Opel presents the ADAC E-Rally Cup
This is new in the world of motorsport:
Opel will launch a one-design championship of electric rally cars in partnership with ADAC, the federation of automobile clubs in Germany.
He will see scrap Corsa-e modified under the FIA regulations (emptied interior, installation of a rollbar and seats with harness), which will evolve initially in the framework of the German championship of rallies.
This series replaces the ADAC Opel Rallye Cup, which has already, according to Opel, allowed more than 100 amateur drivers from 18 different countries to try their luck in rallying.
"With the ADAC Opel e-Rally Cup, we are bringing electric propulsion into the world of consumer sport for the first time, particularly promoting young drivers," says Hermann Tomczyk, President.
of ADAC Sport.
The innovative concept and cooperation with the PSA Group opens up new possibilities for us. "
This competition will support the commercial debut of the new Corsa-e, whose first copies will be delivered in early 2020.
From a sporting point of view, this branded cup will participate in the construction of a professional pyramid, a project initiated by the ADAC in 2016.
"If the championship works as much as we hope, we can consider replicating the exercise in several markets and why not with another PSA brand," says Jean-Marc Finot, director of PSA Motorsport, which we met during of the Rally of Germany.
It is clear that we have to start the pump for the electric rally to get through, but we were pleasantly surprised by the good reception of our partners on the subject, and we have every reason to believe it. "
If this electric brand coupe - 15 to 20 cars are scheduled in season 1 - works, it could therefore echo in other countries and particularly in France with Peugeot and the e-208, which shares its chassis and the all of its technology with the Corsa-e.
In this case, an "e-208 Cup" would arrive in the French Rally Championship, but not before 2022.
In order to keep development costs as low as possible, Opel will stick technically to the platform of the production car.
136 hp (100 kW) under the bonnet and a torque of 260 Nm from the start will then satisfy the drivers, aboard a car whose final weight is not yet known, but whose batteries alone weigh more than 300 kg on the 1455 kg claimed empty by the model of series.
For the recharging of the batteries, the organization will initially rely on a truck that will embark high power stations and ultra fast, "as far as possible connected to the electricity network and not powered by a diesel generator", has also pointed out Jean-Marc Finot.
It will then be necessary to verify what is on the ground, but tests should be conducted early next year.
At the heart of a discipline where spectators sometimes take part in the action when a car is in the ditch, switch to the electric will require several adaptations.
"On the one hand, the commissioners will receive training to intervene in the event of an accident," continues Jean-Marc Finot.
On the other hand, fans will no longer have the right to touch or even approach cars in this kind of situation.
There is a lot of information and prevention work to be done on this subject.
We also worked a lot on the safety aspect of the cars themselves, using what we learned with DS Automobiles in Formula £. Note that the development is underway, on the tracks of Opel to Russelsheim (Germany).
The ADAC Opel e-Rally Cup debut is scheduled for the summer of 2020, with a first season in two calendar years that will run until the end of 2021 and more than ten races on the menu.
The first copy of this electric rally car will be presented on the brand's stand at the Frankfurt Motor Show, which will be held from 12 to 22 September.
After a first conclusive test session with Citroën, Eric Cam ill i will give it back.
In addition to the technical sensitivity of the driver, the French manufacturer takes advantage of the fact that these days are not counted in the quota of 42 days of authorized testing.
The young Tricolore is indeed considered as "guest"!
Same technique as Valtteri Bottas who tests at M-Sport, Toyota and also Citroën.
All the ineptitude of the system.
If Sardinia has the insurance to be on the calendar until 2022, it is not certain that Aghero remains the host city as it has been since 2014.
Olbia is doing the forcing by proposing a substantial budget to host a test of which it was the nerve center between 2004 and 2013.
With this return to the northeast of the island, the course would undergo changes with the return of sections once taken.
Relying on the Milano Racing team, Abarth will be present in the last four rounds of the French asphalt championship.
Newcomer to the team, Laurent Pellier (24 years old) will participate with the Abarth 124 at Mont-Blanc, Criterium Cévennes and Var.
At the heart of France, it is Vincent Dubert (27 years old), who usually moves on the ground with the 500X R4, which will be aligned.
Rally - alternative energy
Paddon launches into the electric
Through the Paddon Rallysport and in collaboration with various New Zealand and foreign companies, Hayden Paddon announced the launch of an electric rally car.
"Whether we like it or not, change happens, and for the future of our sport we have to adopt it," says the Kiwi.
The car should be operational after the first quarter of 2020.
Next year, the focus will be on performance and reliability before moving to full rallies in 2021, where we want to pit it against heat engines.
It should develop 600kW (about 800 hp!) And our ambition is to have baUeries with the capacity to cover an entire stage. "
Definitely Pex-driver Hyundai has more than one string to his bow ...
Rallycross Lohéac is this weekend!
As every year since the launch of the World RX in 2014, the small village of Lohéac will host the high mass of the world rallycross championship.
