Ogier takes on Neuville over the asphalt stages of Rallye Deutschland
- Watch the thrilling WRC title race for free on Red Bull TV
- Top guns tied at the top of the points table
- Crunch time with just four rounds remaining on 2017 calendar
- High speed action on vineyard and military range roads
With slippery asphalt, changeable weather, a crazy mix of very varied stages, and around 1500 different types of sausage, Germany’s round of the World Rally Championship is a classic.
For the first time in recent history, two drivers – M-Sport’s Sébastien Ogier (below top right) and Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville (bellow top left) – are tied on points at the top of the championship standings. It’s winner takes all in Germany!
This weekend’s Rallye Deutschland (17-20 August) is considered to be the trickiest asphalt encounter on the calendar and, despite moving its base, will continue to have the same challenging mix of stages with very different characteristics.
After the Saarbrücken city centre stage on Thursday night, Friday heads into the vineyards around the Mosel River where narrow roads and endless hairpin bends await. A new super special stage has also been added, affording spectators day-long action as it runs three times.
In contrast, Saturday is about the Baumholder military ranges and its daunting concrete roads lined with car-breaking kerbstones known as hinkelsteins.
Sunday is again different and takes the contenders onto faster country roads in the Saarland region. The weather also plays a significant role and working with route note and weather crews is vital to ensure optimum tyre choices, especially when individual stage conditions can vary from dry to damp or full wet in one single loop of stages.
With nine of the Championship’s 13 rounds run and six different crews standing on the top step of the podium, predicting a winner remains impossible.
Technology on the screen
As well as cutting-edge technology on the cars, there’s some exciting new technology on Red Bull TV. Using real time data, Red Bull TV’s ‘live ghost’ feature allows comparisons between two competitors racing on the same stage, so you can see at a glance who’s faster, where, and how. Along with other innovations such as interactive stage maps, new technology brings the WRC action to life on TV like never before.
Facts & figures about Rallye Deutschland
- Rallye Deutschland is made from a trio of former national rallies rolled into one, so the three days have distinct identities. Day one runs on twisty vineyard roads, day two in the Baumholder military area (which is famous for its car-breaking kerb stones, known as ‘hinkelsteins’) and day three on fast and sweeping stages close to the French border.
- It helps to be called Sebastien: there have been 12 winners of Rallye Deutschland called ‘Seb’ – Loeb nine times (a record) and Ogier three times.
- The last time a rally car that wasn’t built in either France or Germany won Rallye Deutschland was back in 1999, courtesy of Armin Kremer. And home hero Kremer is back this year: in a Ford Fiesta RS WRC.
- After many years in the Roman city of Trier, Rallye Deutschland’s service park returns further south to the picturesque Bostalsee Lake not far from Saarbrucken, where it was based when it first joined the WRC in 2002. Sunday’s St Wendeler Land Power Stage finishes right next to the service park.
- Andreas Mikkelsen returns to Citroen. He missed Finland, but the Norwegian gets behind the wheel of a C3 WRC again in Germany, with more refinements as the French squad fights to get back on top.
Watch Red Bull TV this week, with a mixture of live and highlights programmes from Finland, to catch all the action. One thing’s for sure: it’s going to be spectacular.
- All Rallye Deutschland programmes will be available to watch on Red Bull TV
- Friday Highlight Show: Friday 18 August from 9:00pm
- Live Coverage: Saturday 19 August at 10:50pm
- Saturday Highlight Show: Saturday 19 August from 9:00pm
- Event Highlight Show: Sunday 20 August from 9:00pm
- Having missed Finland following a month of painful recuperation after injuring his knee in Poland, Mike Chen returns to front the Red Bull coverage and will be joined by fellow WRC expert Matthew Wilson