RED BULL ACE SANDELL UP FOR DEUTSCHLAND TARMAC TEST Red Bull rally driver Patrik Sandell will resume his bid for Super 2000 World Rally Championship glory on the all-asphalt Rallye Deutschland from August 19-22 full of confidence following a ...
RED BULL ACE SANDELL UP FOR DEUTSCHLAND TARMAC TEST
Red Bull rally driver Patrik Sandell will resume his bid for Super 2000 World Rally Championship glory on the all-asphalt Rallye Deutschland from August 19-22 full of confidence following a successful two-day test in Austria recently.
Sandell, who is currently fifth in the SWRC drivers' standings after making four appearances in the series so far this season, spent the test fine-tuning the set-up of his Red Bull-backed Skoda Fabia S2000 and also adapting his driving style to the requirements of Tarmac competition.
"My experience of driving on asphalt is not completely zero but it's not too much either so any chance I get to drive on this kind of surface is very useful," said the former Junior world rally champion. "We did some work on the set-up to make sure the car works perfectly when we get to the rally but I also received some really good advice from my team chief Raimund Baumschlager."
Baumschlager, whose BRR preparation company runs Sandell's Skoda, doubles up as a rally driver in his spare time and recently secured his 10th Austrian championship crown aboard a Fabia S2000. With 90 per cent of the Austrian rallies based on asphalt, Baumschlager has plenty of sealed-surface driving experience and accompanied Sandell during the test.
"Raimund has done thousands of kilometres in the Skoda on Tarmac so he has a lot of knowledge," said the 28-year-old Sandell, who hails from Sweden. "He was able to give me advice about the set-up and also some tips on my driving such as when to brake later when he was with me in the car. It was a really big help and I feel really confident for the rally because of this."
Sandell reckons his closest opposition in Germany will come from SWRC points' leader Xevi Pons, fellow Swede P-G Andersson and Czech driver Martin Prokop.
"It will be a big battle between us far but I really believe I can do very well against them all," said Sandell, who took part on Rallye Deutschland in 2007. "I really like the stages and sometimes the road can be quite slippery, especially when it rains, which is a challenge I enjoy. But there is a lot of work to do on this rally because you have to change the set-up quite a bit between some of the stages as there is quite a big variety of layouts and surfaces."
Rallye Deutschland is based in the historic city of Trier. Following a ceremonial start on Thursday evening (August 19), action proper gets underway on the morning of Friday August 20 and features 405 competitive kilometres over 19 special stages prior to the finish on Sunday afternoon. It is the longest round of the WRC so far this season in terms of stage distance, a fact Sandell is relishing.
"My physical level is always very good so it is not a concern to me that the rally is so long," said Sandell, who will be co-driven by regular navigator Emil Axelsson. "If anything the distance provides me with extra motivation to do well."
-source: red bull