The organizers are expecting about 70,000 people on one of the biggest events of the season where will find some fifty pilots registered at the wheel of the Supercars.
Among the 21 competitors of the World RX, the Finn Toomas Heikkinen will be the guest of honor by being engaged on a third Hyundai i20 of the GRX team.
The former resident of EKS will find the Hansen brothers he also faces TitansRX.
The brothers Pailler will also be back on their Peugeot 208 after being seen at the round of Hojes (Sweden).
ESMotorsport's Skoda Fabia will be run by Dutchman Kevin Abbring, who has already competed in both Scandinavian events.
Team Stard will line up a second Ford Fiesta for Jani Paasonen, while Dean of the Hervé Knapick Plateau will make the trip with his DS3.
The Euro RX will also look great with 30 participants.
In addition to the Dubourg brothers in the season, France will be well represented with the reigning French champion Antoine Massé, Gaétan Sérazin or Emmanuel Anne.
Bernard Hinault, five times winner of the Tour de France, will travel to attend the World RX event.
Just like Jean Todt, the president of the FIA.
A world record of the biggest pancake sausages will be held in the paddock.
The goal is to reach 35 meters, with reference to the number of the department of Ille-et-Vilaine where the circuit is located.
QR? Patrick Germain
Director of the Lohéac Rallycross Sports Association
"The sporting side is fortunately preserved"
- Are you satisfied with the number of entries despite the departure of the official teams?
- The number of entries is similar to that of last year.
We are refueling in Euro RX and the only drop comes from the World RX.
In the end, we had 51 Supercars last year and 51 this year.
The board is, in addition, supplemented by the S1600, RX2 and Legends which will be a small score this year.
- Is the absence of stars such as Sébastien Loeb or Petter Solberg felt at the ticketing level?
- It is especially the absence of Loeb which is prejudicial.
Someone who does not know anything about motorsport will not know who Solberg is, but he will have heard about Loeb.
Pre-sales are down about 10% but we were prepared.
The sports side is fortunately preserved with an excellent plateau.
- Is the new World RX power project compatible with your ideas?
- We still have a contract with the World RX for several seasons that will be renegotiated in due course.
They have a new electric concept but they take their time for development and it will not see the light of day in the world championship until 2022.
We will see what it will give but this approach is interesting, especially for private because it is especially engines that are expensive in Rallycross.
- What future for the Lohéac circuit?
- We will be hosting the Andros Trophy summer season next year, trying to make it a support race for the World RX.
That would make it possible to get an idea (of the electric, editor's note), both for us and for the public.
I also met Max Pucher è Essay for the debut of the TitansRX.
Its formula can work and we would love to welcome it, but we are not able to organize two events a year.
Organizational costs are too great with the rental of equipment, the necessary staff, etc.
However, we would like to return the Championship of France, but it would be necessary to succeed in setting dates to ensure that the World RX and the hexagonal plateau occur a week apart.
It does not matter if Ogier comes back or not to get one or two titles with Citroën, he has already proven his value.
Moreover, how not to admire his choices after the end of the VW program? Already to have gone to M-Sport rather than join Toyota or stop his career? I think that beyond other considerations, the human parameter has been important, especially working with Wilson.
And we saw the result, two more titles.
Same thing for Citroën.
Sebastien could have stopped there, but his passion and a probable desire to resume a badly interrupted history with the French manufacturer that allowed him to hatch at the global level can only be praised.
He could also have retired.
A magnificent light engine of 300 hp (T Alpine A110 Rallye Editor's note).
We can dream of a championship with Porsche, Fiat, Alpine as in the days of friends Theria, Nicolas, Darniche, Andruet and the beautiful victories and stories that go with it.
Highly the Monte Carlo 2020 ...
And why was not Hyundai instructed to let Sordo pass Neuville? Incomprehensible when playing a title ...
Unless we think it's already folded! Or is it sporty nobility? Decidedly at the management level it was not terrible this rally ...
Bravo Ott Tànak, future world champion, which will be well deserved! Congratulations to Toyota for this rare trio in WRC and congratulations to Kris Meeke who may save his place for 2020.
Hyundai is a notch below and Thierry Neuville will not catch the crown - once again! - to his record.
When our Seb, he must be unmotivated, the C3 is a restive car on which many broke their teeth and except miracle in 2020, it will be difficult to obtain a new title especially as Tànak as Toyota will certainly stay on course ...
Showing an insolent mastery and perfect reliability, Ott Tànak and Martin Jârveoja sign another great demonstration.
At the wheel of a Yaris that monopolizes the podium, the Estonians record their fifth win of the season and head for the title.
Since the launch of the WRCs based on 2017 regulations, Ott Tànak has taken another scale.
It's as if these wider and more powerful cars finally gave him the means to fully express his talent.
Previously, he was considered a hope or a potential winner, but his year at M-Sport and especially the months spent warm in the cocoon of the Toyota team allowed him to change status and access to that of World champion in power.
Last year, the lack of reliability of the Japanese had undoubtedly deprived of a first crown.
