WRC - ADAC Rallye : Saturday Wrap up!

After a leader-board changing on the first half of the day, the final stage of Saturday is through with Loeb at an untouchable position so far. And more unlikely too! Estonian Ott Tanak surprised everyone on SS10 & SS11 beating Loeb with considerable margin, however he reportedly stopped on SS12 after he ripped a wheel off his M-Sport Fiesta WRC. Van Merksteijn Jr too stops after crashing very close to where Tanak had. It was not a good stage for Spaniard Dani Sordo who was spotted peeking under the bonnet, and a electrical problem was suspected earlier, but it turned out that he had an impact and the front and sides of the car had tell tale damages & the car was loosing coolant from the damaged radiator.

The rally had suddenly had turned into a fight for survival or simply a strategy of attrition by Citroen's Ace. It looks very imminent that the Rally is already won, but still its not done until its done right!? Latvala was already showing the pace [really just 0.7s in 46.54km looks awesomely competitive] as he did in last year and in the opening rally of season 2012 until he crashed out. How ever the rally leader is far too tough to catch with 1m42.9s adrift from the next, and Mikko is happy with his pace today & is in 3rd overall, with over 2 mins gap of the no.1. Hope there will be potential competition else, the sport is getting boring already.

Latvala explains here what he really wanted to do & what really happened. So, it really not that easy to beat a king eh!?

We just have 3 more stages to go tomorrow with the 30.76kms of Drontal SS to be run twice before the regular SSS at Circus Maximus @ Trier.

Here is a quickee of the action that took place today..

With the top order collapsing, it was an easy moment for the down order to recover the positions, with Mads Ostberg with his Fiesta WRC and Chris Atkinson in his Mini WRC taking 4th and 5th respectively.

Complete report of the event is compiled here
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WRC ADAC Rally - Saturday [Mid-day Results]

After an action packed opening on Friday, the Day 2 progressed through the mid-day after a service before SS9, the longest stage(s) of the rally, which is again repeated late today. Until SS8 the overall results looked almost the same with Sordo getting to the 3rd overall status since Latvala did a mistake on SS8 & hence, lost more time.

The drama unfolded for the top 5, when the second overall Petter Solberg, despite slower than the leader managed knocked off his right rear wheel onto a rock on the side of the road & decided to watch others speed off. Thierry Neuville, the fourth placed Belgian went off & ended his day then and there.. Dani Sordo had a puncture of an worn out tire and had to change in the stage and lost about 2 vital minutes. Mikko climbs to third overall.

And yes, Loeb is still the leader with no problem with the car or whatsoever..

Down in the PWRC, Kosciuszko takes the lead from Guerra at the end of SS9 & Aska is in third overall. In WRC Academy, Evans tops the list while Suarez and Reeves are in second and third.
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Rally Deustchland : Day 1 - Final Report

Loeb dominates the attack with a comfortable 20.4s ahead of the closest rival Solberg, who is chased by his team-mate with just 9s adrift. Mikko still have not found the much needed rhythm and slips down to sixth overall at the end of SS6, Thierry Neuville sticks to his best performance at fourth, while Dani Sordo claims the 5th overall and seems to be happy at the end.

All in all except with the 3 retirements of Novikov, Nobre & Prokop with his ill-struck car charred down to bare metal, all is well..

1.1S. LOEBM1:22:
2.4P. SOLBERGM1:22:38.4+20.4+20.4
3.3J. LATVALAM1:22:47.4+9.0+29.4
4.8T. NEUVILLEM1:22:52.5+5.1+34.5
5.37D. SORDO
6.2M. HIRVONENM1:23:06.9+2.2+48.9
7.5O. TÄNAKM1:23:35.9+29.0+1:17.9
8.10M. ØSTBERGM1:23:46.7+10.8+1:28.7
10.22S. OGIER

Complete report of the event is compiled here
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WRC 2012 ADAC Rally Deustchland : Day 1 - Mid Day Report

After the first three stages done, with S.Loeb dominated the first half of the day. P.Solberg clinched to his second place, however, Mikko slid down to fifth as he was not confident with the car & was not in the right rhythm. Loeb was on hard compound since the first stage and still on the top of the lot, no wonder he is the unbeatable champion for so long. Overnight rain had left the morning stages damp, especially the sections under the trees, which was the main issue to the down order who suffer the wetness & mud drawn from the cars cutting around the corners.

Latvala took the third spot, and he too was not very happy with the setup of his car and was blaming himself to had it setup too soft. T.Neuville had been working well since the start of the season, and he stands at the fourth overall so far and is pretty happy with his driving as well as his car as he says that the driving is getting better by the stages since morning. D.Sordo was not very happy with his driving and the car setup and was down 

E.Novikov retired on the first stage with some issues to his car's right rear wheel, as they were spotted inspecting it after pulling off the stage. P.Nobre too had his off and damaged his car after clipping on to concrete structure, and both of them would be starting tomorrow under Super Rally format. Mads had his share of issues from the very first stage till the mid-day service, as his car suffered braking issues. He even tried to bleed the lines, but was not helpful and also doesn't rule out his lack of experience on these kind of stages. Martin Prokop too faced braking issues in second stage onwards and had to adapt his driving style to the car handling due to it. However, he stopped on third stage maybe a puncture has held them up [*update : Martin's car caught fire on SS3 & he had to retire]. Ott Tanak finished the stage passing the ailing Martin's car & were flagged OK by the crew.

