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    Cool WRC Germany 24-26 Aug talk/results spoiler **

    --------------------

    Next: Round 9 WRC Germany 24-26 Aug




    Based in the historic city of Trier in Germany’s wine-producing Mosel region, ADAC Rallye Deutschland is an asphalt rally like no other with all three days of the event held on different types of sealed surfaces.

    Official Website: adac-rallye-deutschland.de/uk

    Listen Live: worldrallyradio.com/

    Watch Speed TV(USA): speedtv.com//filter/program/wrc


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    Shakedown

    Citroen's Sebastien Loeb was quickest this morning in the shakedown for Rallye Deutschland.

    Loeb, who is the favourite this weekend, completed the 4.55 kilometre test, located less than 8 kilometres south of the service park in Trier, in 2 minutes 25.2 seconds, out pacing Ford's Jari-Matti Latvala by 0.8 seconds.

    Mads Ostberg and Petter Solberg meanwhile were joint third quickest, both 0.3 seconds off Latvala, while Thierry Neuville rounded out the top five for the Citroen Junior WRT.

    Mikko Hirvonen had to settle for sixth, with Prodrive WRC team man, Dani Sordo seventh in his MINI John Cooper Works WRC car.

    Ott Tanak, Evgeny Novikov and Chris Atkinson rounded out the top ten, the latter of course making his debut this weekend with the WRC MINI Team Portugal outfit, having been drafted in to replaced Armindo Araujo.

    The event now begins tomorrow [Friday], with SS1, the 24.90 kilometre Mittelmosel 1 test, starting at 10.48 hours local time (09.48 hours UK time). Day 1 includes six stages and a total competitive distance of 137.84 kilometres. There is no qualifying stage in Germany, as Rallye Deutschland is an asphalt event.

    Qualifying is only deemed necessary on gravel events, where starting position is more critical as the roads can clean if it is dry, meaning those out first end up acting as road sweepers.

    Rallye Deutschland: Shakedown:

    1. Sebastien Loeb Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC 2m 25.2s M
    2. Jari-Matti Latvala Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC 2m 26.0s M
    = Mads Ostberg Adapta WRT Fiesta RS WRC 2m 26.0s
    4. Petter Solberg Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC 2m 26.3s M
    5. Thierry Neuville Citroen Junior WRT DS3 WRC 2m 26.4s M
    6. Mikko Hirvonen Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC 2m 26.6s M
    7. Dani Sordo Prodrive WRC Team MINI John Coopers Works WRC 2m 26.9s
    8. Ott Tanak M-Sport Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC 2m 27.7s M
    9. Evgeny Novikov M-Sport Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC 2m 27.8s M
    10. Chris Atkinson WRC MINI Team Portugal John Cooper Works WRC 2m 28.6s

    all times unofficial

    crash.net/world+rally/news/183069


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    Last edited by Weasel 555; 08-23-2012 at 05:20 AM.
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    Friday

    SS1: Early exit for Novikov


    Evgeny Novikov's debut on ADAC Rallye Deutschland is over almost before it has began after the Russian retired on the opening stage of the FIA World Rally Championship qualifier.

    Co-driven by stand-in navigator Nicolas Klinger for the first time, the 21-year-old Novikov took a rear wheel off his Fiesta RS WRC during an off on the 24.90-kilometre Mittelmosel run.

    He will return under Rally 2 regulations on Saturday morning but will almost certainly fail to finish outside of the top 10 when substantial time penalties are applied.

    click: wrc.com/news/germany ss1



    ---------------------

    SS2: Hirvonen loses ground

    Mikko Hirvonen fell back from third to fifth place on stage two of ADAC Rallye Deutschland as he struggled for confidence in his Citroen DS3 WRC.

    While Hirvonen's team-mate Sebastien Loeb stormed further ahead at the front of the field, Hirvonen was only seventh-quickest and dropped behind Jari-Matti Latvala (Ford World Rally Team) and Thierry Neuville (Citroen Junior) in the podium battle.

    "I just don't have a good feeling and don't have any rhythm," said Hirvonen. "I'm really struggling. I'm just being too cautious all the time. It's not a good drive at all. I'm not just cautious on the gravel, on other places as well. I just don't have good confidence now."

    Although Latvala moved up from fourth to third, he felt his Ford's set-up was too soft - a problem he cannot rectify until the midday service.

    "This is a rally where Sebastien is super strong, I don't expect to be able to fight with him, but still I'm a little bit down about the speed," Latvala confessed.

    The Finn is just 1.8s ahead of Neuville, while Hirvonen is now a further 4.5s back.

    click: wrc.com/news/germany ss2



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    SS3: Latvala closes on second



    While Sebastien Loeb completed a clean sweep of fastest times on the opening morning of ADAC Rallye Deutschland, the battle for second place closed up as Jari-Matti Latvala pulled away from the rest of the pack and gained on his Ford team-mate Petter Solberg.

    The gap between the two Fords is now down to 5.7 seconds after Latvala went second quickest behind Loeb on the Grafschaft stage.

    Latvala felt that was the best he could do for now before switching at service to the harder set-up he feels would make his car more competitive.

    "We improved the car a little bit but now it's important to get to service and get the correct set-up and increase the confidence," said Latvala.

    Solberg rued an ongoing issue that costing him pace.

    "I had a small problem at the start and it got worse and worse through the stages, the same as the other stages," he said. "It's not a bad day so far. We have to try and improve a little bit."

    Loeb's overall lead now stands at 13.1s over Solberg. The world champion has set the pace on all three stages so far.

    "This one was more difficult for me," said Loeb after stage three. "There were a lot of long straights with big braking. But for the moment, no problems. There's a long way to go."

    The pack behind Latvala opened out a little as Mikko Hirvonen continued to struggle for confidence in fifth place, and Thierry Neuville was one of several drivers who slowed to check on Martin Prokop, whose Ford caught fire in the stage. The crew got out safely. Neuville also dropped time with a gearshift issue and an overshoot, so is now 6.7s behind Latvala in fourth.

