WRC – Germany Almost Home For Kuipers

August 17, 2011


The ADAC Rallye Deutschland is special for the FERM Power Tools World Rally Team. For the first time this season there is an asphalt rally and it is very close to the Dutch, Belgian border.

For Dennis Kuipers and Frédéric Miclotte who pilot the Ford Fiesta RS WRC, the race in Germany is their home rally. “It is definitely motivating when you see the Dutch fans next to the track. Even when I’m in fully concentrated, I see the red, white and blue flags hanging,” says Kuipers. “The enthusiasm of the Dutch is just amazing. I think it is wonderful that the rally fans have the opportunity to see a great rally without having to travel far.”

Frederic Miclotte welcomes the heart-warming reception in Trier.  “It is our home rally, so there are fans, friends and family, obviously the Belgian flags cannot be missed. Also during the service it is busier than other races and that makes it extra special. “In this inspiring environment awaits the FERM duo a particular race.” This rally can be divided into 3 different rallies” says Kuipers. “You have the typical stages near the vineyards, then the military area near Baumholder and the countryside around Trier.”

Both driver and navigator think that rhythm and concentration are the key ingredients to a successful Germany Rally, especially in the vineyard and on Panzerplatte, the 35 km long stage in the military field.” Kuipers is joined by a large contingent of Dutch drivers in Germany. “It is great to see so many countrymen, especially my good friend Hans Weijs.”


Germany sees a new challenge for the Ford Fiesta RS WRC, instead of the loose gravel stages that have dominated the first half of the season, ADAC Rallye Deutschland sees the first of three Asphalt events.  Rally Germany sees three very different types of stages over the three days – Day 1 is in the German Countryside where there is a mixture of fast and flowing stages.  Day 2 visits the Baumholder Military ranges where you weave through the abrasive tarmac roads which are normally used for driving on with tanks and the final day is based on the Mosel vineyard roads which are fast and narrow but have plenty of tight hairpin bends to keep the driver concentrated.

To allow for the different road conditions the Fiesta RS WRC undergoes a number of changes from its usual gravel setup – the ride height is lowered to increase aerodynamics, bigger brake discs are added to increase stopping power, stiffer springs and dampers are fitted to increase the handling and responsiveness, stiffer roll bars are used and there is a choice of two Michelin compound tyres – a hard and a soft option – fitted depending on the weather conditions and temperatures.  With the stages in the Baumholder region being 34km in length tyre wear is also a critical factor the crews must think about. Camber is also adjusted to make the car more nimble over the tarmac tests.  The whole set-up of the car is fine tuned to be more aggressive than on gravel but this means the car is less forgiving so the drivers must be fully concentrated at all times.

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