ADAC Rallye Deutschland 2014

First held in 1982, ADAC Rallye Deutschland was part of the European Championship and then relocated to Trier in 2000, joining the WRC in 2002. Only Citroen has won since it entered WRC with Sébastien Loeb taking nine victories Sébastien Ogier and Dani Sordo one victory apiece.

Rally Germany produces three distinct types of stages that range from the bumpy and narrow Mosel vineyard roads to the Baumholder military tracks with many different surfaces and smooth country tests in Saarland. Friday's opening leg contains vineyard roads, but also heads further north than usual for a test close to the Belgium border. Saturday will be dominated by the daunting Panzerplatte military tests while the final day is based entirely in the Mosel vineyards and the rally is considered as the most difficult of the end-of-season asphalt encounters.

Competitors have to work closely with their safety note crews, who drive the stages ahead of competitors and provide vital up-to-date information about road surface and weather conditions which can be very unpredictable in the mountains, making tyre choice tricky. The key to finishing this demanding rally is to avoid the huge car-breaking kerb stones, known as hinkelsteins, in Baumholder, a stage which is notoriously slippery in the dry and uber- treacherous in the wet!

How will the teams set up their cars for the challenge? Asphalt suspension with low settings which provide stability and improved balance but different road characteristics in the same group of stages mean that a car's set-up is often a compromise. Tyre choice will be hard compound for dry conditions, with soft option for wet or cold weather.

The start ceremony returns to Trier's historic Porta Nigra followed by a short stage based almost entirely within the famous Panzerplatte arena. The rally will include a new Waxweiler stage in the Eifel Hills, near the Belgian border.

Can Sebastien Ogier add to his tally of 5 WRC rally wins so far this year and break Citroen's dominance in Germany? Who'd bet against him ..?

21st August, 2014