Germany Rally 2012: Germany remains Loeb-Land

Germany Rallye 2012
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D ie Competition was not even allowed to sniff at victory. Right from the start, the record world champion in the Citroën DS3 WRC showed who is the boss with three best times. For the tenth anniversary of the World Cup, the Alsatian had wanted a dry rally between the Moselle valley and Hunsrück, which, as usual, did not come true. A heavy shower surprised the field on Saturday morning. All of the top drivers had fitted the wrong tires with the hard Michelin compound and were embarking on a difficult slide, which Loeb mastered best. The Frenchman was lucky enough to be able to do this: he was the first on the piste to come through halfway dry, while the rest of them struggled through difficult weather. One of the victims was Ford man Jari-Matti-Latvala, who slipped into a meadow and lost a minute before he was able to free his Fiesta WRC.

Competition eliminates itself

Team mate Petter Solberg was able to follow Loeb halfway until just before half-time, but at the During the infamous test of Panzerplatte at the Baumholder military training area, the Norwegian dismantled a bike and so the day was over for him. Even the young driver Ott Tänak, the Citroën of youngster Thierry Neuville and the Mini of Daniel Sordo, who had previously placed third, did not survive the 46 kilometer long concrete track in the Hunsrück.

Latvala inherited second place, but was hopeless with one and a half minutes back. The Finn played poker with soft tires on the afternoon of the second stage. 'If it stays dry, according to our calculations, we lose a maximum of twelve seconds, if it rains up to half a minute per test,' calculated tire engineer George Black. But the Scot still has to practice rain dances, it stayed dry.

It was only on the last morning that the rain and gusts of wind hit fans and drivers again. The top people limited themselves to securing results. Mikko Hirvonen was only half a minute behind compatriot Latvala in the second factory Citroën before the last stage, but tried in vain in the DS3 due to a lack of asphalt experience and came third. 'We Finns will probably only win on asphalt when Loeb stops', the Finn confessed.

German Young men without fortune

The Norwegian Mads Östberg could not keep up with the pace of the works drivers, but came fourth once again to become the best privateer. Competitor Evgeny Novikov was stranded on the first day with a deformed rear axle. Was fifthWorld Cup returnees Chris Atkinson in the factory mini. The Australian will replace the Portuguese Armindo Araujo for the remainder of the season, who wants to take legal action against his dismissal. There was even a rumor that there had been death threats from Portugal and a permanent police escort for Atkinson in Trier, but 'Atko' denied that with a grin.

The two young German men Hermann Gaßner Junior and had little to laugh about Sepp Wiegand. Gaßner received 50 penalty seconds through a traffic jam through no fault of his own, demolished a suspension in Baumholder on the Skoda Fabia while chasing back and also suffered a tire damage. Wiegand held up bravely on the first appearance in the VW factory team alongside the stars Sébasien Ogier and Andreas Mikkelsen, but had to give up on Sunday morning with a broken wishbone. 'I really didn't drive over anywhere,' the Saxon swore and immediately wanted to go back to the scene to look for hidden obstacles in the grass. Until he retired, Wiegand was fourth in the Super 2000 category, where teammates up front annoyed the stronger World Rally Cars at an impressive pace. Mikkelsen took seventh place overall for the Volkswagen Skoda for the fourth time. Last year's overall winner Sébastien Ogier was even faster and with sixth place achieved the best S2000 result in a World Championship run. The Frenchman's good mood could only spoil a few underage autograph hunters who persistently asked him: 'Are you Sébastien Loeb?' Has set standards in terms of safety, was overshadowed by a serious accident at the shakedown on Thursday when a torn off bike on the Subaru of the Peruvian Nicolas Fuchs hit a group of spectators and seriously injured a man in the head. On Saturday morning, the organizer announced that the injured husband of a member of the state parliament of the Greens was conscious and on the mend.

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