WRC – Petter Solberg World Rally Team – Rally Germany preview‏

August 17, 2011


Photo Tony Welam.

The Petter Solberg World Rally Team is currently making it’s way to Germany for the next event in the World Rally Championship, ADAC Rallye Deutschland. Round nine, this is the first all asphalt round of the season and the first asphalt event for the DS3, meaning the cars will be on a different, much lower set-up than on the gravel surfaces. Rally HQ is in Trier, Germany’s oldest city, which is in the wine producing region of the Mosel valley, not far from the Luxembourg border. With it’s unpredictable weather and changeable surfaces, plus different types of roads the event is like three rallies in one!

Friday’s morning stages work through the vineyards of Trier and are repeated in the afternoon after service. Narrow roads, slippery when wet, full of hairpin bends and overhanging vines mean drivers struggle to find a rhythm. In these and the following stages, dirt is dragged onto the surface from the cars ahead cutting corners, making conditions very difficult for the following cars.

On Saturday the public roads through the northern Saarland countryside are faster and more flowing, the quickest stages of the event, which then lead into the Panzerplatte stage on the Baumholder military land. Here a mix of wide asphalt and bumpy rough concrete will test the tyres on the slippy, dirty surface which is edged with the giant hinkelsteins-the kerbstones that are designed to keep tanks on the road.

On Sunday it’s back to the vineyards for four stages before the 4.37km Power Stage in the street around Trier’s historic Porta Nigra, a UNESCO World Heritage site, which also hosts Thursday’s Ceremonial start.

– Finally we are ready for an all asphalt event, says Petter Solberg. – We have had two full days of testing and managed to cover both vineyard-roads and the Baumholder area. I do hope we now have the info we need for fine-tuning the set up for the car. It was also important to get as many kilometres on tarmac as possible in the DS3, as this is the first time I’ve done it. Rally Germany will be great, and I look forward to starting!

ADAC Rallye Deutschland starts on Friday 19th August at 1013 local time.

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