Although four races are still on the program by November, this time it would be a huge turnaround to prevent Esto-nien to be titled.
Even the most irretrievable optimists are beginning to accept the idea that the championship will not be as breathless as 2018 when Australia was decisive.
The overwhelming demonstration displayed by Ott Tànak and, in general, by the entire Gazoo Racing on German roads imposes respect.
What is impressive in the now very broad leader of the championship (33 points ahead of Thierry Neuville) is his calm face events, some would say his coldness.
With Ott, there is never one word higher than the other.
In defeat as in his victories, he gives the feeling that nothing affects him.
Moderately enjoying the exercise, the Balte is nevertheless formidable in interview.
To certain questions, he answers with another question, and when a question could destabilize him, he always defuses it to his advantage.
Meeting for the first time the Estonian, a colleague asked himself: "Is he really human?"
Behind the wheel, it's similar.
Its two main rivals had shown the color by announcing that they wanted to succeed in reversing the trend when the return of the championship on the tar after almost six months of distance.
Echoing it, Ott had been clear about his intentions.
"It's a test that I really like," he said.
The challenge is important because you have to be quick on different types of roads and not make mistakes.
With Martin (Jârveoja, his co-driver), we won the two previous editions, including last year's, which was probably one of the most difficult victories of my career.
Our goal is to achieve the pass of three. "
First leader on Thursday night, the No. 1 Toyota confirmed his claims.
With its different road profiles, Germany is a strong challenge every season.
The weather that has so often come to play the spoilsports this year remained lenient with a bright sun for four days.
On a dry road, but still dusty, Tànak set the target in the first time of Friday, leaving Thierry Neuville the chair of the leader time of ES2 Rising pace, Ott then took over his property from 'ES3 ... and for the rest of the weekend! Until PES9, the Estonian and the Belgian gave themselves a sumptuous duel.
On the asphalt, crews can not make large margins and, on a regular basis, a fight often takes place with seconds.
This was again the case, the gap between the Toyota and the Hyundai never rising above 3 "2, which is huge given the efforts needed to build it.
To be effective in Germany, regardless of the type of road encountered, it is mandatory to have a perfectly balanced car that neither subvire nor survive.
The Yaris, this big kart as sometimes described by its opponents, proved to have all the qualities and did not appear slower with its fin finally in accordance with the rules (see Ah n ° 2228. Editor's note).
The performances of the very wise Latvala and Meeke came to confirm the competitiveness of the Japanese on this ground.
Always so eye-catching, Neuville left no respite to his rival, who struggled to maintain his lead.
The race took another turn when the Belgian stalled and accused at once a "gulf" of 6 "5 to fill.
"Thierry really pushed very hard, recognized the winner.
We have never been able to relax, but I prefer to be involved in a good battle anyway rather than having to deal with it.
Even with a few seconds of margin on Friday night (2 "8I), I knew that the day of Saturday would be decisive including the two passages in Panzerplatte.
Since the event became part of the world championship calendar in 2002, the special stages on the Baumholder military base have always had a massive impact on the progress of the Deutschland.
Running this year in reverse, this ugly special with its concrete parts, its portions using parking and straight lines cluttered straw bales has again dictated the fate of this round.
In addition to its length (41.17 km), this time was very dreaded this year, because it was even more degraded than usual, many pilots suffered punctures during reconnaissance.
Once cleared of his only opponent, delayed by ... a puncture, Tânak has started a different rally.
"Saturday morning, we really had to attack at the limit," he conceded.
Then, in the military camp, the stages were particularly selective for this editorial and the second passage where we had to manage our position was demanding.
The challenge was to avoid all stones. "
Protected by teammates at attention, the winner of the previous two years was slipping to the end where worries brakes a little upset his triumph and prevented him from aiming points in the Power Stage.
"In the penultimate stage," he said, "I started losing braking stability and then I had only a brake on a front wheel.
Before the Power Stage, we tried different solutions, but in the first turns, I realized that we would not have a chance and I just preferred to join the finish. "
The poor performances of Neuville and Ogier allow him to perform an interesting operation.
Already well placed before the rally of Germany, Ott Tànak takes a step closer to the world title he could win before Australia ...
The number of specials won by Toyota on the 19 ES of this edition
This is the first triplet of Yaris.
The last of Toyota went back to Safari 1993 with Kankkunen, Alén and Duncan
Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Driver
"Important to have this type of result"
- Can we talk about a perfect weekend?
- Almost! My only goal was to avoid mistakes.
The start of the rally was very close with Thierry Neuville.
If, on Friday, we were faster than him by one or two tenths in the stages, it was reversed on Saturday.
We were at the limit.
It was difficult and if it had continued, I would have agreed to settle for 2nd place.
In the end, we managed to impose ourselves, so of course I'm happy.
- With 33 points in advance, will you have less pressure at the next appointments?
- Of course not! We may be leaders, but the goal is to lead at the end of the championship.
