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Old 08-20-2004, 06:27   #1 (permalink)
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Rally of Germany - 20-22 Aug 04

The Rally of Germany has begun, the first Tarmac rally for the new Focus WRC 04.

Peugeot's Marcus Gronholm goes into the event favorite, fresh off his win in Finland.


Francois Duval goes into a corner a little too deep and loses some time in the beautiful German countryside.


After Stage Four:

Citroen's Sebastian Loeb is leading the rally, but only by a mere 1.1 seconds from Ford's Francois Duval who has been slowly getting quicker over the first stages of the rally. Loeb's teammate Carlos Sainz sits in third position, 15 seconds behind the rally leader.

Solberg is fourth in the Impreza, Robert is fifth in a works Peugeot 307 and incredibly Mitsubishi driver Panizzi is in 6th place, ahead of many other works cars. The Lancer has under performed all season but is performing well so far.


Skoda driver Armin Schwarz exploring the Fabia's limits

Also doing well is the new Skoda Fabia driven by experienced driver Armin Schwarz in 7th place. Markko Martin is currently in eighth place, only two seconds behind Schwarz but 1:16 behind the rally leader. He has slowly been gaining time since his bad start, but he still is not feeling 100% since his massive accident in the Rally of Corsica.

Rally favorite Marcus Gronholm went off the track on the first stage and retired after breaking a wheel - no doubt much to his frustration.

Times and pictures from Rally-live.com.

The cars have four more stages to complete today, with 9 tomorrow and 7 on Sunday.

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Old 08-20-2004, 06:29   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Rally of Germany - 20-22 Aug 04

madness
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Old 08-20-2004, 16:40   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Rally of Germany - 20-22 Aug 04

Good to see Duval doing so well, that focus looks brilliant!
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Old 08-20-2004, 17:05   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Rally of Germany - 20-22 Aug 04

End of Day One

Sebastian Loeb increased his lead in the remaining four stages of day one, with a gap of over 26 seconds to his teammate, who has taken over Francois Duval in the Focus for second position. Duval is still currently in third place, the only car to share the top times with the two dominating Citroen cars. Duval had some gearbox issues and also a defective handbrake- a tool on tarmac roads is vital. Hopefully with repairs carried out at servicing, he can chase down the time he lost. He did a credible job to stay as close considering.


Francois Duval pushing hard but unable to stop the two Citroens

Petter Solberg in the Impreza is only 12 seconds behind the first of the Ford drivers, and has Markko Martin behind him in 5th place, moving up from 8th overall in the last four stages of today. The team are still struggling for answers on his lack of pace, the suggestion is that a poor tyre choice did not help his times either.


Markko Martin struggling for pace but consistancy is keeping him in a points paying position

In 6th position is the Mistubishi Lancer of the Panizzi brothers, followed by less than by the Skoda Fabia of Kresta. The privateer entry of French driver Alexandre Benque in last years Peugeot 206 is currently ahead of all the French's marques factory entrees, probably much to their disappointment but to the Frenchmans elation. Benque is in 8th position.


French driver Alexandre Benque in 8th position in his privateer 206

Armin Schwarz had brake issues in his Skoda Fabia, and hopes to gain the time he lost in the afternoon in the remaining two days.

This is the second last rally for Mistubishi for the year, they will end their season early to start on next years car.

1. Loeb - Citroen
2. Sainz - Citroen +26.5
3. Duval - Ford +58.5
4. Solberg - Subaru +1.10.8
5. Martin - Ford +2.00.7
6. Panizzi - Mitsubishi +2.12.6
7. Kresta - Skoda +2.13.3
8. Benque - Peugeot (privateer) +2.23.6

Facts and pictures from rally-live.com

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Old 08-20-2004, 19:11   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Rally of Germany - 20-22 Aug 04

Fast becoming more of a Duval follower than Martin. Don't think he's better at the
moment but he's coming on. He's had the pressure on him a few times early and held
his ground while Martins had a few off races lately. Bad form maybe but then thats the point isn't it. Consistency, under pressure.
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Old 08-21-2004, 05:05   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Rally of Germany - 20-22 Aug 04

What an exciting first half to day 2!

First thing that happened was Gilles Panizzi crashing out of the rally on Stage 9, with a number of other competitors going off or spinning. Markko Martin lost a minute when he stopped to report Panizzi's accident and give aid, but the stage was later cancelled and the cars that completed the stage given a nominal time. Martin therefore did not lose the minute on his overall time.

