The German Rally History

The German Rally History

The German Rally is a car race that became the round of the World Rally Championship in 2002 , replacing that of Portugal. The action is essentially around the city of Trier , it is an entirely asphalt rally. Note that the first eight editions of this rally were all won by the French Sebastien Loeb , dethroned in 2011 by his teammate Sébastien Ogier


At the beginning of the 1950s , the Travemünde Rally was one of the main races played on the West German soil (with those of Wiesbaden and Solitude ), and actually held in the European Rally Championship (ERC). ), notably won by Helmut Polensky and Walter Schlüter in 1952 at his second edition on Porsche 1 and in 1953 on Fiat 1100 2 . The Wiesbaden Rally will be the only event of this type integrated for the ADAC at the World Championship for sports cars , in 1963 for its categoryGrand Touring (German winner Günter Wallrabenstein on Porsche 356 B Carrera).

A “Rally of Germany” counting also for the ERC exists then in Germany , between 1957 and 1969

(nb: in 1964 no German rally in ERC 14 , in 1965 the representative is the Rally of the Three Cîtés ( Munich-Vienna-Budapest , winners Rauno Aaltonen and Tony Ambrose on Mini Cooper S ) 15 but not in 1967 (winners Jean -François Piot and Jean Brenaud on Renault R8 Gordini 16 ), in 1968 Pauli Toivonen wins both rallies called “West” and “East” (Pneumant), other winners of the Rally DDR in ERC: 1967 (Pneumant) Günter Rüttinger (on Wartburg), 1970 (Pneumant) Peter Hommel (on Wartburg 311), 1971 (Nordland) Achim Warmbold(on Opel Kadett Rallye) and 1972 (Pneumant) Sobiesław Zasada (on BMW 2002 Ti, already winner of the Pneumant 1971))

Germany’s first “renaissance” rally takes place a dozen years after the last RFA Rally in 1982, starting from Frankfurt am Main . The latter is then carried out from Mainz , Koblenz , Saint-Wendel , Adenau , and finally Trier, which marks the beginning of the event from now on. There are regrouped the headquarters of the race, the media center, and the closed fleet of vehicles (at Viehmarkt, the cattle market); ceremonial start and finish are held in front of Porta Nigra , crews making their way through the crowd. The service park is 60 kilometers to the southeast,dam lake north of Saarland . For twenty years, the race is under the aegis of the ADAC ( Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club eV ). In 1986, Michèle Mouton also won the German Championship ( DRM ).

Starting in 2002, the rally is part of the WRC program after twenty years of existence, following its merger with the Hunsrück Rally . Until then, these two tests, still distinct, were counted for the ERC. In this it is the second race of the WRC resulting from a unification, like the rallies of Catalonia and Costa Brava in 1988.

Typical Hinkelstein, also fatal to Solberg in 2004.
The first day is spent in the morning shakedown near the service park before returning to Trier for departure. On Friday special stages take place in the Moselle vineyards north of the city, and on Saturday around and in the Baumholder military training ground in front of many crowds (as on the so-called Gina Ridge ), including the famous ES from Panzerplatte (literally armor plates ) to megalithic pebblesnamed “Hinkelsteins” designed as barriers for military vehicles and bordering a course made of successions of concrete slabs and bitumen, sharp and often voluminous, the day ending with a superspecial in Saint-Wendel , a village surrounded by highways also used for the race. The links between the ES and Trier are often quite long. For this reason the service park leaves the Bostalsee for the Trier Convention Center from 2007. The shakedown is then moved to the Luxembourg border, and the ES reorganized into consequences, penetrating more across the vineyards on Fridays.

Marcus Grönholm at the Circus Maximus 2007.
On the last day the new superspecial Circus Maximus is created, over four kilometers in the center of Trier near Porta Nigra. Four cars enter every 10 to 20 seconds, for three or four laps of an improvised circuit for the occasion, often partly also in narrow streets of the city center. In 2008 a national television channel broadcast the show live, with nearly 15,000 spectators on site. 200,000 people in total are then recorded during the three days of competition at that time 17 . We often talk about a three rallies in onefor this race, through the harmonization of its three types of events (viticultural, military, and popular). The changing weather offered to competitors during the unfolding period does not help, the choice of tires is often crucial, short showers coming from nowhere can suddenly appear, much to the chagrin of Marcus Grönholm for example, accident from the beginning of the first ES in 2004. In Trier the race period usually coincides with the annual brewery festival , as well as with the Romanesque festival .

The management of the environment by the organizers of this rally is an internationally recognized example. A physicist, an agronomist , a geologist and a naturalist are particularly involved to respect the various sites. The service park is thus located in a sensitive area for the protection of water. The coordination of the various speakers is also the subject of an engineering thesis grant at the University of Trier between 2006 and 2007.

In the name of the alternation of some WRC events, the race is not disputed in 2009.