For the moment, that does not mean much, even if it's positive.
- Do you think you can also win in Turkey like last year?
- It's definitely the most difficult rally of the season.
Last year we did not perform well.
Although slow, we had a smart race and a double.
For the next edition, we have worked a lot and I hope we will be more competitive.
I realize that this rally requires a special approach, perhaps similar to that of Germany where it was necessary to avoid punctures.
Do not die and be a little faster than last year seems to be a good tactic.
- When will we have news about your future?
- When the decision will be made and the contract will be ready! Until then, I think there will be a lot of discussions.
Tommi Màkinen, Director of Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT
"Ott always had margin"
- What do you remember from Ott Tanak's race?
- It's just amazing! Thierry Neuville put a lot of pressure on Ott, but I'm sure he has always controlled the situation.
There have been a few specials during which he experienced minor brake problems, especially Sunday, but he managed to cope.
- The gap is starting to be important in the drivers championship ...
- It's excellent! His lead is now very interesting, which will take away some pressure for the next rounds.
In anticipation of Turkey, we have made very good tests and will introduce new suspension elements.
There has also been a lot of talk around our fin and I am sure that in Turkey the one we have will work perfectly [laughs].
- Your other drivers, Jari-Matti Latvala and Kris Meeke, also had to satisfy you ...
- Their weekend was very solid.
They knew how to spare their tires, did not experience a puncture and did not commit any fault.
This allows Toyota to sign a hat-trick.
I had already seen this type of result, but I had never known it personally.
It's a very special feeling.
We are 8 points from Hyundai in the Constructors Championship with many more opportunities.
- Are you satisfied with the participation of Takamoto Katsuta?
- We did not put any pressure on him and he realized what we expected from him.
He knew how to run his own race without worrying about comments.
It was the perfect weekend for him to learn.
After such a tough race he had so much to discover, it will be easier for him in Spain.
- Where are the discussions with Ott Tânak? Rumors say he has already decided to stay with Toyota?
- Nothing is signed yet.
There is no stress to have.
We still have a lot of time to make decisions.
I think what's important now is that Ott feels good with the Yaris.
On our side, there is the will to keep it and I am confident that we will succeed to propose a solid package.
When a driver leaves a team, it is certainly exciting, but we must also manage to rebuild everything else.
If that were to happen, I would understand his decision and we would find another solution.
- Regarding Kalle Rovanperâ, will he be driving a Yarls in 2020?
- Kalle represents the new generation.
This is the next WRC star, which can allow the arrival of new fans.
We think about the future and we are convinced that the time has come for him to change his category.
There are discussions with his manager, but nothing has been signed.
I am also convinced that other teams are interested in him.
- What about your current drivers?
- For Kris Meeke and Jari-Matti Latvala, you first have to wait for what Ott will do to make decisions.
Once again, there is no urgency.
We have until the month of January and the closing date of the commitments of the Monte-Carlo! [Laughing)
The decisive moment
And if this 37th edition of the Rally of Germany had not been played as everyone thinks in the terrible Panzerplatte 1, the ESl3 of the program with its 41 km, or rather in Hinkelstein? Had not the race already rocked after the insignificant Rdmerstrasse? With 12.28 short kilometers, it was not the shortest of the stages nor the most complicated on paper.
His profile was typical of what the event offers with vineyards, undergrowth and many fields.
Saturday morning, at the time of approaching the first pass, the clash was at its peak.
If Ott Tànak took the lead, he only had 1 "5 margin on Thierry Neuville.
In this game of the "first who goes to the fault, the other wins", it is the Belgian who yielded.
Stalling the engine of his i20 in a pin, he could not get it back on the road immediately.
At the arrival of the special, the report was cruel.
Now pushed back to 6 "7, he had no choice but to attack more.
While the leader was managing a precious little nest egg reduced to 5 "6 before SS13, the multiple runner-up might just take a little more risk in Panzerplatte's block time and had to stop to change one. wheel.
The Estonian then had only to conclude.
"Stop thinking? ...
It helps a lot! "
The human pyramid Toyota way
Who said a Finn never cried?
Neuville does not deflate
During a good part of the rally, the Belgian was the only one to compete with Ott Tanak.
With a Hyundai now performing on the tarmac, he managed to maintain Pressure under pressure ... until his puncture.
If the gap has grown in the championship, nothing is lost yet.
Teaming up 25 points behind Ott Tanak and 3 on Sebastien Ogier, Neuville was counting on the German run to return to the title race.
His ambitions were legitimate.
Long regarded as average on asphalt, its Hyundai i20 WRC has not stopped for a year to demonstrate its progress on this surface.
The Deutschland 2018 had offered a first glimpse confirmed in Catalonia before a success at the last Tour de Corse definitively sweeps this bad reputation.
"We worked a lot," he explained.
I think we can fight for the win, but we will have to see how Toyota will behave.
Their aileron (rear, judged since non-compliant and which requires an update before Turkey, mid-September.) Ed it gave them an advantage on the ground by providing stability, but I do not know what it will give on the tarmac where the grip is still not bad.