    Ott Tanak also paused for Prokop's incident and also took an off-course detour, resulting in him losing sixth place to Dani Sordo's MINI. The stage appears to have now been stopped so that Prokop's fire can be attended to.

    click: wrc.com/news/germany ss3



    ---------------------

    Friday midday wrap:



    Sebastien Loeb heads ADAC Rallye Deutschland after Friday’s opening trio of stages as he bids to make it win number nine on the challenging asphalt event, round nine of the FIA World Rally Championship.

    Despite overnight thunderstorms, the morning stages were largely dry with teams opting for a variety of tyre compound choices.

    Loeb, from France, was fastest on all three stages in his Citroen DS3 WRC. He said: “I was careful at the start because it was muddy under the trees and I didn’t want to make a mistake. When it was dry I pushed a bit harder, but it was difficult. At the moment we have done three good stages, there has been no problem but there is still a long way to go.”

    Petter Solberg is second overall in his Ford Fiesta RS WRC, 13.1s behind Loeb. “It’s not been a bad day so far but we have to try to improve,” said the Norwegian.

    Jari-Matti Latvala, in third overall, said the settings of his factory Fiesta were too soft for the dry conditions and added that he would be stiffening up his car’s suspension in service. Mikko Hirvonen admitted that he struggled to find a good rhythm in his works Citroen. The Finn is fifth overall behind Citroen Junior driver Thierry Neuville, who has reported a minor gear change issue, but has otherwise impressed.

    “My confidence on sections where have some dirt and gravel is not good, okay we can try some changes but I need to reset myself to see if I can go faster this afternoon,” said Hirvonen.

    Chris Atkinson’s debut for WRC Team MINI Portugal suffered an early setback when two drinks bottles became detached, forcing the Australian to spend half off the stage trying to prevent them from getting stuck under his pedals. Dani Sordo is the top MINI driver in sixth position.

    Mads Ostberg’s rally got off to a frustrating start when he overshot a junction after reporting a loss of brakes. Ott Tanak also suffered an overshoot on the opening stage and was forced to reverse. Evgeny Novikov stopped in the stage in his similar Fiesta after taking a wheel off his car. He is set to restart under Rally 2 regulations on Saturday.

    more: wrc.com/news/friday-midday-wrap

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    SS4: Latvala flies to stage win

    Jari-Matti Latvala ended Sebastien Loeb's run of fastest stage times on ADAC Rallye Deutschland as he set the pace on the second running of the Mittelmosel test.

    The Ford man's 14m31.7s outpaced Loeb by 1.8 seconds, and brought Latvala to within 3.2s of his second-placed team-mate Petter Solberg, and 17s off the lead.

    But Latvala admitted he could not maintain that sort of speed without huge risks.

    "It's good but I have to say I can't push any more," he said. "Now I just need to be smart. I'm very, very happy with the time but I had two big moments and I just need to back off a bit. But it's good to pressure Loeb."

    Loeb felt his own performance had not been as good as earlier in the day.

    "I was pushing harder than in the morning but I don't know if maybe there is some dirt or just me not being as fast on the second pass. But I did a good stage," he said.

    Solberg lost 0.7s to Loeb and said he was pleased to be staying in contention on a rally where the champion has always been so dominant. Loeb has won in Germany every time the event has been in the FIA World Rally Championship except last season, when he was only denied by a puncture.

    "We're on the pace. We've just got to stay calm," said Solberg.

    click: wrc.com/news/germany ss4



    ---------------------

    SS5: Loeb shows his speed again

    Sebastien Loeb reasserted his authority on stage five of ADAC Rallye Deutschland, extending his overall lead up to 18 seconds.

    On the preceding Mittelmosel stage, Jari-Matti Latvala had become the first man to outpace Loeb this weekend, as he pipped the FIA World Rally champion to the fastest time.

    But Loeb not only got back on top with a rapid run through Moselland in his Citroen, he also saw Latvala dramatically lose pace.

    After pipping the Frenchman on stage four, Latvala lost 12.7s to Loeb on stage five, going only seventh fastest and falling 10.8s away from his Ford team-mate Petter Solberg in their battle for second.

    At the end of Mittelmosel Latvala had admitted that he had gone over the edge to take his stage win and would have to back off a touch, and after his slow time on the next stage he confessed that he had utterly misjudged his pace.

    "Maybe I just backed off too much," said the stunned Latvala. "I know I need to be a little bit more careful, but maybe I was too careful.

    "It seems I was very, very slow. I don't really understand where it happened."

    Latvala is now only 3.3s ahead of Thierry Neuville as the Citroen Junior driver closes on fourth.

    Another battle getting tighter is the fight for fifth. With Mikko Hirvonen still struggling in the second factory Citroen, his cushion over Dani Sordo's Prodrive MINI has dwindled to just 1.6s.

    That is not just because of Hirvonen's problems, though, for Sordo also raised his pace and went third-quickest on Moselland - a time he conceded had required a lot of commitment.

    "It was a little bit better but I'm pushing really, really hard and taking a lot of risks," said Sordo.

    click: wrc.com/news/germany ss5



    ---------------------

    SS6: Sordo surges into top five

    Dani Sordo continued his progress on the final stage of day one of ADAC Rallye Deutschland, as he set the third-quickest time - just half a second off rally leader Sebastien Loeb - and moved up to fifth overall.

    Prodrive MINI driver Sordo was concerned about a gearshift glitch, but very pleased with his improved pace.

    "The time is good but when I try to change from sixth to fifth, it's really, really hard and I lose time with the car in neutral," said Sordo. "But the times are becoming better and better, so this is the most important thing."

    The stage win went to Jari-Matti Latvala, his second in three stages this afternoon. After flying through stage four, Latvala had been staggered to see how much time he dropped just by backing off slightly on stage five, but made amends on Grafschaft to beat Loeb by 0.3s.

