Three out of six events in this year’s Junior World Rally Championship are completed and Pontus Tidemand has had the lead of the championship since day one. Three tarmac rallies remains and first up is Rally Deutschland, starting on Thursday. It will be a long and technical rally, but Pontus feels ready to meet the challenge.
In the three first events, Pontus and co-driver Ola Fløene has gone from strength to strength and has taken three podiums out of three possible. Along with a good collection of stage wins, that has put them in the lead of the championship ahead of the upcoming events. The season started on gravel and now it’s all about tarmac until a junior world champion will be crowned in the end of October.
“We’ve had a good start but the second half of the season is still left so it’s important not to relax”, says Pontus. “You also get to count off one rally and in the end that might affect the outcome. But we’ll continue to do our best and hope that it will be enough.”
The German event offers very varied types of tarmac and fast sections as well as techincal sections, but most characteristic are the narrow roads that require high concentration. As a warm up, Pontus took part in Rallye de la Famenne over the past weekend and finished fourth overall and was the fastest two wheel drive car. In the end of June, he participated in Ypres Rally, also in Belgium, to get a chance to find the right speed on tarmac before Rally Deutschland.
“Rally Deutschland is a special rally”, says Pontus. “It’s long, technically demanding and small details and weather conditions will probably be crucial factors. I’m glad that we have driven two rallies on tarmac, but the competition will be extremely hard. Many of the other guys will be well prepared and have a lot of tarmac driving behind so I’m expecting a tough fight.”
The rally takes place in the Mosel district and the city Trier is hosting the event, but for the first time since the WRC introduction in 2002, the start ceremony will be held in Cologne with the famous cathedral as a backdrop. After the official start on Thursday afternoon, two special stages awaits before the overnight break and then six stages on Friday and another six on Saturday before the JWRC crews reach the finish line with their Ford Fiesta R2s. A total of more than 320 km of special stages will be driven and the stages are relatively long. The longest stage of the rally, Arena Panzerplatte – which measures 41,08 km, will be run twice on Saturday and the second run also marks the last stage for the juniors.
Live results can be found here.
Time schedule Rally Deutschland 2013
Thursday 22 August
Friday 23 August
|SS3||Mittelmosel 1||22,95 km||10:43|
|SS4||Moselland 1||22,79 km||11:31|
|SS5||Grafschaft 1||19,94 km||12:24|
|SS6||Mittelmosel 2||22,95 km||16:12|
|SS7||Moselland 2||22,79 km||17:00|
|SS8||Grafschaft 3||19,94 km||17:53|
Saturday 24 August
|SS9||Stein & Wein 1||26,54 km||08:03|
|SS10||Peterberg 1||09,23 km||09:06|
|SS11||Arena Panzerplatte 1||41,08 km||10:29|
|SS12||Stein & Wein 2||26,54 km||14:25|
|SS13||Peterberg 2||09,23 km||15:28|
|SS14||Arena Panzerplatte 2||41,08 km||16:51|
Photo: André Lavadinho