News and notes from the Service Park leading into Rally Germany


The shakedown has been completed and the rally gets underway this evening, here is a quick rundown of what happening…

– The ADAC Rallye Deutschland generally runs similar routes each year andd this one is no different. The big change is the reformatting of Saturday stages to put Arena Panzerplatte and Panzerplatte together; and to reverse the direction of Panzeplatte. The big talk of the service park is its roughness. Many drivers suffered punctures on recce with Tanak having four. This means that this 100km loop could be the defining time of the rally – if you can make it through without problems, you could emerge with the lead.

– On tyres, given the warm weather – sunny with temperatures in the high 20s, hard tyres will be the way to go.

– The title condenders said that they all had to go flat out and that it was too soon in the Championship to consider managing pace or tctics. Citroen come with updates to this rally in a hope to recapture their early season form and confirm their pace on smooth surfaces, though this rally is the dirtiest tarmac event of the season,

– Elfyn Evans will be at Germany this weekend in support of the M-Sport team but won’t be driving. He is entered for Turkey but given the nature off his injury, the team won’t make a final call until just before the rally. However the team is keen to have Greensmith back into the WRC2 Pro seat to continue his run there. Team manager, Rich Millener hat he was also keen to get Hayden Paddon in the car but funding had to be secured.

– The team is also looking to continue to develop the new Fiesta R5 with Eric Camilli behind the wheel. The team will continue with Camilli as they develop the car. They are seeking stage times this weekend rather than the outright win in the WRC2 Pro class.

– Additionally the Citroen R5 is back after skipping Finland. A lot of work has been done on the diff settings of the car to get it back out in a better way for the rally. Driver, Mads Ostberg is confident the right decision was made as the squad looks to get it competitive on all surfaces in the WRC2 Championsihp and for customer cars.

– Of the other runners, Belgium’s Kris Princen had to withdraw his Citroen DS3 WRC after crashing in testing. Former Citroen pilot Stefane Lefebvre is in a BMA VW ths weekend, offering both his expereince to the BMA team and PJM Cracco who steps up to a WRC2 seat this weekend.

– The top three in the Championship topped the Shakedown times. Held in stunning sunshine, Ogier topped the session with 2:38.7 just one tenth ahead of Tanak and a further two tenths ahead of Neuville and Lappi. There were no major dramas for the leading contenders on he stage, that was brought to a stop a couple of times with a problem for one of the R5 cars. Reports of a crash for Nicolas Ciamin came through though damage to the car was unknown. The stage wil be used again for the opening test of the event.

— Sam Tickell