    "It was a big lesson for me what happened on the middle one," said Latvala. "It was just unbelievable when you back off a bit and suddenly the time is not there. You just need to keep pushing if you want to fight with him."

    Loeb ended the day with a 20s lead over Petter Solberg and a 29s advantage back to Latvala - a result that left the FIA World Rally champion satisfied.

    "For sure I'm happy," said Loeb. "We are leading so that's really good. We've started to increase our lead a little bit.

    "On this stage it was a bit harder to extend our lead because it is a bit faster and easier and it's impossible to make a difference."

    Just behind the two Fords, Thierry Neuville is still showing well in fourth place for Citroen Junior.

    Sordo's move up to fifth was at the expense of Mikko Hirvonen. The Citroen man had been struggling for confidence all day and felt that he had made a breakthrough on stage five, although he would ultimately still lose ground.

    "It's better, it's going in the right direction," Hirvonen insisted. "I haven't tried anymore. I've just been cruising and driving around and it's given me a better rhythm.

    "I was trying way too hard in the morning and trying to force myself and it just didn't work. It's not the way to drive this car."

    click: wrc.com/news/germany ss6




    ...


    ------------------

    Q&A: Martin Prokop




    Martin Prokop and co-driver Zdenek Hruza were unharmed when fire destroyed their Ford Fiesta RS WRC on stage three of ADAC Rallye Deutschland earlier today. Prokop spoke to WRC.com following their ordeal and their plans to return to action.

    What exactly happened?

    “Actually we don’t know because the flames and the smoke was coming very fast so I decided to stop because it was impossible to sit in the car any more. We will try to find the parts that could have been broken, like the brake pipes or dampers because maybe there was some problem with leaking oil from these parts because it was really aggressive, very fast. It will be difficult because you can see there is nothing left on the car.”

    You suffered a puncture earlier in the stage. Could this have contributed to the problem?

    “We had a flat tyre but normally nothing happens with a flat tyre. Maybe there was some combination with this problem. But there was no crash, nothing like that. We were looking in the mirrors and we saw big flames. Then the smoke was coming so everything happened very fast.”

    How far were you from the stage finish?

    “It was one kilometre from the finish. Of course I was thinking to go there but then I realised it was not possible and within a few minutes it was done. The problem was the fire brigade could not come for 18 minutes and it was not possible to save the car even though we tried to do our best with some extinguishers. But it didn’t help.”

    The main thing is you are okay, right?


    “We are both okay because we jumped from the car immediately. My co-driver was trying for a long time to save the car but it was not possible.”

    more: wrc.com/news/qa-martin-prokop


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    Friday wrap:

    Sebastien Loeb holds an advantage of 20.4s in his pursuit of a ninth ADAC Rallye Deutschland victory heading to the overnight halt at the end of a thrilling opening day of action in the vineyards north east of host city Trier.

    Loeb, winner of the FIA World Rally Championship for the last eight years, was fastest on four of Friday’s six all-asphalt stages in his Citroen DS3 WRC. Petter Solberg is second with factory Ford team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala third, 9.0s down on the former world champion.

    “For sure I am happy,” said French legend Loeb. “We are leading, that’s really good and we started to increase a little bit our lead. I am pushing hard because I am feeling comfortable in the car and I am able to make some differences so that’s good.”

    Solberg was hampered slightly by a brake issue in the morning, while Latvala - who outlined the pace of Ford’s Fiesta RS WRC on asphalt with a brace of stage wins in the afternoon - lost precious time in the morning with a few wrong calls on tyre compound choice and set-up.

    Despite the recurrence of the gearshift problem that plagued him in the morning, Thierry Neuville completed day one in a strong fourth overall for the Citroen Junior World Rally Team, 5.1s behind Latvala.

    Dani Sordo, in a Prodrive WRC Team MINI, snatched fifth from Mikko Hirvonen on the day’s final stage with the third fastest time even though the Spaniard said he struggled to change from sixth to fifth gear. “I had to be careful because of this but the time is coming better and better and that is the important thing,” he said.

    Hirvonen, meanwhile, lacked confidence in the morning and then reckoned he had been overdriving so backed off in an attempt to improve his performance.

    more: wrc.com/news/friday-wrap


    ----------------------

    Friday PWRC wrap:



    Benito Guerra heads a close battle for FIA Production Car World Rally Championship glory after completing day one of ADAC Rallye Deutschland with a lead of 5.7s over team-mate Michal Kosciuszko.

    Kosciuszko hit the front on the opening stage of the day and remained there through five of the day’s six tests. But PWRC title leader Guerra was never far from the front on his debut on the asphalt event and moved into the lead with a stunning run through stage six.

    Both drivers enjoyed a largely trouble-free run through the opening day of competition, save for the long brake pedals associated with competing in near-standard cars on such twisty, technical stages in relatively hot conditions. “Today has been very tough,” said Guerra. “But it’s a great fight with Michal.”

    Marcos Ligato is third despite a rising engine temperature dropping his Subaru Impreza onto safe mode on stage six. Subhan Aksa is fourth on his first event on Tarmac, although the Indonesian was frustrated when his car suffered a turbo glitch late in the day. Ricardo Trivino is fifth with Nicolas Fuchs sixth after dropping time with a fuel pump wire issue and a right-rear puncture.

    Ukranian driver Valeriy Gorban’s hopes of improving on his second place in the championship were dashed when he retired on the opening test - his fellow Mentos Ascania Racing Mitsubishi driver Oleksii Kikireshko didn’t fare much better retiring his Lancer on the same test.

    Ramona Karlsson, competing for the first time since her fire destroyed her Lancer on Brother Rally New Zealand in late June, retired with a mechanical failure on stage two. Louise Cook also failed to make it through the day when a suspected electrical issue resulted in her Fiesta R2 continually cutting out. She hopes to return under Rally 2 rules on Saturday.

    click: wrc.com/news/friday-pwrc-wrap



    ----------------------

    Friday WRC Academy wrap:



    Briton Elfyn Evans has continued his strong run of form in the FIA WRC Academy by reaching the finish of day one leading the young driver-training category by 9.9s ahead of Spain's Jose Suarez and Australian Brendan Reeves.

