A great start for Red Bull Skoda to the ninth WRC event of 2006 that started in Trier today

Andreas Aigner (AUT)/Klaus Wicha (GER) in their Fabia WRC are classified in an excellent seventh position overall after four stages

An immaculate performance too by Mattias Ekstrom/Jonas Andersson, the two Swedes are in P15 overall

At the top a duel rages between Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Sordo (both Citroen), Marcus Gronholm in third

The start to the OMV ADAC Rally Germany turned out to be a very positive one for Red Bull Skoda, despite the fact that 24 World Rally Cars have entered the event. After four of 19 special stages, young Red Bull driver Andreas Aigner holds an excellent 7th position thanks to four top ten times. The young man from Styria started with a tenth place on SS1 and subsequently improved with P8 and two sixth positions. He even managed to be faster than Manfred Stohl twice.

"On the first stage, which was still wet, the tyres didn't quite work the way I had expected. The following stages were considerably drier, my tyre compound worked perfectly, I was able to achieve my best stage times in a WRC event yet. The Fabia WRC ran trouble-free, the heavy workload in the summer months paid off. I hope for a similar performance this afternoon", Aigner explained during regrouping at Lake Bostal.

Mattias Ekstrom did not put a foot wrong but first needs to get to grips with this rally: "The very changeable track conditions, wet in one place, dry in another, weren't easy to master. It really wasn't a genuine tarmac rally any more but, because of the loads of gravel on the road, a mixture that I struggled with. My approach for this afternoon will therefore be 'learning by doing'."

The team management of Raimund Baumschlager and Armin Schwarz was taken with the start as well: "The many hours of testing paid off. We're very pleased for Andreas, Mattias will certainly find his way into the rally, the gap isn't too big yet."

Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Sordo are dominating the rally so far. Each of the two has won two stages. Marcus Gronholm had a bad start when he touched a guard rail on SS1, losing twenty seconds. Manfred Stohl is a very good fifth.

Four more stages are scheduled for today, the finish is expected at 8.15 p.m. in Trier

-credit: red bull skoda