Everytime I head out to a rally it’s a new experience, heading into Rallye Deutschland for the FIA World Rally Championships 9th round of the year there was an air of familiarity about the event. Having experienced the slick running of Rally Germany in 2014 I felt like I could relax a bit and try and find some new elements to explore of this iconic event.
One of the easiest things on a rally to vary up is the stages you visit – and beyond that even the locations on the stages. Our itinerary was somewhat similar to the 2014 running of the event visiting the Konz Shakedown, Moselland and also Dhrontal but with the addition of the legendary Panzerplatte stages replacing our trip to Stein & Wein from the previous year.
Moselland is just one of those places where seeing really is believing, this beautiful valley is home to one of the most technical and twisty stages of the entire WRC calendar and provides some spectacular spectating opportunities as the cars snake around the roads below you. Even watching from the high walls on the side of the track gives you an awesome view of the deep cuts these drivers are prepared to take. It should be up there on any motorsport fans bucket list.
Our Saturday stage was the iconic Panzerplatte – there was a slight element of trepidation as we ventured into the Germany Baumholder Military ranges with signs everywhere warning us of potential tanks as well as minefields in the area. It was all a bit intimidating to be honest! We headed up to one of the many forest sections in this stage for the first pass before moving to the more open artillery ranges for the second. It’s always great to get some variation into the day as it makes you feel like you’ve seen more of the stage and therefore more of the rally.
Dhrontal was always going to be a difficult stage for us – but it’s the power stage so we had to visit it. Last year we didn’t really feel that we enjoyed it with difficult viewing for mere muggles. This year we watches some onboards to get a better feel of the place (thank you WRC+!) and spotted some better looking spots to photograph from.
As ever, Germany delivered and I certainly can’t wait to get back out there in October for Rally Catalunya for a mixture of gravel and tarmac stages.