    But while Evans could savour a strong effort on his ADAC Rallye Deutschland debut, his fellow Brits Alastair Fisher and John MacCrone were both left to reflect on what might have been after they hit trouble.

    MacCrone was leading after winning the opening two stages when he slid on a patch of oil and bent the rear axle on his Ford Fiesta R2, used as standard in the series, on stage four. His misfortune handed top spot to Fisher, who was 18s in front when a rear-right puncture on stage five dropped him to fifth place, 1m31.1s adrift of Evans heading to the overnight halt in Trier.

    “It’s been a very difficult day and it’s more a smile of relief than a sense of achievement,” said Evans, who survived a spin on stage two.

    Suarez, on course for his best finish in the WRC Academy, reported brake issues with Reeves losing ground with a spin on the opening test.

    Timo van der Marel is fourth after a trouble-free day although the same cannot be said for Fredrik Ahlin who stopped on stage two when his bonnet flew open and cracked his car’s windscreen. Despite taping it back into place, it flew up again before the stage finish and caused the Swede, who is nursing an injured right hand, the legacy of his crash on the previous round in Finland, further delay.

    Pontus Tidemand and guest entrant Martin Koci from Slovenia both retired in the opening stages, while Jose Suarez and Ashley Haigh-Smith withdrew before tackling a stage in anger.

    click: wrc.com/news/friday-wrc-academy


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    Saturday

    SS7: Loeb thrives as rain hits


    Sebastien Loeb doubled his ADAC Rallye Deutschland lead on just one stage as Saturday morning kicked off with a surprise downpour on the Stein and Wein stage.

    With most of the field on hard tyres, drivers were left floundering. Running first on the road actually proved fortuitous for Loeb, for although he encountered plenty of rain, conditions only got worse and worse for those following.

    "We had heavy rain in the stage, but I had less than the others," Loeb acknowledged.

    "It was really, really tricky. We are on hard tyres so it was very difficult to keep the car on the road.

    "If I'd expected it, for sure I would've have soft tyres in the car."

    Both Fords lost over 20 seconds to Loeb's Citroen in the conditions, leaving Petter Solberg 41.8s behind and Jari-Matti Latvala 54.8s down.

    "Unbelievable. I couldn't drive any faster. I had no steering whatsoever," said Solberg.

    Latvala reckoned his set-up was particularly inappropriate for rain, having gained pace when he went to harder settings during Friday.

    "Let's say that my car would've been good without the rain, but the rain came," said Latvala.

    "My car is so stiff, I had to back off. There was no chance for me to be any quicker."

    click: wrc.com/news/germany ss7



    ---------------------

    SS8: Sordo blasts into third

    The battle for the ADAC Rallye Deutschland podium places took a dramatic twist in the rain of Peterberg as Dani Sordo jumped to third and Jari-Matti Latvala fell back to fifth.

    A first stage victory of the weekend for Sordo and the Prodrive MINI team saw them gain two places, even though the Spaniard said he had driven cautiously in the tricky conditions.

    "I didn't take a lot of risks, I just drove and braked normally," said Sordo. "It was tricky with hard tyres in the wet, but we needed to do it.

    "It's good but the rally is really long and now there's a really important stage for everyone with Panzerplatte."

    Latvala lost over half a minute trying to regain the road after a spin, leaving him three seconds behind Sordo and 2.2s down on Thierry Neuville in the overall positions.

    "I spun it. Under braking there was a bit more dampness than I thought," said Latvala. "No damage, but I got stuck and had to reverse, then go forwards and finally I got back, but I lost a lot of time.

    "Now I need to concentrate on third place. Petter [Solberg] has gone and [Sebastien] Loeb is too far away."

    Loeb lost 0.2s to Solberg as he drove conservatively through the stage, keeping his outright lead at 41.6s.

    "You've just got to keep the speed in the corner, and the road is as wide as the car here so if you lose it once, you're off," said Loeb. "We don't want to make a mistake, we have a good lead."

    click: wrc.com/news/germany ss8



    ---------------------

    SS9: Latvala to second amid drama

    Sebastien Loeb's lead grew to a minute and a half and Jari-Matti Latvala moved up from fifth to second amid huge drama on the famous Arena Panzerplatte stage in Germany.

    Petter Solberg, Dani Sordo and Thierry Neuville - who started the stage in second, third and fourth respectively - all hit trouble on the notoriously challenging 46-kilometre stage.

    Neuville had to retire after putting his Citroen Junior DS3 off the road, although the team expects him to be able to rejoin under Rally 2 on Sunday.

    Solberg stopped his Ford Fiesta RS WRC with damage to the right rear, and is yet to get going again.

    Sordo was the only one of the trio to make it to the end, having parked to change a puncture on his MINI.

    "We had a really slow puncture at the beginning of the stage and we drove a little bit like that because we weren't sure if it was the tyres moving or a puncture because it was so slow," said Sordo, who would lose two and a half minutes.

    "When the tyre went out, we decided to stop and change it. We lost a lot of time, and afterwards we didn't do very well."

    That meant Latvala and Mikko Hirvonen moved up to second and third positions, with Latvala just 0.8s down on stage winner Loeb.

    click: wrc.com/news/germany ss9



    -----------------------


    Saturday midday wrap:



    Sebastien Loeb has moved another step towards his ninth ADAC Rallye Deutschland victory by completing Saturday's trio of stages with a lead of 1m29.7s at the wheel of his Citroen DS3 WRC.

    Loeb, who was fastest on stages seven and nine, had to give best to Dani Sordo through stage eight but was otherwise in control during the morning loop of tests held in damp conditions following rain.

    “For sure we have done a good start today but it’s not been easy in the conditions,” said Loeb, winner of the FIA World Rally Championship on eight occasions. “It helped in the first stage when we did not have so much rain compared to the others but we have had three good stages with no problems.”

