[ENG] Detailed Review Wartburg Rallye 2018

The Wartburg Rallye Weekend started for me at Wednesday morning at 4:15am. That was the time when my father and I got up and started driving to my codriver Nico. We picked him up at 6am from his house. Then we were driving straight to the pre event test, which started at 10am. The test stage was a little section from a stage which was driven some years ago at the Wartburg Rallye. It was a really tricky section due to the partially bad condition of the Asphalt and due to a really bumpy road. I was able to learn alot at this testday. Specially how the car is Feeling on such a bumpy road and at 35°C outside temperature. I was really exhausted but really happy at the same time, because I felt way better prepared for the Wartburg Rallye. Big thanks to Markus Creutzburg and the RSG Mosbach for a really beautiful and well organised test day.

Thursday…

… was starting really relaxed with a really good breakfast with the whole Team right before we started picking up our Roadbook at the Rallye HQ. Right after Nico and I started doing the Recce from the stages Nessetal, Wackenhof, Hohe Sonne and from the Shakedown stage. At the same time our Service guys were building up our tent and were screwing in a new and different Seat in the Cup car. Afterwards we started driving some rounds in the Shakedown, so I could get used to the new seat. After some small adjustments the Seat was set up perfectly for me and I´m Feeling way more comfy in the car. When we finished the Shakedown we had a little time before we were heading to the cremonial start in the City of Eisenach. It was an amazing Feeling to drive over the starting ramp with alot of audience. After that we drove straight to the Service area to park the Rally Car so we can go to sleep.

Friday…

… wasn´t so relaxed anymore. My Codriver was picking me up at 5:30am so we were able to start the last part of Recce at 6:00am. Right after we finished Recce for the last 4 stages, we drove straight to the Service so i can relax a bit before the start of the first stage. In the afternoon we started with the first Loop with two stages. SS1 Waldhaus, my favourite stage from the weekend and SS2 Dreiherrnstein. We finished both stages as 14th out of 17 started Adams, which was alot better than i was expecting. In the second Loop my Goal was to improve my times a bit. I was able to reach that Goal with an 5 seconds better time in stage 3 and an 1 second better time in stage 4. In the next Service our mechanics were preparing the car for the night, because it was time for the spectator curcuit stage „Cosmodrom by Night“. The main thing for us in this stage was to get to the finish without any mistakes. When we finished the stage to park the car in the Parc Fermé and park ourselves in the hotelbed.

Saturday…

…morning it was time to start the day with the Stage Nessetal. It was a little bit longer and faster stage. I´ve made a little mistake in one Corner where it was really slippery, so we lost a bit of time there. But I´ve learned from this mistake and now that i should be a bit more careful in those kind of Corners. Next Stage before the Service was the Cosmodrom stage. A circuit stage with a Long Exit part. We completed this stage also without any scratches on the car. Then it was time for the morning Service. But then at the Transport to SS8 we had a Problem with the brake. We had absolutely no breaking power on the front right wheel. We stopped beside the street to fix it, but we didn´t found any damages. So we continued driving to the stage. Maybe it fixes it by itself. But it didn´t. So we stopped again to have a look. But again… nothing to see. Back in the car and try to get to the start of the stage in time. But we were 30seconds late. That meant we were out of the competition. So then we started driving to the Service area. But then suddenly the brake  locked completely so we Need to stop immediately and wait for the Service guys to pick us up.

All in all this isn´t the ending of the Weekend I was hoping for, but I´m really happy with the work of the whole Audex Team and our Service Guys. Special Thanks to Olaf Jensen, Matthias Probst and Thomas Fischer for your perfect Service work. And to Nico Eichenauer for the calmness you brought in the car as a codriver and to everybody who is making it possible that I can drive Rally.

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