The second weekend in October took the German rally scene – so also me meanwile for the fifth time – to the proximity of the Austrian border in Freyung. For Thomas and me, 3 Städte Rallye formed the end of our engagement in the German Rally Championship this year as Thomas will not participate in the season final in Zwickau end of this month due to a date collision.
Speciality of this year’s edition: The entry list, which traditionally shows up in high quality at 3 Städte Rallye, appeared to be even stronger this year. The reason for that was, that the rally was retroactively nominated as a round of the Austrian National Championship. For this reason the fast Austrian competitors we already had to face at Rallye Weiz took the quality of the entry list to the next level.
The rally started cautiously for us, although we managed an okay speed in the nightly stages. We stayed in P15 overall, which in fact met our goal for the end of the rally. Nevertheless it was clear that Saturday wouldn’t be child’s play against the fast Austrian non-R5 cars for sure.
On Saturday in fact, we had trouble to find a proper rhythm. The day started okay, but in a way – especially in the first loop of the day – we didn’t really manage to find each other, which led us into a tough fight with Hermann Gaßner and Martin Christ, but Martin had to give up after technical issues after the noon service. In the last loop with the final 3 stages then the liberating realization: The rhythm is here – now we go! We managed to leave Hermann Gaßner behind quickly and focussed on a final attack on Martin Kalteis. Unfortunately, this attack was not succesful and so we tightly missed a top ten result with P11 overall.
However, all in all we can sum it up very positively. The self-set goal was over-fulfilled clearly with P11. Additionally, we were able to reduce the speed gap to Martin Kalteis which was far beyond 2 seconds per kilometer at Rallye Weiz to only around 0.15 seconds per kilometer – once again a confirmation that we did our homework consequently and made precious progress. We’re still on the right track!
As already mentioned, Thomas will not start at Sachsen Rallye in Zwickau end of this month. However a driver reached out to me on short notice and so I will also be at this years final of the German Rally Championship. The official calendar update will appear in the course of this week – so be excited!