    Sordo’s fastest time had put him into third in his MINI John Cooper Works WRC but a puncture on Arena Panzerplatte means he slips to sixth position heading to mid-morning service in Trier’s Messepark. “It was a really slow puncture at the beginning of the stage, we drive a little because we were not sure then after we decided to stop and change the tyre and after we don’t do very well,” said Sordo.

    Petter Solberg and Thierry Neuville were also in trouble on the punishing 46.54-kilometre test, with Solberg breaking a right-rear wheel on his Ford Fiesta RS WRC when he slid wide on a tight left-hand bend and struck a rock 30 kilometres into the run. Neuville went off the road in his Citroen DS3 WRC and, like Solberg, won’t be able to continue. Solberg had been second at the time with Neuville holding fourth.

    Their misfortune promoted Jari-Matti Latvala from fifth to second after the Finn had lost time - and third place - on stage eight, Peterberg, with an overshoot in the damp conditions. “Solberg was in a very good position, I’m very disappointed for him,” said Latvala. “We go for the podium, there’s nothing we can do about Loeb.”

    Mikko Hirvonen is third in the second factory Citroen with Mads Ostberg fourth in his Adapta Fiesta and Ott Tanak up to fifth in his M-Sport example. Behind Sordo in sixth, Chris Atkinson is seventh for WRC Team MINI Portugal with Volkswagen Motorsport’s Sebastien Ogier in eighth.

    ....Michal Kosciuszko heads the Production Car World Rally Championship standings after a puncture slowed his team-mate Benito Guerra on Saturday’s first run. Subhan Aksa has impressed on his first asphalt rally winning his class on the first two stages. He moved into third when a puncture slowed Marcos Ligato’s Subaru Impreza.

    ....Elfyn Evans survived a puncture on stage seven to maintain his grip on the WRC Academy leaderboard with Jose Suarez second and Brendan Reeves third. Alastair Fisher is in fourth after topping the division through Arena Panzerplatte, where a puncture slowed Timo van der Marel. John MacCrone was also delayed by a deflation.

    click: wrc.com/news/sat-midday-wrap


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    SS10: Tanak stars with stage win



    Estonia's rising star Ott Tanak achieved another milestone in his FIA World Rally Championship career with his maiden stage victory on asphalt on stage 10 of ADAC Rallye Deutschland.

    The slightly surprised M-Sport Ford driver beat second-placed Dani Sordo by 2.1 seconds, and in the process moved up to fourth overall, ahead of Mads Ostberg.

    "It's pretty good, eh? It shows I can drive on Tarmac as well. At least we've done some quite okay stage times," said Tanak, who added that his mentor Markko Martin had told him that rallying on asphalt might be more fun than he expected.

    In the overall standings, Sebastien Loeb extended his lead over Jari-Matti Latvala to 1m38.5s.

    "We were a bit afraid before the start as it started to rain on the road section and we had hard tyres and Jari-Matti had softs," said Loeb. "Okay, we have a big gap, but... Anyway it was dry and we were okay."

    Latvala had gone for softs to be as safe in possible in the event of further rain, although the afternoon looks set to bring entirely dry stages.

    The cautious tyre choice therefore cost Latvala nine seconds to the pursuing Mikko Hirvonen. That reduced the gap to 27s, but Hirvonen did not think he had much chance of catching Latvala.

    "It's getting closer, but I don't think just with driving I can catch him," said Hirvonen. "But you never know what's going to happen in a rally - a puncture or a mistake."

    Hirvonen added that he was finally starting to feel more confident in his Citroen DS3 WRC's handling in Germany.

    "It's better now, everything's working and conditions were consistent," he said.

    click: wrc.com/news/germany ss10



    ---------------------

    Solberg: early exit my fault

    Petter Solberg says he was to blame for his exit from second place on ADAC Rallye Deutschland this morning.

    The Ford World Rally Team star had been impressing in his Fiesta RS WRC when a mistake on the Arena Panzerplatte test forced his retirement after he broke his car’s right-rear wheel and suspension striking a rock.

    “It was my fault,” said Solberg. “I lost the back end of the car in a very long left corner and I couldn’t get it back again. We had a big slide and the car touched a rock. Unfortunately the damage on the rear-right was too big to continue. I felt I was in full control [before the slide] and it’s very disappointing because my pace has been good all weekend and I’ve not made any mistakes until then.”

    Although Solberg and co-driver Chris Patterson are expected to restart on day three, any hopes of a podium finish on the FIA World Rally Championship round are over, much to team boss Malcolm Wilson’s frustration.

    “It’s tough to take and so disappointing when you know the package is capable of winning,” said Wilson. “To think we can do the times we are doing against Sebastien Loeb on his event proves how competitive the car is. We have to keep the pressure on now with Jari-Matti [Latvala] and can’t ease off because if Loeb does have a puncture you might be able to capitalise. On the other hand it’s put us under more pressure because we haven’t got Petter there as a backup.”

    click: wrc.com/news/solberg-early-exit-my-fault/

    ---------------------

    SS11: Loeb continues to pull away

    Sebastien Loeb stretched his ADAC Rallye Deutschland lead to 1m42s on stage 11, although he was pipped to the stage win by another storming performance from Ford protege Ott Tanak.

    FIA World Rally Championship leader Loeb insisted he was taking it easy, despite continuing to pull away from his nearest rivals.

    "It was a bit muddy in two parts of the stage in the forest, but nothing really bad. I took it easy," said Loeb.

    M-Sport driver Tanak following up his first asphalt stage win on stage 10 by repeating the performance on the re-run of Peterberg, beating Loeb by 0.2s. That stretched Tanak's advantage over Mads Ostberg in their battle for fourth to 10.1s.

    "It's difficult and there were some quite nasty muddy places. But if we want to fight with Mads, we have to keep pushing," said Tanak.

    "I have to finish as well. We are doing our best and I'm really happy with the car at the moment."

