Van Merksteijn Motorsport press release
Peter van Merksteijn jr. just outside top ten after opening day in WRC Rallye Deutschland
During the opening day of the ADAC Rallye Deutschland, Peter van Merksteijn jr. had a great performance by finishing the day in 11th position with the Citroën DS3 WRC. Peter is satisfied when looking back at his debut with the Citroën in the first tarmac event of the World Rally Championship in this season, especially as he is driving for the first time with a different co-driver since four years in the wine making area along the river Mozel.
Tijdens de eerste dag van de ADAC Rallye Deutschland heeft Peter van Merksteijn jr. een prima prestatie geleverd door met de Citroën DS3 WRC op een voorlopig elfde plaats te dag te eindigen.
Peter jr. started Friday morning for his first tarmac rally of the season in the DS3 WRC. By making the correct tyre choice and using the soft compound supplied by Michelin, he was one of the very few drivers who were able to set a good pace on the wet second stage of the morning. As a result of a spin on a very wet section of the stage he lost most of the advantage in these weather conditions and arrived back in Trier for service in 14th position.
“It is a real shame that I was not able to benefit from the right tyre choice and set a good time on the second stage. During the rain I went in a corner on the throttle too soon, went on the grass and spun twice round. Everybody was on the hard compound tyres except for Loeb, Ogier and myself. Considering their time advantage I am really disappointed by that spin of mine” according to Peter van Merksteijn afterwards.
After a 30 minute service Peter jr. and Erwin left Trier again for the second run of the stages through the vineyards along the banks of the Mozel. The cooperation in the car improved significantly and the newly formed team got better into their rhythm which became apparent by the ever improving stage times. With every stage they drove in the afternoon they climbed a position in the overall standing to end the day with an remarkable 11e position overall.
“Despite that we have been testing together for three days, it is still a matter of getting used to each other while in competition and adjusting to one another. In the morning things did not go as smooth as we wanted it to go but after a relaxed discussion with each other during the service in Trier things went much better” explained co-driver Erwin Mombaerts. “This is the first time that I drive together with Peter jr. and in comparison with driving with his father Peter sr., I had to adjust the pace of reading the pace notes slightly.”
For the second day of the WRC Rallye Deutschland there are eight stages planned including the famous stage Arena Pantzerplatte on the military proving grounds near Baumholder. Close to 35 kilometers of rough concrete roads lined with the notorious Hinkelsteine allow not even the slightest error by the driver. Many rally cars have been wrecked through the year on this famous and feared special stage.