WRC

Rally Deutschland: Skoda preview

The Skoda Motorsport World Rally Team heads to Rallye Deutschland (August 25-28) with a three-car entry. Armin Schwarz/Klaus Wicha lead the team on their home event while Alex Bengue/Caroline Escudero line up in the second car for the first ...

The Skoda Motorsport World Rally Team heads to Rallye Deutschland (August 25-28) with a three-car entry.

Armin Schwarz/Klaus Wicha lead the team on their home event while Alex Bengue/Caroline Escudero line up in the second car for the first time since Monte Carlo. A third Fabia WRC 05 will be driven by Czech Rally Champions Jan Kopecký/Filip Schovanek.

Rallye Deutschland is the 11th round of the 2005 World Rally Championship but is only the second asphalt event of the season. It is also one of the hardest to master as the characteristics of the stages change dramatically each day.

From narrow and twisting roads through the Mosel vineyards to the fast and unrelenting military roads of Baumholder to the flowing stages in the Saarland region, this is an event where drivers and cars must be at their most versatile. The weather is also often a factor and the roads can be completely dry or treacherously slippery.

Armin said: "This is obviously a very important rally for me but although it's my home event I always try to treat it just like any other. The difference in the stages means that you have to adapt very quickly to changing conditions and changing surfaces. It is almost three rallies in one but luckily the Fabia WRC 05 is very flexible."

Alex said: "I like this rally very much because it is different every day but if the weather is wet then it is very difficult. It will be important for me to be quick from the start because I haven't driven in the WRC since Monte Carlo and I don't know the speed of my opponents but I hope the gap is very close!"

Jan said: "I'm looking forward to the rally very much because I always like driving the Fabia WRC 05. I am hoping that the weather is good and my aim is to drive quickly, safely and be at the finish."

Martin Muehlmeier, Head of the Skoda Motorsport World Rally Team, said: "Germany is a big market for the Skoda brand and so this is a very important rally for us. We saw better reliability in Finland, we have a very strong driver line-up for this rally and we've done a lot of testing in the past few weeks."

Rallye Deutschland in detail:

Rallye Deutschland entered the WRC in 2002 and has quickly gained a reputation as one of the toughest events in the championship thanks to its ever-changing surface, wide range of stage characteristics and the constant threat that wet weather will turn the grippy asphalt into a treacherously slippery surface.

The rally is based at Trier, one of Germany's oldest towns, in the heart of the Mosel wine region. Its proximity to the borders of France, Belgium and Luxembourg ensures that the spectators that travel to see the action are truly international.

Thursday evening sees a popular ceremonial start in the heart of Trier before the rally re-locates to the service park at Bostalsee.

Friday features six stages among the Mosel vineyards to the north east of Trier, totalling 119.40kms.

Saturday's leg (seven stages totalling146.00kms) is based within the military training area of Baumholder where the ultra-fast roads are lined with concrete blocks, hinkelsteins -- to trap the unwary. The leg features the longest stage of the rally, Panzerplatte, and also the shortest, the superspecial at St Wendel.

Sunday's final leg uses the flowing roads of the Saarland region south east of Trier. The six stages total 90.10kms including a final run over St Wendel before the finish of the rally at Porta Nigra in Trier at 1630 CET.

-skoda-

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About this article
Series WRC
Drivers Armin Schwarz , Jan Kopecky , Caroline Escudero , Klaus Wicha