For some races, the Yaris dominates and it's really hard to get ahead.
It is certain, however, that I must finish in front of my two rivals.
We will have to attack very very hard from the start. "
Applying this tactic to the letter, Neuville soon proved to be the only one able to follow the rhythm imposed by Ott Tanak.
The leader of the Hyundai team settled even in the lead of the SS2, before the Estonian returned to the front.
While the positions in the standings froze fast enough, as is often the case on the asphalt where the differences between the pilots are exacerbated, the struggle for victory was long thrilling to live.
Neuville put constant pressure on the Toyota driver, who seemed to like the duel.
Things were complicated for the Belgian when a small mistake and a late engine to resume his voice made him let go of his prey (ES9).
As he has demonstrated several times in recent months, Thierry Neuville was not discouraged by this setback and he immediately returned to the attack, managing to fill part of his delay.
Could he have erased the rest and dislodged the future winner? Nobody will know it.
Upstream of the rally, the winner of the 2014 edition had raised his fears concerning the specials of the military camp: "The die, it will be especially not to make mistakes and avoid punctures in Baumhdder, which is a real job, "and the spell fell on him at the beginning of the 41 km Panzerplatte.
Forced to stop to replace a wheel, Neuville lost all chances of victory.
Relying on the potential of a mount now very versatile, he managed to win in the Power Stage, containing the haemorrhage on Ott Tânak.
"In pure performance, we were really fighting with him to win this rally until our puncture, concluded the young dad.
Parla continued, we preferred not to take any risk, but to ride on a good pace while waiting for an incident in front.
Nothing happened, so we swapped places with Dani and made the most of the 5 points in the Power Stage. "
Now second in the championship, Neuville was not formalized the gap separating him from the first.
"We are only 33 units of Ott at the end of this meeting, he slipped.
This is not the disaster yet.
Certainly, but Ogier and he probably grilled their last joker in Germany.
Andrea Adamo, Director of Hyundai Motorsport
"This round was very difficult"
- What is your assessment of this event?
- What is important at the arrival of a rally is the result.
All the rest is lost opportunity! The final classification determines the points we receive and this round was very difficult for Hyundai Motorsport.
- However, your car has performed well on this ground ...
Since the beginning of the season, we are catching up and it is true that we have been competitive in Germany.
The whole team is working very hard to achieve this.
This is the only way I know.
Our weekend was also marked by a reliability error.
- Without his concern, could Dani Sordo aim for a better result?
- This boredom is what annoys me the most! If his transmission had not encountered this problem, perhaps he could have been higher in the ranking, which would have allowed us to concede fewer points and not attend the Toyota triplet.
- Is it annoying to have a car able to win and have to settle for accessits?
- Sometimes we won without being competitive.
This time, we were competitive ... but the victory escaped us.
Katsuta samurai in incubator
Toyota's involvement in the WRC is accompanied by a desire to encourage the emergence of a Japanese driver.
Chosen for this program, Takamoto Katsuta made his World debut with the Yaris.
If the Japanese brands are present in the world rally championship since the creation of the latter, it is not the same for the drivers.
Several representatives of the country of the Rising Sun participated in WRC races, but few were lined up by an official team.
Evolving under the colors Mitsubishi, Kenjiro Shinozuka is the only Japanese to have won (Bandama 1991 and 1992) at this level.
Despite a very long career, Toshihiro Arài never managed, his best result remaining a 4® place (Acropolis 2000 and Cyprus 2001).
Backed by Subaru, the 46-year-old veteran (who still runs ... against Katsuta's father by the way!), Was the only Nippon to have a factory WRC in the elite (22 times), but this is no longer the case since the Rally of Germany.
"When TommiMatkinen and Kaj Lindstrom announced that they were going to put me at the wheel of the WRC, I found the idea completely crazy!", Said the 26-year-old Japanese.
The native of Nagoya had something to worry about.
He was driving the world champion for the first time on this surface, during an event he had never faced, discovering Michelin tires and especially without having made a test, so as not to hit the quota of holders.
The challenge seemed risky.
"Fortunately," he continued, "they also immediately told me that the goal would be to ride without worrying about lap times.
It allowed me to tackle the race without pressure. "
"Align Takamoto on the ground and during a round where he already had experience would have put even more pressure, argued Tommi Mäkinen.
In Germany, the result mattered little.
He just needed to learn. "
And that's exactly what did one who did not speak a word of English when he first appeared in 2016.
"In Finland, I ran on the snow and on the ground with the Yaris (victories at SM-Allali and Riihimaki-Ralli, Editor's note), detailed the one that started on the circuit.
The tar appeared to me even more complicated with the very numerous changes of adhesion, the second very dirty loops ...
Here, my track record did not help me.
I had too much to discover! It will be different in Catalonia (24-27 October, Editor's note) that I already know.
In these conditions, it is difficult to achieve pleasure.