    With a chance to close in on third place in the drivers' standings, Ostberg said he was not willing to jeopardise his top-five finish by pushing too hard to beat Tanak.

    "He's going really fast. I'm not willing to take risks to follow him at the moment," Ostberg said. "He doesn't have that much to lose. I have too much to lose. I will keep up the pressure but I'm not taking those risks."

    The second-place battle swung back towards Jari-Matti Latvala on stage 10. His choice of soft tyres proved slightly more suitable for Peterberg, and he was able to bring his advantage over Mikko Hirvonen back up to 27.5s.

    "It was muddy under the trees, but I don't think I gained anything with the soft tyre," said Latvala. "It was better than the first stage, but it was still not the best choice. We played safe and now for the future we know how it is with this tyre."

    Hirvonen said he was not going to go all-out to catch Latvala, but was keen to stay in touch with his former team-mate.

    "I didn't get anything out of him now. He's doing his own steady pace as well," said Hirvonen. "Hopefully on the long stage I can take some time out of him so I can keep the pressure on him tomorrow."

    click: wrc.com/news/germany ss11



    ---------------------

    SS12: Disaster for Tanak

    ADAC Rallye Deutschland's famously challenging Arena Panzerplatte stage claimed two more high-profile victims on its second running of the 2012 event as Ott Tanak and Dani Sordo both crashed out.

    Tanak had taken his first two FIA World Rally Championship stage wins on asphalt on the preceding two tests as he battled to pull clear of fifth-placed Mads Ostberg.

    But it all went wrong on Panzerplatte, as Tanak hit one of the stage's notorious hinkelsteins and took the right rear wheel off his Ford Fiesta RS WRC.

    Sordo, who had been running sixth, sustained damage to his Prodrive MINI and lost coolant, forcing him to stop and try desperately to effect repairs.

    The stage was ultimately halted when Peter van Merksteijn Jr crashed near Tanak and blocked the road.

    Only a handful of cars therefore made it through to the finish. Fastest of them was rally leader Sebastien Loeb, who ended the day with a 1m42.9s advantage.

    "A huge lead, so again a very good day and no problems," said Loeb. "We really had to go slow in this long stage because anything can happen in this one. We saw that in the first pass. Now we've finished the second day and it's looking good for tomorrow."

    Loeb beat Jari-Matti Latvala by 0.7s, to the Ford man's huge frustration.

    "I wanted to win this stage. This stage was so important," said Latvala. "[Loeb] came back. He went very hard in the middle of the stage and at the end I made some little mistakes and I'm a little bit angry with myself."

    Latvala's time still allowed him to pull a few more seconds away from Mikko Hirvonen, who nevertheless produced his strongest performance of a tough weekend as he figured out the keys to getting the best out of the Citroen DS3 WRC on the German stages.

    Tanak's crash means Ostberg is now very comfortable in fourth.

    "It was a big fight between us. He took lots of time off me," said Ostberg. "He pushed very hard in the beginning and we were equal on the splits until he crashed. We were pushing really hard and he must have done too.

    "It was quite on the edge and after that I didn't want to risk anything. It would be stupid to do a mistake in this position now."

    The incidents also elevated Chris Atkinson into the top five on his debut in the WRC Team MINI Portugal entry.

    "We knew if we ran at a solid pace then we were going to get a decent result," said Atkinson. "I didn't expect to be in fifth at the end of day two, but we'll take it."


    click: wrc.com/news/germany ss12



    ---------------------

    BREAKING
    NEWS:Evans triumphs in WRC Academy




    Elfyn Evans has made it three wins in a row in the FIA WRC Academy with victory in the young driver-training category on ADAC Rallye Deutschland.

    The Welshman had to wait for a number of minutes before he could tackle the final stage after the road was blocked when Peter van Merksteijn Jr rolled.

    Victory for the 24-year-old means he extends his lead in the title chase with two rounds remaining.

    click: wrc.com/news/breaking-news


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  9. #8

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    Saturday wrap: Loeb in control



    Sebastien Loeb is three stages away from winning ADAC Rallye Deutschland for a ninth time after he completed day two of the FIA World Rally Championship round with his overall lead firmly intact.

    Loeb, in a Citroen DS3 WRC, was more than 20s in front following Friday’s six stages and doubled that margin on Saturday’s opener after making it through the run with the fastest time before the light rain falling on the stage intensified and slowed several of his rivals behind.

    When closest challenger Petter Solberg crashed out on the first Arena Panzerplatte stage this morning, Loeb was left in the clear to the extent his advantage out front stands at 1m42.9s at the overnight halt in Trier. “We have finished the second day with a good lead so it’s looking good for tomorrow,” said Loeb.

    With Solberg retiring after breaking the right-rear wheel of his Ford Fiesta RS WRC on a rock on stage nine, it has been left to Jari-Matti Latvala to uphold the factory team’s honour in second place, although the Finn had dropped to as low as fifth spot following an overshoot on Saturday’s second stage. Mikko Hirvonen is third in the second factory Citroen after the Finn reported an upturn in confidence during the afternoon.

    Dani Sordo was up to third following his fastest time on stage two when a puncture on Arena Panzerplatte dropped him back to sixth. There was more frustration for the Spaniard when his Prodrive-run MINI John Cooper Works WRC stopped on the final stage with a loss of cooling fluid following an off. It’s unclear whether Sordo will be able to restart on day three.

    Ott Tanak shone with a brace of stage wins in his M-Sport Fiesta this afternoon but then blotted his copybook when he took a rear wheel off striking a Hinkelstein, a giant boulder, on the second run through Arena Panzerplatte. The Estonian driver’s woe means Mads Ostberg is fourth overnight following a solid showing by the young Norwegian in his Adapta Fiesta.

    The problems that befell Sordo and Tanak mean Chris Atkinson has climbed to fifth place for WRC Team MINI Portugal on his first start on asphalt since 2008. Sebastien Ogier is sixth for Volkswagen Motorsport followed by team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen.

