Aug 18

The World Rally Championship has never been closer

Who can gain an advantage on the opening day of Rallye Deutschland?

Red Bull TV logoRallye Deutschland has got underway following last night’s superspecial in Saarbrucken, with today’s eight stages neatly wrapped up for you in Red Bull TV’s highlights show that drops tonight at 22:00 local time, on redbull.tv and the app. 


And there’s already been high drama, with Citroen’s Kris Meeke crashing on the superspecial before rejoining the rally this morning with a 10-minute penalty.

As well as all the coverage of the vineyard stages that make up Friday’s action, there’s expert analysis from Red Bull TV’s presenters: Mike Chen – making a welcome return to after a month recovering from a knee injury – and former driver Matt Wilson, a regular top-10 finisher on Rallye Deutschland throughout his WRC career.

They will be your guides to one of the most crucial days of action of the year, with championship rivals Sebastien Ogier (M-Sport) and Thierry Neuville (Hyundai) starting the rally tied on points: an almost unprecedented occurrence at this stage in the season. So, who will emerge on top?

“I’m very happy to be back on asphalt, and it’s no secret that I’ve been struggling to be first on the road on gravel over the last few rallies,” said Ogier: a three-time winner of Rallye Deutschland. “Now let’s see what we can do.”

“I’m not going to do anything very different to what I’ve been doing before,” said Neuville, who took his very first WRC win in Germany in 2014. “You don’t want to over-think it, as that can distract you too.”


We’ll find out whose approach pays off, with Neuville starting first on the road by virtue of his three wins so far this year to Ogier’s two. Theoretically, that should be an advantage: as the first driver on the road benefits from a cleaner surface, devoid of mud thrown up by previous cars.

But on asphalt, the differences tend to be much smaller – and there will only be clean roads on two stages today for Neuville anyway, as in the afternoon the stages are repeated, with three superspecial stages on the menu as well: where road position makes little difference.

Ogier also benefits from a brand-new car. And on the two previous occasions where he had a new car – in Monte-Carlo and Portugal – the four-time champion ended up winning the rally. There’s everything to play for.


Mike and Matt also discuss all the moves behind the scenes, as the ‘silly season’ begins with next year’s contracts up for grabs. Will Sebastien Loeb stage a dramatic comeback with Citroen in 2018, having formed part of the team’s biggest-ever test session before Rallye Deutschland? Will Ogier stay with M-Sport, even though the team currently has no official manufacturer backing? And how will the 2018 calendar look, with Poland seemingly dropped from the schedule and some new rallies perhaps coming in?

A unique 3D map animation brings today’s stages to life, highlighting the narrow roads with tight hairpin bends that characterise the stunning vineyard stages close to the Mosel River. A neat and precise driving style is essential: as well as mastery of the handbrake turn.

Catch it all on Red Bull TV with Mike and Matt tonight at 22:00 local time. And then get ready for the live stage tomorrow: a 75-minute show direct from the fearsome Baumholder military area at 11:50. Achtung!


Highlight Show (30 min.) Friday 18 August 22:00 (local time)
Live Coverage SS12 (75 min.) Saturday 19 August 11:50 (local time)
Highlight Show (30 min.) Saturday 19 August 22:00 (local time)
Highlight Show (30 min.) Sunday 20 August 22:00 (local time)

Watch Red Bull TV on all your devices, wherever you’re connected


source: www.redbull.tv/wrc.