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24.08.2012 - ADAC Rallye Deutschland

Sébastien Loeb is leading the field again

Once again, Frenchman Sébastien Loeb is celebrating his role as the favourite in the ADAC Rallye Deutschland around Trier with his Citroën DS3 WRC in the field of 71 participating teams from 33 countries. Loeb set the pace right away from the start. Watched by ADAC sports president Hermann Tomczyk and DMSB president Hans-Joachim Stuck, Loeb set the fastest time on four of the six special stages of the first leg. Only in the afternoon, Finnish driver Jari-Matti Latvala put him under pressure with his Ford Fiesta WRC, setting two fastest stage times and moving up into third place behind Norwegian Petter Solberg.

At the finish of the leg in Trier, Loeb smiled and emphasised in a relaxed way: “I am happy, that was a good first day at the Moselle.” His Citroën team-mate Mikko Hirvonen, however, had problems with his driving style on Tarmac and only admitted on Friday’s final stage: “Now, things are getting better, I probably have found the right rhythm at last.” Currently, Latvala’s team-mate Petter Solberg is only some 20 seconds down on rally leader Loeb and commented: “I am happy with my pace so far, even though I have lost time in the course of the day.”

The best German team is Sepp Wiegand/Timo Gottschalk, who are in a remarkable 14th place with their considerably less powerful Skoda Fabia S2000. Young talent Wiegand said: “It was a hard day, but I am happy with the car. Saturday’s stages surely will be faster and that is what I am looking forward to.”

Some 16,500 spectators already came to visit yesterday’s shakedown in Konz and the ceremonial start at the Porta Nigra in Trier, while approximately 52,000 visitors attended the first leg with stages along the Moselle. Today, DMSB president Hans-Joachim Stuck also inspected the service park at the Messe Trier and was impressed: “This is a highly professional organisation. Real high quality competition at world-class level.”
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