    Peter van Merksteijn Jr had been in ninth place starting the day’s final stage - despite completing the first Arena Panzerplatte run stuck in fifth gear after the lever broke - when he rolled into retirement. With his Citroen blocking the road, the stage was neutralised for a number of minutes, delaying several drivers including Evgeny Novikov, Nasser Al-Attiyah and leading German runner Sepp Wiegand.

    more: wrc.com/news/sat-wrap

    --------------------

    Saturday PWRC wrap:



    Michal Kosciuszko is on course for a vital win in the Production Car World Rally Championship on ADAC Rallye Deutschland after completing day two with a clear lead in the showroom category.

    The Pole is behind in the title race after retiring on his last event in Argentina and badly needs a maximum haul of points to boost his title bid.

    He took the lead from Ralliart Italy team-mate Benito Guerra, the current championship pacesetter, on Saturday’s first stage when a puncture delayed the unlucky Mexican and hasn’t looked back since, opening up an advantage of more than two minutes with Sunday’s trio of stages remaining.

    “It’s sad what happened to Benny but that’s what happens in the fight,” said Kosciuszko. “He had a puncture but we did a perfect job and with one day to go it is looking quite okay.”

    Guerra said: “The rally is not over yet, I am still in the battle with Michal.”

    Marcos Ligato feared his hopes of a podium were over when a puncture on the first Stein & Wein test dropped him to fourth behind Subhan Aksa. However, with the Indonesian retiring, Ligato is back up to third at the overnight halt.

    Aksa, competing on asphalt for the third time, was in third place following a string of stage wins this morning when he and co-driver Jeff Judd accidentally missed out the regroup prior to the midday service in Trier and were forced to stop. They are due to return on day three.

    Mexican Rally Class competitor Ricardo Trivino is a solid fourth with Nicolas Fuchs next up in his Symtech Racing Impreza.

    Mentos Ascania Racing team-mates Valeriy Gorban and Oleksii Kikireshko both returned to action having failed to go beyond Friday’s first test. While Gorban completed the day in seventh position, Kikireshko stopped again but is expected to return on day three under Rally 2 rules.

    Louise Cook was unable to restart on day two after efforts to repair a suspected electrical glitch on her Ford Fiesta R2 proved unsuccessful.

    click: wrc.com/news/saturday-pwrc-wrap

    ----------------------

    Saturday WRC Academy wrap:



    Elvyn Evans has continued his run of success in the FIA WRC Academy with his third straight victory of the season on ADAC Rallye Deutschland today.

    WRC Academy crews were contesting 12 of the all-asphalt event’s 15 stages and Briton Evans, who was competing on the rally for the first time, held a margin of 1m09.9s at the completion of the final Arena Panzerplatte test on Saturday evening.

    “I’m very happy,” said the 24-year-old Evans, who was co-driven by fellow Briton Phil Pugh. “We had a difficult to find a rhythm and the set-up of the car so it took a while to get that going. We were lucky with a couple of moments but we got our heads together, did a solid job and built on our advantage from then on.”

    Jose Suarez, from Spain, finished second but there was late drama when Australian Brendan Reeves lost out in his bid for a fourth consecutive podium after he went off on the final stage and got stuck on logs for several minutes. He eventually finished in fifth behind fourth-placed Timo van der Marel and John MacCrone, who bagged his maiden podium in the category with a charging run through the final stage to overhaul his Dutch rival.

    Alastair Fisher should have been fourth on the back of a spate of stage wins but stopped on the final stage when his Ford Fiesta R2, used as standard in the young driver-training category, got stuck in first gear.

    After restarting on day two following his car’s driveshaft failure on Friday’s opening run, Pontus Tidemand finished sixth. Guest driver Martin Koci also restarted on Saturday morning after he tore a wheel off his car on stage one. He completed the finishers in seventh place.

    Fredrik Ahlin was forced to withdraw from seventh when he fell ill. The Swede had also been struggling with a hand injury, the legacy of his crash on the previous round in Finland.

    click: wrc.com/news/saturday-wrc-academy-wrap-hat-trick-for-evans/


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  10. #9

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    Sunday

    SS13: Bonnet scare for Latvala




    Second-placed Jari-Matti Latvala had an unnerving start to the final day of the 2012 ADAC Rallye Deutschland when his bonnet threatening to fly up on the opening Dhrontal stage.

    The Ford driver reached the finish of the 30.76-kilometre test having lost 9.7 seconds to pacesetter and overall leader Sebastien Loeb.

    "I don't know happened with the bonnet," said Latvala." It may be a catch on the front, but it's loose and on the long, long fast straight it started to open and I had to ask [co-driver] Miikka [Anttila] what we do because if we stop we could lose this position now."

    Latvala is still 32.7s clear of third-placed Mikko Hirvonen.

    The rain returned with a vengeance as Sunday morning's action got underway, although this time everyone was prepared with soft tyres. Loeb was quickest by a comfortable margin, despite taking it cautiously.

    "I don't care about the times. It was really tricky," said Loeb. "In some places you had to be really, really careful. Even with the soft tyre you had a lot of grip changes."

    Fifth-placed Chris Atkinson was over a minute off the lead pace, but said that was all part of his plan to safely reach the finish.

    click: wrc.com/news/germany ss13



    ---------------------

    SS14: Loeb on brink of victory



    Sebastien Loeb will take a cushion of nearly two minutes into the ADAC Rallye Deutschland Power Stage after cruising through the second running of Dhrontal.

    The FIA World Rally champion reported a slight turbo issue on his Citroen DS3 WRC, so proceeded gently - particularly as conditions remained wet.

    "It was okay. We had the rain in the stage this time, but we had soft tyres and it was very muddy so I took it very easy," said Loeb.

    "We have a little problem with the turbo but the time is okay. Sometimes there is a problem with the response."

