Gassner Jr learns important lessons in Great Britain
Red Bull Rallye Team driver Hermann Gassner Jr has completed his six-round programme on the World Rally Championship this year with Red Bull having learned several valuable lessons that will stand the 21-year-old in good stead for the future.
Gassner Jr's programme took in rallies in Sweden, Portugal, Germany, France, Spain and now Great Britain: the final round of the World Rally Championship. Together with his co-driver Kathi Wustenhagen, he has been able to experience a huge variety of conditions on both gravel and asphalt all across the world and work on every aspect of his driving, including pace notes.
Great Britain was one of the toughest events that the young German faced all year, because of the slippery nature of the gravel roads and unpredictable British weather. Nonetheless, Gassner Jr demonstrated that he has been able to build on the progress he has made all year by turning in a fast but consistent performance over all three days of the Welsh event.
Gassner Jr set times that were regularly in the top 10 of the conventional Group N cars, despite the fact that the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX that he is using is not as advanced as many of the machines driven by his rivals.
At the end of the opening day of the Rally Great Britain, based around Cardiff, Gassner Jr hit problems when he had a transmission problem that caused a small fire. He was forced to retire from the day on SS7 but the fire had damaged some sensors on the car. Although he rejoined on day two his Mitsubishi was not the same, suffering a lack of power throughout Saturday.
Nonetheless Gassner Jr was able to finish the rally today in order to refine his knowledge of the complex stages, so it was mission accomplished.
"It was a pity that we had the problem with the car on Friday but actually that did not distract us too much from our main focus, which was to finish the event, work on our pace notes, and add to our experience," said Gassner Jr. "We've learned so much this year, and I'm very grateful to Red Bull for this fantastic opportunity. The final day of the event today contained just four stages, but they were really difficult ones, including two runs over a 30-kilometre test. As has been the case throughout the event, the grip levels were really unpredictable, so I'm delighted to get to the finish."
Gassner Jr's team boss, 10-time champion Austrian Rally Raimund Baumschlager, added: "I think that Hermann has really underlined his potential this season and once again on the Rally Great Britain this weekend he has driven with a huge amount of maturity in order to show his speed and consistency. Unfortunately he was held back by a car that was not at full speed on Saturday, although it was the right decision to let him continue. He still did a great job, and more importantly I think there is a lot more to come for him in future. I'd like to thank Red Bull for another successful year of collaboration, and we look forward to more success in the future."
-source: red bull