The Olympic medal winner Nasser is happy with his driving and the car & wants to keep it going the same way till the end and hopes for betterment of his standings. Chris Atkinson in his Mini WRC says he is pretty comfortable so far, and also he has to adapt to the different car every time in this season, who has driven all the three manufacturer cars.

Overall top 10 timings after SS3 [till mid-day service] is as below:
Diff. pr.
1.Loeb S. - Elena D.
#1 Citroen DS3 WRC
2.Solberg P. - Patterson C.
#4 Ford Fiesta RS WRC
3.Latvala J. - Anttila M.
#3 Ford Fiesta RS WRC
4.Neuville T. - Gilsoul N.
#8 Citroen DS3 WRC
5.Hirvonen M. - Lehtinen J.
#2 Citroen DS3 WRC
Sordo D. - Del Barrio C.
#37 Mini Cooper WRC
Tänak O. - Sikk K.
#5 Ford Fiesta RS WRC
8.Ostberg M. - Andersson J.
#10 Ford Fiesta RS WRC
9.Atkinson C. - Prévot S.
#12 Mini Cooper WRC
van Merksteijn jr. P. - Chevaillier E.
#15 Citroen DS3 WRC

results courtesy ewrc-results.com

Complete report of the event is compiled here
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An unfortunate Accident at WRC - ADAC Rally Deutschland

Unfortunately, there was an accident involving four spectators who were grievously injured as a result. This happened after Nicolás Fuchs Fernando Mussano's Subaru WRX lost its front wheel after it hit a kerbstone and veered onto the unsuspecting rally fans, where one of them had severe injuries.

All of them were immediately shifted to Trier hospital & the Shakedown was cancelled from there on.

Complete report of the event is compiled here
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S.Loeb fastest @ Shakedown : WRC - ADAC Rally

Sebastien Loeb in his DS3 WRC emerges fastest in the shakedown stage with a timing of 2m26.9s, with 2.6 seconds ahead of second placed Petter Solberg Fiesta WRC. Closely followed by the Estonian Ott Tanak who slid down 0.3s behind Petter.

Loeb, however improved on his timing on the third attempt shaving off 1.7s of his initial attempt. Petter & compatriot Mads Ostberg clocked identical timing 2m25.2s, Jari-Matti Latvala did his personal best at the 0.8s down Loeb, and Dani Sordo & Mikko Hirvonen equalled Loeb's first best on the fourth attempt. Russian Evgeny Novikov and Ott Tanak did their best timings 2m27.8s, and Australian Chris Atkinson managed to time a sub 2and1/2 minute mark with 2m28.6s at his best.

Now everybody would be thinking why there were so many runs to get their best timings, and that is because there is no Qualifying round for the sealed surface round and the starting order for tomorrow will be based on the championship ranking at the end of 8th round results.

On the downline order, Van Merksteijn Jr had a small off, but both the crew and car are okay for tomorrow's fight.

Complete report of the event is compiled here
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WRC 2012 : ADAC Rally Deutschland [Germany]

The 9th round of FIA WRC season 2012 is scheduled for this weekend, & already we can see many changes on the competition. The changes are largely visible in the Mini WRC stable. Armindo Araujo had to move out of much trouble to continue with the privateer seat of the top level Rally competition at world level. Dani Sordo is still at the no.1 spot for Mini WRC Team and their other car been driven by the well experienced Australian, Chris Atkinson which is going to be a really good for the Mini WRC assault for the rest the season.

Citroen's Qatar WRC team did their testing too, with Nasser returning after his successful and medal winning Olympics in London 2012 during the NORF days.

So does his team-mate the Belgian, Thierry Neuville..

Ford WRC team's now no.1 driver Petter tests his Fiesta for a better asphalt setup for the upcoming rally on a couple of day from now.

With all these testing and latest changes happening in this season 2012, Citroen WRT main attack would be the one to watch out. Latvala's pace from the last season on the sealed surface was pretty promising, but!! what he and his team needs is consistency and not plain attack. Hope the first proper the hard surface rally makes it a fun to watch in the homeland of the VW's who would be soon back on the rage with their super-anticipated Polo R WRC with the 'other' Seb behind the wheel. Also it is almost confirmed that behind their second wheel would be Ford's Latvala & that leaves us wondering what would be the filler in the Ford WRC team. Hope there will be more competition than ever!!

Here is the video of the recce of the SSS

Complete report of the event is compiled here
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