This weekend will see the 2016 edition of the Rallye Deutschland getting underway in Trier. Running over 3 legs and 18 stages and with a total competitive distance of some 306 km, this tarmac event is the ninth round of the World Rally Championship and one of its biggest tests.
Both drivers and teams have to content with no fewer than four different track conditions as well as an array of unique challenges and hazards. And there is no shortage of ŠKODA Fabia R5 teams that will be pitting their wits against everything the event can throw at them and looking to add to ŠKODA impressive record of six successive WRC2 victories.
For the ŠKODA Motorsport team, Esapekka Lappi / Janne Ferm are taking part, fresh from winning the WRC2 category in the previous round at the Rally Finland. They are joined by the Czech pairing of Jan Kopecký / Pavel Dresler in what is only their third WRC event of the season. The other ŠKODA Motorsport pairing of Pontus Tidemand / Jonas Andersson will also be on the start line, but will be rallying under the ŠKODA Motorsport II moniker this time out.
Elsewhere, plenty of our customer teams will be participating as well. Armin Kremer / Pirmin Winklhofer will be looking to score more valuable WRC2 points in their home event. The veteran German, whose ŠKODA FABIA R5 is prepared and run by the BRR Baumschlager Rallye & Racing Team, is a three-time German rally champion and by winning his last event, the Rallye Wartburg, proved that he still very much a force to be reckoned with in German rallies.
Qatari driver Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari is also back for this round along with his Irish co-driver Killian Duffy. Driving for the Culture & Sport Qatar Rally Team, Al-Kuwari also put in a good performance in the Rallye Wartburg, finishing fifth overall, and he will be looking to continue that form here.
The current German Rally Championship leaders Fabian Kreim / Frank Christian will be out to impress in the colours of ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland team. They have dominated their national championship with four wins already this season and have also performed well in the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship, in what is proving to be a very busy season for them.
The French pairing of Julien Maurin / Olivier Ural have looked good in the French Gravel Championship this season but enjoyed more mixed fortunes in the WRC. They will be looking for an improvement on the asphalt here.
And the Belgian duo of Ghislain de Mevius / Johan Jalet have shown great potential in their opening three events in a FABIA R5. They will be looking to push on in Germany again.
Meanwhile, the Italian pairing of Max Rendina / Emanuele Inglesi will be making their first start of the season in a ŠKODA FABIA R5. Driving for the Motorsport Italia team, they will be keen to make in impact, but will no doubt be prioritizing time behind the wheel of their new vehicle. Other ŠKODA FABIA R5 on the start line will be driven by the German pairing of Thomas Wallenwein / Benedikt Hofmann.
The Wevers Sport team has no fewer than four FABIA R5s taking part in the Rallye Deutschland. The Danish pairing of Kristian Poulsen / Ole Frederiksen are joined by three Dutch drivers. For Bernhard ten Brinke, driving along with Belgian co-driver Davy Thierie, this will be his first WRC event since 2011. They will be looking for a top ten finish in the WRC2 class.
Mark van Eldik / Harmen Scholtalbers have performed solidly in the FABIA R5 this season, while Edwin Schilt / Lisette Bakker have not enjoyed such good fortune so far. But all will be hoping to make their mark in this event.
For Team Oreca, Teemu Suninen / Mikko Markkula have been one of the season’s stand-out performers so far. With three WRC2 victories under their belts already, at the Rally Guanajuato Mexico, the Rally Italia Sardegna, and the Rally Poland, they also came second in the previous round in Finland.
They are less familiar with asphalt rallies to gravel ones, so they have not registered for the WRC2 category and will be unable to score championship points in Germany (as well as Pontus Tidemand and Thomas Wallenwein).
As always we will be rooting for all the ŠKODA FABIA R5 competitors through the Rallye Deutschland and hoping to secure a seventh successive victory. And if, like us, you are keen to keep track of their progress, keep an eye on the ŠKODA Motorsport website and social media channels throughout the weekend for all the latest updates.
|ŠKODA teams at the 34th Rally Germany|
|31||Armin Kremer / Primin Winklhofer (D/D)||ŠKODA FABIA R5|
|32||Esapekka Lappi / Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN)||ŠKODA FABIA R5*|
|33||Max Rendina / Emanuele Inglesi (I/I)||ŠKODA FABIA R5|
|34||Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari / Killian Duffy (Q/IRL)||ŠKODA FABIA R5|
|35||Jan Kopecký / Pavel Dresler (CZ/CZ)||ŠKODA FABIA R5*|
|41||Julien Maurin / Olivier Ural (F/F)||ŠKODA FABIA R5|
|42||Ghislain de Mevius / Johan Jalet (B/B)||ŠKODA FABIA R5|
|48||Fabian Kreim / Frank Christian (D/D)||ŠKODA FABIA R5|
|51||Bernhard Ten Brinke / Davy Thierie (NL/NL)||ŠKODA FABIA R5|
|52||Kristian Poulsen / Ole Frederiksen (DK/DK)||ŠKODA FABIA R5|
|53||Mark van Eldik / Harmen Scholtalbers (NL/NL)||ŠKODA FABIA R5|
|54||Edwin Schilt / Lisette Bakker (NL/NL)||ŠKODA FABIA R5|
|82||Teemu Suninen / Mikko Markkula (FIN/FIN)||ŠKODA FABIA R5**|
|83||Pontus Tidemand / Jonas Andersson (S/S)||ŠKODA FABIA R5**|
|84||Yannick Neuville / Jürgen Heigl (B/A)||ŠKODA FABIA Super 2000**|
|86||Thomas Wallenwein / Benedikt Hofmann (D/D)||ŠKODA FABIA R5**|
* Racing for ŠKODA Motorsport at the Rally Germany
** Not registered in the WRC2 category at the Rally Germany, and therefore not eligible to score world championship points