WRC

Rally Deutschland: Team Proton Pert Malaysia preview

Singh set for German asphalt attack 16 August 2004 - TEAM PROTON PERT MALAYSIA - Singh set for German asphalt attack Team Proton PERT Malaysia crew Karamjit Singh and Allen Oh head to their fifth event in the 2004 FIA Production Car World Rally...

Singh set for German asphalt attack

16 August 2004 - TEAM PROTON PERT MALAYSIA - Singh set for German asphalt attack Team Proton PERT Malaysia crew Karamjit Singh and Allen Oh head to their fifth event in the 2004 FIA Production Car World Rally Championship and possibly the biggest challenge of their gruelling APRC / PWRC rally schedule.

The 2004 Rallye Deutschland, which runs from19-22 August, will only be the second time the Malaysian crew has ever contested an event on asphalt. An impressive debut last year saw the duo take fourth position in treacherous conditions after some torrential downpours. Returning to the event this year they'll be hoping to emulate their performance and build on their limited asphalt experience.

Karam and Allen will also look forward to running their newly built Malaysian Airlines/GO K.L/Malaysian Tourism sponsored Gp N Proton PERT which they took delivery of five weeks ago but have had little opportunity to develop due to an accident on the opening stages of Rally Argentina (16-18 July). Since then the car has returned to the UK for repair by Mellors Elliot Motorsport (MEM). In preparation for Rallye Deutschland, MEM has also carried out substantial asphalt testing on the Isle of Man.

Rallye Deutschland is based the ancient town of Trier on the River Mosel, just east of the Luxembourg border. Although essentially an asphalt rally, drivers have likened the event to competing three rallies in one due to a unique contrast of sealed stage surfaces. The competition is set amongst three main areas each offering a very different challenge.

From the narrow, sharp cornered roads of the Mosel wine region to the wide bumpy concrete roads of the Baumholder military land and finally the exceptionally quick Saarland stages – it's quite a challenge on both driver ability and finding the most effective all round car set-up.

Traditionally military land used for training tanks, the Baumholder region poses the most usual stages of the event. Not only is the terrain abrasive and bumpy, demanding ultimate performance from the tyres, but the asphalt is littered with stones making it almost as rough as a gravel rally. In the wet the surface can get very slippery, add to this the huge kerb stones known as 'Hinklesteine' which line the roads and you have the recipe for some pretty spectacular accidents.

Karam said: "I'm really looking forward to going back to Germany. It was a pretty steep learning curve for us last year having to adjust to a new technique and style of driving but at least this year we'll have some previous asphalt experience to build upon. The rally has so many different surfaces it's really difficult to know where you can attack; there can even be several different surface changes in one stage, so it's quite a challenge. I'm also looking forward to running and developing the new car which we haven't had much opportunity to do yet. On our debut in Germany last year we finished in fourth position so we're hoping for a similar if not better result this time round."

Rally info Rallye Deutschland runs from the 19-22 August and covers 411.06kms in a total distance of 1075.77kms over three competitive legs and 24 special stages. The event kicks off with a ceremonial start on Thursday evening at 20.00 in front of the Porta Nigra (Black Gate) in the centre of Trier. Leg 1 continues on Friday morning (20 August) at 09.00 and consists of two identical loops of four stages set in the Mosel wine making region.

Leg 2 (Saturday 21 August) sees teams contest another eight stages (two identical loops of four) run mainly in the Baumholder region. The day ends with a 6.24km super special stage through the streets of the small town of St Wendel. Day two is the longest of the event.

The third and final leg starts at 06.32 on Sunday 22 August. It contains six special stages, two loops of three, through the Saaland region and concludes with a second run through the St. Wendel super special stage. Drivers are expected to reach the finish ramp in front of the Porta Nigra in the centre of Trier at 15.30.

-tppm-

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About this article
Series WRC
Drivers Karamjit Singh , Allen Oh