WRC getting back to tarmac in Germany


Round 10 of the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship takes the crews back onto tarmac for Rallye Deutschland (22-25 August), an event known for its demanding roads and often changeable weather conditions.

Thierry Neuville (BEL) performs during the FIA World Rally Championship 2016 Germany in Trier, Germany on August 20, 2016 // Jaanus Ree/Red Bull Content Pool // P-20160820-00500 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information. //o

First run in 1982, it was part of the FIA European Rally Championship before becoming Germany’s round of the WRC in 2002. Although the rally base moved from Trier to Bostalsee two years ago, it has remained faithful to a popular formula combining twisty vineyard roads above the Mosel river, the varied and sometimes broken surfaces of the Baumholder military ground, and fast country lanes of the Saarland region.

Winner of the last two editions, Ott Tänak could target a hat trick to further increase his championship lead, which grew to 22 points after the triumph of the Toyota driver on the last round in Finland. His rivals Sébastien Ogier (Citroën) and Thierry Neuville (Hyundai) – who are separated by just three points – are also both former winners of the event, opening up the prospect of a thrilling, flat-out battle between the trio.

With Elfyn Evans continuing to recover from a back injury, Gus Greensmith gets another top-level start with M-Sport. After skipping Finland, Rally Sardinia’s winner Dani Sordo returns to the Hyundai line-up alongside Neuville and Andreas Mikkelsen. Meanwhile, Toyota offers its Japanese protégé Takamoto Katsuta his first WRC outing in a Yaris – entered by Tommi Mäkinen Racing – after several impressive demonstrations in FIA WRC 2.

FIA WRC 2 Pro leader Kalle Rovanperä has four consecutive class wins under his belt but the Finn will face stiff competition in Germany, from his Škoda team-mate and asphalt expert Jan Kopecký, as well as Citroën’s Mads Østberg and Eric Camilli, competing in M-Sport’s latest Ford Fiesta R5.

Fresh from his maiden win in Finland, Russia’s Nikolay Gryazin heads a strong 15-car entry in the FIA WRC 2, which includes the French trio Adrien Fourmaux, Nicolas Ciamin and Stéphane Lefebvre, and the German pair Marijan Griebel and Fabian Kreim.


This year’s Rallye Deutschland begins with a new twist, as the 5.2 kilometre “St. Wendeler Land” Shakedown is then run again on Thursday evening as the first competitive stage. Friday’s loop consists of a pair of vineyard stages, plus the Wadern-Weikirchen circuit test, with all three run twice. Saturday’s format offers two Saarland country lane stages to be run twice in the morning, ahead of two loops around Baumholder in the afternoon. On Sunday, the rally returns to the vineyards for another pair of repeated stages to conclude the event.