I did not want to commit a fault, so I sometimes had to drive very carefully and that's not what you want when you're lucky enough to be in a WRC! "In the team, Takamoto-san was well surrounded for advice: "Ott Tànak is always available," he said.
It's a bit like a big brother.
Based on the experience of his co-driver Daniel Barritt, who announces notes in English with a few words in Finnish, Katsuta has achieved the objectives set.
He managed to get ahead of the best R5, when he was predicting the opposite.
According to the wish of Akio Toyoda, the boss of Toyota, he will be back in Spain and should be aligned in Japan.
A program on a Yaris managed by a satellite team would be studied for 2020, if we believe some rumors ...
By finishing 10th, Takamoto Katsuta scored his first point in the World
Citroen in mine pit
If an answer was expected after a disappointing Tour de Corse, it did not happen in Germany where the C3 WRC lacked competitiveness.
Combative, but unlucky, Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia see the gap in the championship become worrying.
During the Tour de Corse, Citroën Racing, one of the most dominating teams on the asphalt in WRC, was missed.
If the facts of race and the pugnacity of Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia had still allowed the Reds to snatch a second place, it was interesting to observe the reaction of the team when returning to this surface.
The first signs were encouraging.
"It's a rally that will not be easy," warned Pierre Budar, director of the Reds.
We need to score big points and have assets for that.
Citroën has often won here, Sébastien has won several times and Esapekka was successful last year.
After Corsica, there was a lot of work done to understand why it had not worked and we identified the technical subjects.
We hope to have gone in the right direction with developments in the chassis and engine, while also trying to make the car better match the taste of the drivers.
We must not forget that this is the first year with the C3 WRC for our two teams and only their second asphalt rally. "
With wise caution, our interlocutor also stated: "We are aware that our adversaries are working fast.
The question is whether we are moving faster than they or not.
It's hard to commit to a result and be 100% confident even before the first kilometers of racing. "
Sébastien Ogier's best time in the shakedown on Thursday morning seemed to confirm the C3's competitiveness while the latter had clearly defined its goal.
"Corsica had been very disappointing in terms of performance," he recalled.
Since then, there are a lot of things that have changed.
Will that be enough? I think we'll have to wait a few specials to get the first answers.
Our test day has not been optimal with rain and I can not say if what we have done is going to be enough or not.
What is certain is that the best way to take points is to win! If we do not do it, there is a good chance that it will be one of our two opponents doing it ...
If we do not succeed in reversing the championship, things will start to get complicated.
I believe in my chances and I will fight. "
It's not going well
Things will unfortunately quickly get complicated.
"I do not know how to fly a car that does not run!"
In a sentence pronounced at the end of the first stage, Sébastien Ogier summed up most of his weekend and at the same time that of Citroën.
On Sunday morning, having more and more trouble hiding his frustration at not being able to fight for a podium and better performances, he will sharpen his thinking further through a scathing: "I can not drive this car! ".
In order for him to come to such extremes, the world champion really has to be exhausted.
For three days, he visually struggled to stay at the top of the rankings, pushing the limits to the point of making some small mistakes inevitable by being constantly on the wire.
To the deficiencies displayed by the C3 against the competition, was added the bad luck with a puncture in each of the Panzerplatte passages, the second forcing the French crew to an express change.
"Every year, this special is a real lottery, he will manage to joke.
And it's two editions that I do not pull the right numbers! "Finally 7th, the French is now at 40 points Ott Tânak.
"We still have high ambitions at the start of a rally," he concluded, "but this weekend we were not in the game.
Nobody can dre we have not tried! I fought as much as I could and the times have never been there.
It is certain that the differences are increasing and not in the good directbn, but I will continue to give my maximum, as every time. "
Based on this motivation, will the Citroën Racing team find resources and solutions to reverse a trend that has even surprised certain bosses from other teams? It was in any case the will of Pierre Budar.
"This is a very bad result, do not procrastinate the boss of the Reds.
We were hoping to be able to fight for good places and it turns out that we did not give our riders a mount that could do that.
Even if we have improved since Corsica, it seems that our opponents have progressed faster than us.
We must redouble our efforts to make the C3 evolve much more and much faster.
We can not only rely on luck to win a championship.
We must work to significantly optimize the car before the next appointment.
As long as we are not able to provide Sébastien with a WRC that will allow him to fight, he will not be able to defend his position in the Drivers' standings. "
Volunteer, the message is very clear and Turkey, which arrives quickly (mid-September), will offer the possibility to measure the first effects.
Or to make a cross on the world title.
QR? Esapekka Lappi
Citroën Racing Driver
"I just tried to survive"
- Have you been surprised by your performances in Germany?
- We never really found the reasons for our bad result in Corsica.
At the start of this rally in Germany, I was not at all convinced that we would be more competitive.
It's different from Corsica, because the field is not similar, but with the understeer that we suffer, I have experienced even more difficulties than I expected.
- Did you still get some positive points from this weekend?
- The good thing is that we found settings that, under certain conditions, work pretty well.
