WRC

Rally Deutschland: Subaru final summary

Chris Atkinson crossed the finish ramp of Rally Germany in eighth place today to score one driver point. Despite limited experience of the specialist asphalt rally, the Australian drove swiftly and consistently all weekend to record his best ever...

Chris Atkinson crossed the finish ramp of Rally Germany in eighth place today to score one driver point. Despite limited experience of the specialist asphalt rally, the Australian drove swiftly and consistently all weekend to record his best ever finish on the event. His Impreza WRC2005 ran faultlessly throughout. For Stephane Sarrazin the rally came to a premature end following an accident on the first stage of the Leg.

Stage Reports

SS16: 0838hrs Freisen/Westrich 1 (19.07km)

Crews set off from Bostalsee to the fast, flowing Saarland stages for the final Leg of Rallye Deutschland. On cold tyres, Subaru's Stephane Sarrazin went straight on at a junction 700 metres from the start line and nosed his car off the road. Instinctively the Frenchman selected reverse gear, but as his car was still rolling forward at the time, the transmission was damaged and Sarrazin retired. As a result of the incident Chris Atkinson moved into ninth position overall. Toni Gardemeister took the first victory of the day as he tried to regain the third position he had lost to Marcus Gronholm on Leg two.
Fastest Time: Gardemeister (Citroen) 11:40.4

SS17: 0923hrs Birkenfelder Land (13.68km)

Crews continued to the short Birkenfelder Land stage for the second of the day's four stages. Running on slippery, slightly damp tarmac, several drivers complained of a lack of grip. Matthew Wilson said his engine felt down on power through the tight hairpins and slow corners, while Chris Atkinson reported a brake problem and a small spin. Dani Sordo took the stage win from team-mate Sebastien Loeb. Gardemeister closed the gap to third-placed Gronholm by a further second.
Fastest Time: Sordo (Citroen) 7:52.3

SS18: 1011hrs St Wendeler Land (16.37km)

Light rain started to fall over the Saarland just before the start of the St Wendeler speed test and made the already-muddy roads even more slippery. Several drivers were caught out by the conditions, including Manfred Stohl who went straight on at a junction and lost 30secs as he tried to rejoin the road. Gardemeister refused to give up his pursuit of third place and took his second win of the day, closing the gap to Gronholm to just over 15secs. Gronholm was second quickest with Citroen duo Sordo and Loeb third and fourth. Chris Atkinson fixed his brakes on the road section between stages and recorded the 12th fastest time.
Fastest Time: Gardemeister (Citroen) 9:08.6

SS19: 1044hrs Freisen/Westrich 2 (19.07km)

There were dramas for Jan Kopecky and Andreas Aigner in the final kilometres of Rallye Deutschland. Kopecky went off and hit a barrier, but continued to the finish with minimal damage. Aigner however hit a barrier 3km from the end of the stage and badly damaged his front left-hand corner. He eventually managed to finish the stage to retain his seventh position and score his first-ever manufacturer points. Gardemeister won the final stage but it was not enough to snatch third from Gronholm. Loeb secured overall victory, the 26th win of his career to equal Carlos Sainz' record, with Sordo second. There were also problems for Hirvonen after the stage finish as he stopped on the motorway to parc ferme with a broken alternator. He incurred a five minute penalty and dropped out of the points to ninth overall. Hirvonen's misfortune was Chris Atkinson's advantage as he finished his second Rallye Deutschland in eighth position to score one point.
Fastest Time: Gardemeister (Citroen) 11:50.8

Team Quotes

SUBARU WORLD RALLY TEAM SPORTING DIRECTOR, LUIS MOYA

"Not the best rally we could have had, but we can be positive that after the summer break we managed to get the car more competitive on tarmac than we were in Corsica and Cataluña. We hope these improvements will help us now on the following events because we're definitely going to Finland to try and win. "

CHRIS ATKINSON

"Today was okay. We came here hoping to get in the points, and we got there in the end. The first stage was quite good for us, although the brakes didn't feel so good on the second and caused us to have a small spin. As we weren't in a position to fight for any more places, we took it fairly steadily over the final two. Generally it's been a useful rally for us. I'm looking forward to getting back in a 2006 model Impreza for Finland."

STEPHANE SARRAZIN

"It's very frustrating. I was anticipating a good fight for seventh place today and, after yesterday, I was feeling positive about the car and my driving. We were less than one kilometre into the stage when we went off. I just under-steered straight on at a slow, second-gear corner. Spectators helped push the car back on the road, but unfortunately I couldn't continue"

News from Pirelli

MARIO ISOLA, PIRELLI COMPETIZIONI RALLY MANAGER

"As with Friday and Saturday the changing weather made tyre choice quite difficult, but we felt we made the right tyre choice for both Chris and Stephane this morning. A soft slick was the best compromise for the mixed conditions. Unfortunately Stephane retired on the first stage but, despite a small spin on the second stage, Chris drove a good rally to the finish to score one point."

The Next Event

Less than a week after Germany, the World Rally Championship finds itself in Finland: home to the most famous rally of them all. This event has been nicknamed ‘the Finnish Grand Prix', because it is where the cars go faster and fly higher than anywhere else, thanks to Finland's huge rollercoaster crests, which launch the cars into the air at maximum speed. The event has traditionally been dominated by local specialists, and it is the one rally that every driver wants to win.

-credit: swrt

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About this article
Series WRC
Drivers Stéphane Sarrazin , Marcus Gronholm , Sébastien Loeb , Manfred Stohl , Jan Kopecky , Matthew Wilson , Chris Atkinson , Andreas Aigner
Teams Citroën World Rally Team