The best of three worlds.
The Germany Rally may be one of three runs to be held purely on asphalt in the world championship, but the character of the event is unique. It is the contrasts that make it so fascinating: This year for the first time, the rally will ceremonially start on the square infront of Cologne Cathedral, while Trier will serve as a focal point with the service park and rally centre. The drivers will then battle it out to secure championship points on some very different terrain – from angular vineyard lanes and flowing B roads to the concrete slabs of a military training ground.
In the Mosel vineyards, the drivers negotiate narrow, winding lanes, which are often lined with high walls – driver error is generally unforgivable here. In Saarland, on the other hand, the drivers can mostly switch to their lead foot on the fast, flowing roads, with speeds of more than 200 km/h the order of the day. That is in stark contrast to the special stage on the Baumholder military training ground: the rough, tyre-slaying concrete slabs and the monoliths lining the left- and right-hand sides of the track are feared by the drivers.
DatE: 22 till 24 August 2014
There’s a group of people who are often overlooked during a rally, and that’s the co-drivers. They are, of course, unjustly overlooked, because rallying is a team sport, and without a co-driver’s very quick instructions, it would be impossible for a driver to drive a WRC vehicle at high speed. After all, you’re sure to run into trouble if you’re driving at 160 km/h without any idea of whether you need to steer left or right after the next corner.
Julien Ingrassia about Rally Germany.
What’s different about Rally Germany?
The scenery with all the vineyards is unique. And the weather can always change suddenly too. It’s a purely asphalt-based rally, so you have to make sure you choose the right tyres.
What do you have to pay particular attention to in Rally Germany?
60 per cent of the special stages are held in the vineyards around Trier. So not only are the roads generally very narrow, but you are also often driving with a virtually vertical wall on the one side and a steep drop on the other. Which means you’re definitely in trouble if you veer off track!
What has been your finest moment in Rally Germany?
Our win in 2010 and in the junior world championship in 2008, which was our first win on asphalt.
And what about your worst moment in Rally Germany?
2013, when we had to make do with finishing in 17th place.