WRC

Rally Deutschland: Red Bull final leg summary

STRONG FINISH FOR KIMI IN GERMANY After three tough days of the Rallye Deutschland, all the crews can sit back, relax, and enjoy a beer. Germany is the right place to do it: only the Czechs and the Irish drink more beer than the Germans. Last ...

STRONG FINISH FOR KIMI IN GERMANY

After three tough days of the Rallye Deutschland, all the crews can sit back, relax, and enjoy a beer. Germany is the right place to do it: only the Czechs and the Irish drink more beer than the Germans. Last year, the average German drank 115.8 litres of beer while the Finns, for example, could only manage 85 litres each. At the bottom of the list is India, whose inhabitants on average drink just 0.6 litres of beer over the course of one year.

If you look at average alcohol consumption, per head, all over the world though there is one clear winner - and that, surprisingly, is Luxembourg. Conveniently, the tiny state is located less than half an hour away from Trier, the home of the Rallye Deutschland, so everybody is assured of a good party tonight.

Kimi Raikkonen has plenty of other reasons to be cheerful, after claiming his first ever fastest stage time on the final stage of the rally. Kimi blasted through the 'Circus Maximus' superspecial stage faster than anyone else, in front of thousands of fans in Trier city centre. In the shadow of Roman remains where chariots once raced, Kimi showed that he is still king of the circuits.

Not only that but he enjoyed a solid run to seventh place and six points on only his second-ever WRC asphalt rally, having missed out on sixth by less than four seconds. Germany was no typical asphalt event either: the event contains three very different days, ranging from narrow and twisty vineyard roads to rough concrete tracks that were originally designed for testing tanks. Rather than getting a chance to consolidate his knowledge of all the different surfaces, "the Iceman" was constantly thrust from one new situation into the next. As usual though, he absorbed it with the coolness he has become famous for - despite having to contend with a dramatic lack of experience compared to all the other drivers.

For example, Sebastien Loeb has now won the Rallye Deutschland exactly the same number of times (eight) that Kimi has driven a Citroen C4 World Rally Car on a WRC event!

"It goes to show that experience is important," says Kimi. "But that's the objective for us this year: we want to build up the basic knowledge of how to be a rally driver. Some people might think it's easy to go from Formula One to an asphalt rally, but it's completely different: apart from maybe the superspecial stage, which is more like a racing track! The surfaces are changing all the time and that's one of the most difficult things to get used to, along with the pace notes and all the different corners. But generally it's been another very positive experience, and it was nice to win a stage as well."

Kimi's path wasn't entirely smooth: he had an overshoot this morning and found that the set-up wasn't perfect for his requirements. But the 2007 Formula One World Champion can be very pleased with his work at the end of the Rallye Deutschland as he avoided major mistakes and learnt several important lessons that will be crucial for the future.

Co-driver Kaj Lindstrom, who has been alongside Kimi since he made his rally debut last year, was also pleased by the progress that the duo made by improving their times consistently. "We are on the right road: with every rally we get better but we are climbing a very steep learning curve," he pointed out. "The pace notes we made here were really good: unfortunately we had a couple of small mistakes that cost us what would have been a comfortable sixth place, but it's just one of those things that comes with experience. For our first time here, we can definitely be happy - and we can also celebrate winning a stage."

So now the crew can take a well-earned beer. 'Prost!' as they say in Germany (and they don't mean the French racing driver)...

-source: red bull

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About this article
Series WRC
Drivers Kimi Raikkonen , Sébastien Loeb , Kaj Lindstrom
Teams Citroën World Rally Team