New MICHELIN Pilot Sport H2 and S2 tyres

2013 FIA World Rally Championship (Round 9): ADAC Rallye Deutschland

A light in the storm

The 2013 ADAC Rallye Deutschland, which came to end this afternoon (Sunday, August 25) in Trier, Germany, was marked by mixed weather. The action on Thursday and Friday took place in predominantly sunny conditions, while Saturday morning was overcast before rain swept over the region from Saturday afternoon. The change didn’t facilitate life for competitors and the win ended up going to the crew who most successfully combined speed and consistency, while also steering clear of the ninth round’s notorious pitfalls.

That crew was Dani SORDO/Carlos DEL BARRIO in the N°3 CITROEN DS3 WRC (CITROEN Total ABU DHABI World Rally Team). The Spaniard delivered a faultless run to collect the first world class victory of his career.

He completed the week’s first stage in fourth position, on the heels of the other early pace-setters Sébastien OGIER (Volkswagen Polo R WRC), Jari-Matti LATVALA (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) and Thierry NEUVILLE (FORD Fiesta RS WRC - Qatar World Rally Team). The Spanish pair then started to apply increasing pressure as the rally progressed.

They were promoted to third overall when Volkswagen Motorsport’s Ogier crashed on Friday morning, and appeared in second place after Saturday afternoon’s wet SS12 (‘Stein & Wein 2’) which saw Jari-Matti LATVALA crash out after previously damaging his car on SS11 (‘Arena- Panzerplatte 1’).

Sordo then completed Saturday’s action in front, 0.8s clear of Thierry NEUVILLE after SS13 (‘Peterberg 2’, the last stage of the day following the cancellation SS14/’Arena-Panzerplatte 2’). The Belgian driver lost a little ground on SS13 because of damage sustained in an ‘off’ on SS12.

The Spaniard defended his advantage of Sunday to claim the 2013 ADAC Rallye Deutschland, ahead of the N°11 FORD Fiesta RS WRC of Thierry NEU VILLE and the N°2 CITROEN DS3 WRC of his Finnish team-mate Mikko HIRVONEN.

Dani SORDO and Carlos DEL BARRIO reaped the benefits of their performance and unfailing consistency, aided by their MICHELIN tyres which proved dependable allies throughout the drama-filled event.

“Congratulations to Dani SORDO and Thierry NEUVILLE on the thrilling duel they brought us,” said Jacques MORELLI, manager of MICHELIN’s rally programmes. “This event was important to us because we wanted to analyse the performance of the latest MICHELIN Pilot Sport tyres. They had to cope with a wide variety of constraints in the course of the ADAC Rallye Deutschland, including high speeds, punishing stages, big impacts, heat, cold, wet asphalt and rain which were the ingredients of this week’s cocktail in Germany.

“The drivers told us how pleased they were with our tyres, including with Dani SORDO who said he felt particularly comfortable with our latest asphalt solutions, namely the MICHELIN Pilot Sport ‘H2’ for dry weather and the softer ‘S2’ for damp conditions.”

After Saturday’s SS11 (‘Arena-Panzerplatte 1’), Dani SORDO said: “Although some corners were slippery, I didn’t find the conditions all that difficult. I felt confident. I took a few risks on ‘Panzerplatte’ in order to take full advantage of my tyres’ potential.”

Jacques MORELLI: “In addition to their performance and longevity, the strength of our tyres proved remarkable, too, as illustrated by the impact suffered by the front-right wheel of Jari-Matti LATVALA’s car on SS11 (‘Arena-Panzerplatte 1’). The rim took a big knock, but the tyre continued to fulfil its role and allowed Jari-Matti to post a good time despite the incident.”

The next round of the 2013 World Rally Championship is the Coates Hire Rally Australia (September 12-15) based in Coffs Harbour. Competitors will revert to the MICHELIN LATITUDE Cross H2 (nominated tyre) and MICHELIN LATITUDE Cross S2 (alternative tyre) for this southern-hemisphere gravel event.