Panizzi slid off the road and hit a pole with the left hand side of his car, and was taken to hospital with a suspected broken arm. His brother, co-driver Herve, who was not injured in the accident, accompanied him.


Mitsubishi goes home with all their WRC cars very broken - Dani Sola intruduces the Lancer to a tree

Stage 10 was therefore the first competitive stage of the day, and the two Ford drivers were immediately out to make up what they had lost on day one. Duval and Martin gave Ford a one two for the stage, while the Citroens managed 4th and 5th.

Martin then won stage 11 from Freddy Loiz in a Peugeot 307. Solberg was third, not that it would mean much in the short future, and Gronholm was fourth, although as he retired from day one, the rally is just a test session for him now, due to the new rules allowing teams to re-enter the car in the next days racing. Duval was fifth, still ahead of both Citroens who finished 6th and 8th.

Stage 12 was started, but despite the tricky conditions both Markko Martin and Francois Duval completed the stage with the two fastest times. However, Petter Solberg crashed heavily in his Subaru Impreza, and the stage was cancelled. Both Citroens were stuck at the beginning of the stage, and officials are determining how to decide nominal times for them in light of the fact that some cars had already completed the stage.


Francois Duval right on the heels of the Citroens, awaiting the stewards decision on Stage 12 to know if he has taken second place yet


On stage 12, the Stewards gave both the Citroens the same time as stage winner Markko Martin despite the fact that Duval had a time 13 seconds behind Martin, completely wiping the gains he had made in the morning. Nevertheless he pressed on to take second on the last stage of the day but the decision may have put Duval out of contention for the win.

Positions:
1. Loeb - Citroen
2. Duval - Ford +54.7
3. Sainz - Citroen +1.00.4
4. Martin - Ford +2.24.1
5. Robert - Peugeot +3.33.6
6. Loiz - Peugeot +3.46.2
7. Gardemeister - Skoda +4.10.90
8. Sarrazin - Subaru (privateer) +5.07.3

One day with seven stages remaining! In the extreme wet weather, the battle is on to stay on the road.

Markko Martin (Ford)
"Water was running down the roads and the car was aquaplaning. Apart from the last stage when I hit mud and slid into a field, I stayed on the road but I was lucky. We must nominate our tyres so early that conditions can change and the rules banning gravel crews mean we have no idea what conditions will be like. Tyre choice is a gamble and I will be happy if I can just see the end of every stage today."

Francois Duval
"The stages were difficult and we had a couple of lucky escapes," he said. "I hit a mound of grass on stage 13 and damaged the rear left of the car. Then on the last stage of the group I slid off the road and hit some trees, again with the rear left. We were lucky to escape the second incident."

Pictures and information from rally-live.com and wrc.com

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Old 08-21-2004, 17:54   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Rally of Germany - 20-22 Aug 04

What a good sportsman Markko Martin is.
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Old 08-21-2004, 19:46   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Rally of Germany - 20-22 Aug 04

Just a small photo from wrc.com of Petter Solberg's accident that caused the cancellation of Stage 12 - If I can find a larger version of the picture I'll upload it.



Both drivers were kept in the medical centre overnight as a precaution but neither driver sustained injuries from the accident.

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Old 08-22-2004, 05:29   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Rally of Germany - 20-22 Aug 04

Sebastian Loeb wins the Rally of Germany, ahead of Francois Duval. Sainz holds on for third while Martin earns important championship points in fourth place.

Final Results
1. Loeb - Citroen
2. Duval - Ford
3. Sainz - Citroen
4. Martin - Ford
5. Robert - Peugeot
6. Loiz - Peugeot
7. Gardemeister - Skoda
8. Hirvonen - Subaru

2004 WRC Standings
1. Loeb - 76 pts
2. Martin - 47 pts
3. Sainz - 46 pts
4. Solberg - 44 pts
5. Gronholm - 42 pts
6. Duval - 39 pts

Citroen - 125 pts
Ford - 96 pts
Subaru - 67 pts
Peugeot - 65 pts
Mitsubishi - 17 pts

6 rallies remaining. Next rally: Rally of Japan Sept 3-5!

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Old 08-22-2004, 05:33   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Rally of Germany - 20-22 Aug 04

wow the scooby got bitch slapped
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