It's a good thing for next year, if we come back to this field, or for Spain.
It's encouraging to be competitive, but it's really unfortunate to get there so late.
Our tests went very well, but they did not correspond to what we encountered during the rally.
We have evolved on roads with few long turns and it is in these curves that we are in trouble.
In these conditions, I just tried to survive ... and finish.
HP? Pierre Budar
Director of Citroën Racing
"We must mobilize even more"
- Did you start the rally with the hope of a good result?
- Yes and it was clearly a disappointment to see that we were no better than in Corsica.
- How is it possible to approach the Deutschland by estimating to have corrected the shooting since Corsica, and finally to be found so much in difficulty?
- We had carried out tests after Corsica which had reassured us on our understanding of the phenomena.
I think we did not have a good preparation for the rally.
We have to come back to that.
We had organizational problems that penalized us on the basics.
The only day that Sébastien Ogier evolved in the vineyards, we had a technical problem that staggered us during the day and the rain arrived.
Seb finally had very little time to ride in conditions representative of what we encountered during the rally.
- Concretely, what is the concern? What do your crews blame for the C3?
- We have work to do on the behavior part, that is to say the chassis.
Pilots often complain about forward gear and consistency.
We have two major topics: chassis and differentials.
- What should be done to solve them?
- We can not say that we stayed at the same point, there were little things done, but the others also progressed.
- We need to review our testing program to do some background work that we never have time to do.
Given the number of days of limited testing that we have, our problem is that we tend to want to do both set-up and development.
Obviously, when a rally approaches, we focus on the definition of settings and development topics are not deepened as we would like.
We need to be able to decouple some sessions.
- At the end of this rally in Germany, did you cross the title Drivers?
- No! We are not at the end of the championship and we do not think about its outcome.
We still have work to do.
We need to mobilize even more than we do today to provide answers as quickly as possible.
- What can you say about the future involvement of Citroën?
- Before deciding anything, we will do it in the right order by trying to find out more about the 2022 regulation.
From there, we will decide whether or not we develop a car for this new regulation.
Based on that, we will see what we will do in 2021.
We would like to have a little more information, because we do not have many elements ...
As in Corsica, the number of best time signed by Citroën in Germany
Berezina in the French
They were six at the start, more than three at the finish.
Ranked 5th in the R5 and 2nd in the WRC2 Pro, Éric Camilli has not had a rally, but he feels that significant progress has been made on the new Resta (see QR).
Having not raced in the World since Corsica 2018, Raphaël Astier wanted above all to have fun driving a Hyundai he knows well and is maintained by the team of Pascal Enjolras.
Having some benchmarks in Germany where he had raced in 2017, the 28-year-old has achieved his goal and takes the 8th place in R5.
Discovering the field, Adrien Four-evils did not burn the stages.
Author of several times in the Top 10 of the category, he can be satisfied with his return to the Resta R5, even if his 13th final rank could disappoint him.
Among the tricolores who did not join the finish, Stéphane Sarra-zin was very unlucky with an accumulation of worries.
Having not competed in Germany since the Subaru period in 2006, he still managed to have fun on different occasions.
Betting heavily on this round, Stéphane Lefebvre (27) wanted to hit a big shot and demonstrate that he can claim a flying at the highest level.
His start of the race with a Polo that he discovered was splendid.
He dominated the WRC2 for 8 specials before being trapped in a craggy bend of gravel.
It is worth mentioning that the drivers of this championship do not benefit from openers, which can lead to many surprises.
Nicolas Ciamin was another victim of the hardness of the field.
Already author of an impressive figure in shakedown in which he had damaged the right back of his Polo, he put it back, but this time for the account (ES11), while he measured himself against the actors of the WRC2 Pro and he had just taken the head of the WRC 2.
WRC 2 Pro: Kopecky to experience
The suspense was not huge at the start of this round and yet it closes on a surprise winner.
Dominant, Kalle Rovanpera made two outings on Saturday that demonstrate that the kid still has things to learn.
Aligned on the cover of the Finn, Jan Kopecky was in the lead.
The WRC2 2018 champion, who had just won at Barum and won an additional national title, won this Deutschland almost unintentionally.
"There was no fight between Kalle in me," he agreed.
He is much faster, but he is young, he is hungry and has made two mistakes.
It's part of his learning. "
Author of a figure that could have ended badly in the shakedown, Mads Ostfaerg had a complicated rally with punctures and brake problems that he compensated by returning to a technique used on his Volvo (I).
The Norwegian also experienced a huge fright when a spectator fell right in front of the hood of his 03 R5, imposing a sacred reflex.
Fast, Rovanpera must channel himself.
"Progress is here"
- What is the result of your rally with this new Fiesta R5?
- We took a big step forward.
We started with a gap of 0'6 per km to finish with the best time in Panzerplatte.
The progress is there and I know what we can still work on.
M-Sport has only 6 months of testing and it is not in two races that we can compete with Skoda who have been riding for 5 years.
