Trier (Sunday) – The British pairing of Tom Cave and Craig Parry eclipsed their previous results to become the second crew to take victory in the Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy after a clever and careful performance on round four at ADAC-Rallye Deutschland this weekend. The victory came after a final-day twist which saw rally leader YerayLemessidelined with mechanical problems allowing Cave and Parry to sneak through and take a well-deserved 3m 17s victory.
Trophy leader Sander Pärn from Estonia finished second to hold a 29-point lead over Cave. The result sets up an exciting climax to the inaugural series with a thrilling duel between Pärn and Cave for the biggest prize in rallying planned for the final round in Spain.
As expected, the switch to asphalt brought some of the more experienced tarmac drivers to the fore. Frenchman Quentin Gilbert was the early pace-setter, squeezing every ounce of power from his M-Sport-prepared Ford Fiesta R2 on the opening test on Friday morning. However, four stages later, the muddy conditions on the second pass saw him slip off the road and become stranded in a field. He returned to set fastest times on all of today’s final four stages. Spaniard Lemestook over the lead from stage two. He dominated throughout Friday and Saturday’s tough tests to score eight stage wins but, in a cruel twist of fortune, retired on a liaison section after stage 15 Sunday morning when alternator problems robbed him of victory.
That left Cave in pole position to cruise through the final stages today, overcoming the treacherous conditions to take victory after driving a clever and controlled event on his ADAC-Rallye Deutschland debut.Pärn consolidated his lead at the top of the Trophy standings with a fine second place, creating a final-round showdown between Cave and Pärn in October. The winner will be rewarded with an unbeatable seven-round programme in next year’s FIA WRC 2 Championship in a Ford Fiesta R5.
Despite rolling on the unforgiving Panzerplatte stage and dropping around three minutes, Belgium’s Ghislain de Mevius used his asphalt knowledge to deliver another solid drive and his second podium of the season. Pole SzymonKornicki finished fourth, his best result of the year, while Finland’s Max Vatanen rounded off the top-five. Lebanese driver Nicolas Amiouni finished sixth with an improved performance while Nil Solans fought back to seventh after retiring on Saturday when he damaged the suspension on his GEM Fuel-powered Ford Fiesta R2 in a collision with a huge stone. Canada’s Leo Urlichich had another problem-filled rally. He completed Saturday’s stages but retired on the first run today with a damaged drive-shaft.
This edition of Rallye Deutschland was one of the toughest in recent years. The range of different surfaces, from twisty vineyard tracks to abrasive and slippery tank-training ranges, proved a real challenge. The event was based in Trier, Germany’s oldest city, and saw crews race through the slippery Saarland roads over the three-day event which offered 315km over 17 competitive stages. Extensive corner-cutting pulled out mud and gravel making roads treacherously slippery and adding to the arduous asphalt challenge.
Dick Cormack, DMACK managing director, said: “The move to asphalt has seen some new stars emerge which is fantastic for the series. This has been a challenging Rallye Deutschland which has caught out many of the top drivers. I’m pleased we’ve been able to provide a range of asphalt tyres which have contributed to some fierce competition among the Trophy crews. The finale in Spain will be worth waiting for, I’m confident we are in for an exciting finish.”
Edward Goossens, GUTTS Chairman, who was overlooking the fuel supply on behalf of the Trophy’s official partners Abengoa, ePure,Natgasoline, Methanex and the Methanol Institute commented on yet another successful event: “We have been instrumental in helping ADAC-Rallye Deutschland becoming the most environmentally conscious event in the world championship. The 10 M-Sport-prepared Fiestas powered by GEM’s sustainable racing fuel saved an incredible 6,423kgs of CO2 this time.”