Germany; a time to learn

The only full tarmac round of the Drive-DMACK Fiesta Trophy calendar would be held in the Mosel region of Germany. The rally held a unique format of ‘3 rallies, 3 days’. Day 1 would consist of stages which ran through the famous Mosel vinyards, whilst day 2 headed to the Notorious Baumholder range. Finally day 3 would take the cars for a trip into the Trier countryside.

After a season plagued with problems, Gus & team decided to focus on preparing for a potential move to WRC2 at the season end, instead of fighting for a championship which was almost mathematically impossible. This meant Gus would have to completely rewrite his original pacenotes in order to continue his rate of improvement. Gus & Alex therefore decided to focus on claiming stage miles instead of fighting for a win.

After the first day, the rally progressed as planned. Gus built his speed up as he became more confident with the car & began claiming stage wins, including the notorious Panzerplatte stage. “The 41km of Panzerplatte is considered to be one of the most dangerous & unforgiving stages in the WRC. It requires a lot of commitment, trust in your notes & a light touch with the steering to preserve tires over the abrasive surface. You’re tavelling at 180kph in between hinklesteins which don’t budge. It’s almost impossible to recreate the feeling of being on the limit in this stage”.

A wrong tire choice on the final day costs Gus a few tenths per km but he is able to set some strong times as Rallye Deutschland came to a close. It was a very positive step as Gus & team made another step forward. “It’s been a testing rally, Day 1 was far from ideal but from then on the pressure was off. We made massive steps forward & we managed to bag a few fastest times.As the weekend went on, I got use to my new pacenotes & distances but there is a long way to go. However, I feel more ready to be able to challenge for a win in Spain next time out”.