Rallye Deutschland 2008

With Rallye Deutschland you connecting the oldest city in Germany “Trier”, Roman Empire, vine valley, the river “Mosel”, the dangerous stone called “Hinkelsteine” on the military arena “Baumholder”, the fast special stages at the “Saarland”. The weather here in Germany plays a very big role, so the right tyre chooses is very important. This year was a good weather, dry stages and no rain. Many spectators came from Czech Republic, Belgium, France, Netherlands, Austrian, Swiss, Luxembourg, Finland and many countries more.

On the Shake Down, the Suzuki from P.G. Andersson has an electric problem. That should be not the last problem on the weekend for him. The other drivers try to be faster than world champion Sébastien Loeb. Duval and Sordo had done it very well.
With a time of 3:35.5 was Duval 0.6 second faster than Dani Sordo and 1,1 faster than six time winner of the rally, Loeb, following from Hirvonen and Henning Solberg.

The first day was a very big battle between three drivers, Loeb against Hirvonen and Sordo. Loeb has won every special stage on the Friday’s stages.
At the end of the rally day Loeb said: “It was a big battle today. I pushed very hard, the leading with 19,9 second is not so much. That is amazing, so I must push hard tomorrow again like today. This year is it not so easy, the Finnish driver, as Mikko and Jari had learned a lot, to drive better on tarmac.

The day was overshadowed by an fast accident from Gigi Galli. On the fives stage “Grafschaft Veldenz 2” he drove over a out taken stone in a 5-gear right corner. The car was full damaged and Galli has broken his left leg, no other problems, and the co-driver was okay. He was operated in the evening.

The Saturday was a very spectacularly day. There were many sliding sideways, Urmo Aava has lost his rear spoiler. Jari-Matti Latvala has braked to late on the stage 9, so that the touched a bale of straw and made a dramatic rollover and standing on the wheels. With the help of spectators he could drove onward.
Mikka Anttila, said at the end of the day: “By the incident on stage 9, we had damaged the right side and the rear diff – so we must change the transmission on the stage, to correct the problem. By that, we had lost very much time and where to late on the time control.”

The battle between Hirvonen, Loeb and Sordo has been ended on the last special stage, where Mikko had become a puncture 7 kilometres before the finish line of the stage, so he loosed very much time. “7 KM before the finish, we had become a puncture rear left, at the end of a left corner. Out of it we had a little turner. So we lost very much time of Sébastien and Sordo, of Duval too. We were only 3,9 second behind Francois. Tomorrow we will attack to Duval and try to become a place on the podium.” said Jarmo Lethinen to me.

On the last rally day, there where only 5 stage, 2 stages at the “Mosel valley”, with had been driven twice and the last one, at the city of Trier, around the arena of “Porta Nigra”. The fight between Duval and Hirvonen were gone in favour to Duval. Loeb won the rally the seven times in row and continuance the so called “King of Germany”. Next year is a brake here in Germany, but the next rally comes in 2 weeks, with the Rally New Zealand.

Report from:
Michél Riechert

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