Welcome

Welcome to ReinisB Photography,
You will find the latest photo shoots & event reports below. Click on the sections above to view my portfolio!

25 Aug 2016

WRC ADAC RALLYE DEUTSCHLAND 2016

WRC GERMANY 2016


BACK TO THE TOP

Text and Photos: Reinis Babrovskis



Volkswagen's lead driver Sebastien Ogier ended his 6 event winless streak following a superior drive in the WRC ADAC Rallye Deutschland 2016. The frenchman hadn't been at the top of the podium for quite a while and was hungry for a victory in the Volkswagen's home country. Sebastien and his co-driver Julien Ingrassia dominated the rally from day 1, setting the pace for other drivers. With no road cleaning to do on the German asphalt, the French duo were unstoppable.



Rally

Round 9 of the 2016 World Rally Championship took the teams and spectators to the heart of Europe: Germany from August 18-21. First held in 1982 as part of the European Championship the ADAC Rallye Deutschland is a very fast and tricky all-asphalt rally that became an integral WRC round in 2002. It has been dominated by Citroen in the past with Sebastien Loeb in the drivers seat. The 2016 Rally Germany consisted of 18 stages totaling 306,80 competitive kilometres, and further 1,209,69km of road sections. Friday’s Leg 1 featured 2 stages ran twice, and the day ended with an all-new stage near Trier. Leg 2 included a mixture of country roads and multiple passings on the Panzerplatte militaty area (featuring the longest stage of the weekend – 40km). The final Leg ran alongside the Mosel wine area and Eifel hills with the Rally official finish taking place in Trier. 



SPECTATORS

ADAC Rallye Deutschland is very popular among the WRC fans and is always packed with spectators on every corner of each stage over the 4 day period providing an amazing atmosphere everywhere you go. Thousands of Belgian, French, Spanish, Finnish and Swedish fans were present supporting their favourite drivers. The most popular stage located on the grounds of the restricted Baumholder military area (Panzerplatte) provides fantastic views of tight handbrake corners, fast straights, Gino's jump, as well as offering impressive photography backdrops of military jets and hinkelsteins. The rally pass price was 70€ for the weekend or 20€ per stage with additional € parking fee for each stage. Spectator safety has become a top priority in Rally Germany; however, if you consider going next year don't worry - there are plenty of spectator areas.


TIRES

The crews were given an option of hard compound for dry weather conditions, or softer option for wet or colder temperatures. Punctures in tarmac rallies are usually uncommon; however, tire wear is not. The crews certainly needed to look after their tires, particularly due to the long stages in Germany.


SURFACE

Rally Germany is viewed as one of the most difficult asphalt rallies on the calendar. It featured 306,80 competitive kilometres. The surface varied from asphalt, concrete blocks and cobblestone to small patches of gravel. The unpredictable German weather in the mountain and river areas makes the tire choice very tricky and important. Fog and Rain can make the slippery asphalt ruthless in the wet. There was no road cleaning for the Championship leader; however, Sebastien’s teammate Andreas Mikkelsen accused the Frenchman off deliberately cutting the corners dragging out more dirt on the track, thus making it extra slippery for the chasing drivers. 


WEATHER

Despite the fact Rallye Deutschland is a summer rally, Germany is known for the unpredictable weather and this years rally just proved that. The sunny weather can suddenly change, and rainstorms can take over making the conditions very extreme.


CARS

The WRC cars received a complete transformation in preparation for the asphalt-spec rally The tarmac suspension was set to low, providing extra stability and improved handling. The bigger wheel set up also allowed the use of larger brakes, and with that increased stopping power. I also think every rally fan would agree with me that WRC tarmac set up on the cars is certainly the most appealing to the eye.


Rally HQ

2016 Rallye Deutschland HQ was based in the oldest German town of Trier, and it has been for the last number of years; however, it will be moved to a new location next year. As usual it was packed with trade stands, entertainment, food courts and rally team HQ's.


Ceremonial Start

The official rally ceremonial start took place at the old Roman city gates of Porta Nigra in Trier on Thursday evening. The iconic architectural monument is opened for the rally cars once a year and serves as a picturesque backdrop.


More than 100 rally crews crossed the starting ramp in reverse order with the World Rally Championship leader Sebastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia closing off the ceremonial event at 22:00.


The Ceremonial start also gave the fans a great opportunity to meet the drivers, have a chat with them and obtain some autographs.


Shakedown

The shakedown took place near the rally HQ in Trier on the short 4.55km Konz test; the stage was a mixture of vineyard tracks and country roads. Dani Sordo demonstrated the fastest time on the first time through, before the VW Polo piloted by Andreas Mikkelsen beat the Spaniard. But it was the flying Finn Jari-Matti Latvala in the end to match the time of Andreas on his fifth and final pass.

 

HOW THE ACTION UNFOLDED

LEG 1


For many drivers Friday began completely opposite to what they'd hope for. First off, after setting the fastest stage time on test 1 Mittelmosel, the three time world champion Sebastien Ogier  lost the lead following a spin due to a bad/misheard pace-note from Julien Ingrassia. Furthermore, bad luck for his team mate Jari-Matti Latvala as the gearbox of the VW Polo WRC decided to fail; it meant Jari was forced to return under the Rally 2 regulations on the following day. On the other hand,  it was all going well for the third VW driver Andreas Mikkelsen who managed to snatch an early lead after stage 2.