    Ford World Rally Team driver Petter Solberg was fastest of all. Although the Norwegian is now unlikely to get above his current 12th position in the overall standings, he could have a shot at salvaging some bonus points from the Power Stage.

    Jari-Matti Latvala now looks assured of second place, having added a few more seconds to his advantage over Mikko Hirvonen, who admitted he would be pleased to have this rally out of the way.

    Mads Ostberg was second quickest to Solberg on the stage.

    "It was quite tricky but it was actually better than I expected it to be and I had the correct information in the pace notes from the gravel crew," said the fourth-placed Norwegian. "It's nice to be through it now."

    click: wrc.com/news/germany ss14



    ---------------------

    SS15: Loeb adds Power Stage triumph



    Sebastien Loeb clinched his ninth ADAC Rallye Deutschland victory in style by setting the fastest time on the Circus Maximus Trier Power Stage, giving him a maximum 28-point score for the weekend.

    Citroen took a one-two on the Power Stage, with Loeb 2.2 seconds quicker than factory team-mate Mikko Hirvonen.

    "We had a perfect car so I was confident, and made no mistakes, which was also important. That's a perfect weekend," said Loeb.

    Hirvonen had struggled to get to grips with his Citroen for much of the weekend, but settled more as the event progressed. He looked set for a commanding Power Stage win before being upstaged by his team-mate.

    "It's more points and a very important result for the team," said Hirvonen. "I really had a tough time on this rally but I learned a lot and came through without any mistakes. Now we are here on the podium, so it's not so bad."

    The final bonus stage point amazingly went to Andreas Mikkelsen's Volkswagen-entered Super 2000 Skoda Fabia, as the home team celebrated getting its S2000 cars home sixth and seventh overall, with Sebastien Ogier leading the way.

    Mikkelsen said: "That's a good way to end the rally. I enjoyed that stage. In 2008 this one was my first stage victory in a World Rally Car, so it's good fun to come back and take points."

    click: wrc.com/news/germany ss15





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  11. #10

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    Sunday PWRC wrap:



    Michal Kosciuszko negotiated Sunday's rain-hit stages with his lead of the FIA Production Car World Rally Championship firmly intact to clinch showroom class honours on ADAC Rallye Deutschland.

    Polish ace Kosciuszko hadn’t won in the category since triumphing on the season-opening Rallye Monte-Carlo in January in his Mitsubishi Lancer, but celebrated a comfortable first place ahead of Ralliart Italy team-mate Benito Guerra, from Mexico, who continues to lead the PWRC standings.

    Marcos Ligato, from Argentina, completed the podium in his Top Run Motorsport Subaru Impreza, with Ricardo Trivinho a strong fourth and Nicolas Fuchs recovering from earlier delays to claim fifth overall in his Symtech Racing Impreza.

    “It’s been an incredible weekend and the perfect job for us,” said Kosciuszko, who was quickest on two of Sunday’s three stages. “The team did a good job and the car was really well prepared. It was a nice fight with Benny but just unfortunate he made a mistake and had the puncture. But that happens if you are pushing hard. The most important thing is we are still in the game and we can win the championship now.”

    Guerra, who was fastest on stage 14, added: “Second place in Germany for my first time is a good position even though the fight was over yesterday when I had my puncture. Michal did a great job but 18 points for me for the championship is very good. We are still leading and I am really happy because of this.”

    Indonesia’s Subhan Aksa restarted under Rally 2 rules following his retirement on Saturday to finish sixth. Valeriy Gorban completed the finishers in seventh as Mentos Ascania Racing team-mate and fellow Ukrainian Oleksii Kikireshko dropped out on the final morning.

    click: wrc.com/news/sunday-pwrc-wrap


    ---------------------

    Sunday wrap:



    Sebastien Loeb marked the 10th anniversary of ADAC Rallye Deutschland's elevation to the FIA World Rally Championship by winning the asphalt event for a ninth time in the Citroen DS3 WRC he shares with co-driver Daniel Elena.

    Loeb won the opening stage on Friday morning to take a lead he would never relinquish following a dominant display in changeable weather conditions. The result was his seventh victory of 2012 - his fifth in succession - and hands him a 54-point title lead heading to Wales Rally GB next month.

    “It was a hard rally, the conditions were extremely difficult, which meant I had some very difficult tyre choices to make,” said the 38-year-old, who claimed a total of nine stage wins during the course of the three-day event in Trier, including the Sunday’s first rain-hit test, Dhrontal, and the Circus Maximus Power Stage in Trier. “We had a good drive, a perfect car and I made no mistake. Winning the Power Stage also meant this was a perfect weekend. I also had a lot of support from the fans.”

    Loeb’s only cause for concern occurred on the repeat of Dhrontal when he reported a slight lack of turbo response, which led to him mistakenly fearing that he would be unable to fight for the three bonus points awarded to the Power Stage winner.

    Jari-Matti Latvala was the leading Ford finisher in second - his best result on asphalt in the WRC - with Mikko Hirvonen making it two Citroen runners on the podium in third despite not showing the kind of speed that has carried him to 14 WRC victories in the past. Latvala’s only cause for concern on day three occurred when the bonnet of his Fiesta RS WRC began to lift on stage 13, while Hirvonen spent the day conducting set-up work.

    Mads Ostberg finished fourth for the Adapta World Rally Team with Chris Atkinson a strong fifth in his debut for WRC Team MINI Portugal. Sebastien Ogier shone for Volkswagen Motorsport, guiding the German firm’s Super 2000-specification Skoda Fabia to sixth overall with team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen next up. The undoubted highlight for Norwegian Mikkelsen was his capture of the third fastest time on the Power Stage.

    more: wrc.com/news/sunday-wrap

    ---------------------

    Next: Round 10 Wales RallyGB 13-16 Sep




    Britain’s World Rally Championship counter has been a qualifying round of the series every year since the WRC was established in 1973. This year’s event will mark a move away from its end-of-term slot to a mid-September date, which it last occupied in 2005.

    Official Website: walesrallygb.com/


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