this point we don’t have any indications of prolonged extreme weather; we’re unlikely to have a prolonged heat wave with temperatures in the Thirties and we’re unlikely to have monsoon conditions. 

Sandra Evans-  photo Stuart Loudon


11.08.2017 / MaP

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