Kiwi man Hayden Paddon - a strong gravel driver, soon discovered that rally Germany takes no prisoners as early as Stage 1, when a close encounter with the German grape bush threw the Hyndai i20 into a spin. Luckily the damage was only cosmetic and he was able to continue the rally.


Stage 2 proceeded to the picturesque Moselle river, where more bad luck followed some of the drivers. The French driver Eric Camilli approached the left hand corner too fast and the Fiesta WRC ended up off road along his hopes for a strong performance.


It also didn't end well for the South Korean Opel Adam driver who managed to roll the car multiple times down the vineyard; luckily the crew were unharmed, which couldn't be said about their car.


The crews repeated the same loop of stages before finishing the day with the all new super special stage near Trier. Hayden encounter yet another close call on stage 3; and a spin for Thierry Neuville on stage 4 caused a few second loss but still leaving him near the top drivers. It was Andreas Mikkelsen who ended the day as the overall leader following a trouble free and solid drive.

LEG 2


Saturday's morning loop started with the 14.73km long Freisen-Westrich stage where the drivers tackled more open, fast country roads leading them into the picturesque but damper forest roads. It seemed the tire choice was the key to success and it was Ogier who opted with 4 hard compound tires and managed to reel in on the rally leader. Andreas Mikkelsen, Thierry Neuville and Mads Ostberg struggled for grip and encountered a few close calls and off-roading.


The crews then proceeded to the notorious Military Complex of Panzerplatte. The monsterous stages were split into short and long and it was the shorter stage ran twice first.

Thousands and thousands of spectators each year return to the beautiful arena that provides spectacular action. Ogier took 14 seconds of the teammate on the first passing of the 40km long stage, whilst Andreas was running out of tricks to pull out of the hat, the wrong choice of tires didn't help either.

Panzerplatte reminded of its dangers when the Citroen DS3 piloted by the Frenchman St├ęphane Lefebvre and co-driver Gabin Moreau overshot a right hand corner, hitting a hinkelstein and launching them airborne into the nearby trees. The accident completely demolished the front end of the car, ripping the engine out f its bay and leaving it metres away from the car. Moreau was trapped inside the DS3 for 30 mins before freed and airlifted to a hospital. He underwent a suregery and the accident left him with a broken left foot, fractured leg, left hand and a cracked vertebrae. Lefebre was luckier and was able to walk away from the accident but remained in Hospital for further checks. I wish a speedy recovery to the duo.


Day 2 ended with Sebastien Ogier leading the pack with a gap of 33 seconds over the teammate Andreas Mikkelsen, with the Spanish tarmac expert Dani Sordo in third.


LEG 3

The final day featured 2 stages ran twice in Moselle vineyards on the Eifel hills with the finish ceremony held at Porta Nigra. With Sebastien Ogier having a safe lead it was the battle for second, third and fourth that got everybody excited. It was a battle between the duo of Hyundais - Thierry Neuville, Dani Sordo and VW's Andreas Mikkelsen.
 

Stage 17 was cancelled just moments after the Fiesta WRC of Eric Camilli was into the stage due to extensive amount of spectators in dangerous places.


The final Power stage was won by Thierry Neuville, Jari-Matti Latvala and Sebastien Ogier.



Overall Results



1. S. OGIER J. INGRASSIA VOLKSWAGEN MOTORSPORT 3:00:26.7
2. D. SORDO M. MARTI HYUNDAI MOTORSPORT 3:00:47.0 +20.3
3. T. NEUVILLE N. GILSOUL HYUNDAI MOTORSPORT 3:00:47.1 +20.4
4. A. MIKKELSEN A. JAEGER SYNNEVAAG VOLKSWAGEN MOTORSPORT II 3:00:53.9 +27.2
5. H. PADDON J. KENNARD HYUNDAI MOTORSPORT N 3:04:01.5 +3:34.8
6. M. OSTBERG O. FLOENE M-SPORT WORLD RALLY TEAM 3:04:57.9 +4:31.2
7. E. LAPPI J. FERM SKODA MOTORSPORT 3:09:03.5 +8:36.8
8. P. TIDEMAND J. ANDERSSON SKODA MOTORSPORT II 3:09:19.2 +8:52.5
9. J. KOPECKY P. DRESLER SKODA MOTORSPORT 3:10:10.9 +9:44.2
10. A. KREMER P. WINKLHOFER BRR BAUMSCHLAGER RALLYE&RACING TEAM 3:10:37.3 +10:10.6


It was yet again another amazing trip with our rally family and I cannot wait for the next one. Thank you WRC and thank you Germany!

BONUS IMAGES


I would like to dedicate this article to the Belgian rally fan that tragically passed away during the WRC ADAC Deutschland 2016 shakedown stage.", Reinis Babrovskis.

No comments:

Post a Comment