- What are the areas where you concentrated your efforts?
- I would say a little everything, but especially the differentials, the chassis and engine use with a couple very, very low which I never had the idea and that works.
While the car was not ready just a few weeks ago, we proved in two participations that we could put it in front.
Without a real favorite, the WRC2 was very open and has long been dominated by the French.
When they disappeared from the standings, Fabian Kreim inherited a first place that he did not leave until the podium.
The 27-year-old German brings to his country a first success in WRC2.
He is ahead of his compatriot Marijan Griebel and the Polish Kajetan Kajetanowicz.
Author of a test drive before the rally, Kris Princen has withdrawn, neither he nor his DS3 WRC feeling plumb for the German round.
Benjamin Veillas being in the right bucket Eric Camilli, Simon Jean-Joseph has done the tedious opening work for Sébastien Ogier with Xavier Panseri.
The speed checks yielded a plump sum "thanks" to Suninen (525 euros), Lappi (200), Katsuta (175), Latvala (500), Fourmaux (150) and Tsjoen (300).
CHECK-LIST Loïc Rocci
HYUNDRI SHELL MOBIS WRT
120 WRC CUP
M # 11 THIERRY NEUVILLE /
4 7 ES WON
See Focus p.28
# 1 SÉBASTIEN OGIER / JULIEN INGRASSIA
See Focus p.30
# 4 ESAPEKKA LAPPI / JANNE FERM
w OES WON
I # 89 ANDREAS MIKKELSEN / ANDERS JAEGER
Although moderately enjoying this terrain where dirty portions are a concern, "EP" remained on the podium with the Toyota last year. Quickly understanding that his rally was going to be complicated with a C3 not meeting his expectations, he still tried to attack, without taking all the risks.
The Norwegian never managed to exploit the i20 as his comrades did. Having not evolved on the pitch since the Monte Carlo, the Viking did not have the necessary confidence and never managed to play a role during the rally. Andreas still takes some points to Ogier.
FIESTA RS WRC
# 6 DANI SORDO / CARLOS DEL BARRIO
Possessing enormous experience on this event where he has 7 podiums, 1 he could shake Tànak without a new mechanical trouble (transmission in the ES7) that has moved away from the best seats. Always surprising in Panzer, the 2013 winner exchanged his final position with Neuville after the Power Stage.
# 3 TEEMU SUNINEN / JARMO LEHTINEN
_ OES WON
The Fiesta was close to victory in Corsica with Elfyn I Evans, Teemu knew to have a high performance car. He did not, however, have the opportunity to demonstrate his progress on this surface, an electrical concern stopping him from the first stage of Friday. The rest of his rally turned into a test session during which the Finn signed interesting times that could only give him regrets.
TOYOTA GHZOD RACING WRT
ro # 8 0TT TANAK 'MARTIN JARVEOJA
8 IS RECOVERED
See Focus p.24
# 21 GUS GREENSMITH / ELLIOTT EDMONDSON
At 22, he is part of the youngest pair of drivers lined up with '
WRC. In a field where experience counts enormously, he was able to measure the progress to be made to hope to get involved in the fight. Aside from a contact against a tree (ES8), the young Englishman makes a clean copy, where it still lacks performance.
, - # 10 JARI-MATTI LATVALA / MIIKKA ANTTILA
2 IS RECOVERED
The absence of Evansse is still sorely felt at M-Sport
Asphalt is not its preferred surface and Germany has too many traps for this terrain to suit. Playing the race for the 17th time, he signed a restrained performance, muzzling his flamboyant driving. Bringing back a car without a bump, he recorded a second consecutive podium.
# 5 KRIS MEEKE / SEBASTIAN MARSHALL
. 1ST RECOVERED
Having not played this rally last year, he lacked benchmarks but quickly knew how to exploit the potential of his horse. Wanting to forget his recent deviations, he took no chances and focused on the Constructors points. At the end of a controlled race, he registers his first podium since Mexico 2018 and for Toyota.
i- "i # 17 TAKAMOTO KATSUTA / DANIEL BARRITT
See Focus p. 29
DPR / P. MARIA
28 AUGUST 2019 • autohebdo.com 33
Similar route to 2018, with the specials of the Panzerplatte area regrouped in the day of Saturday.
Second consecutive victory of a Toyota Yaris WRC in Germany after Tànak in 2018.1 triples for the Yaris WRC in 2019. The Skoda Fabia R5 Evo remains undefeated in its category in WRC.
38 consecutive win for Ott Tânak in Germany, second with Toyota, after a success in 2017 with the Ford Fiesta -M-Sport. 5th victory in 2019 for Estonian. 1st podium 2019 for Meeke and 2nd podium in a row for Latvala. 3rd race in a row without a podium for Neuville and Ogier
Without victory since seven rallies and Mexico 2019, Sébastien Ogier knows his longest scarcity since 2009-2010 driving a WRC (the 2012 season had seen the French lined up on a Skoda Fabia S2000)