Rally Germany is this coming weekend, and is there a better way to get to know a rally than watching older clips of the same rally? Germany offers different challenges that all the other rallies on the calendar. This time we're looking back to 2004.
All the different surfaces are the challenge in rally. In Germany there are several different versions of tarmac roads. You have narrow roads through the hills and vineyards in the Mosel region, and wider roads in a military area with huge hinkelsteine surrounding the roads. That's boulders placed along the roads to guide army equipment, and not something you want to crash into. Rallye Deutschland was first featured in the WRC in 2002, so quite a new rally, but I can't imagine the championship without this challenge. Weather also plays a huge factor here, with rain very likely during the rally.
In 2004 Sebastien Loeb was becoming the most likely candidate to win the championship after finishing just behind Petter Solberg in 2003. However, Petter wouldn't let the Frenchman take the title without a real battle. Marcus Grönholm also had ambitions regarding the championship, but struggles with the new Peugeot 307 made this difficult. Fords main man was Markko Märtin, and before this rally he was tied with Grönholm in the standings.
It would be difficult to do something with Loeb though, as he had won both of the previous versions of this rally. A rally that until Rally France moved to Alsace, was the closest Loeb could get to a home event.
Other drivers in this rally includes Carlos Sainz, Francois Duval, Roman Kresta, Gilles Panizzi, Freddy Loix, Toni Gardemeister, and Mikko Hirvonen who also enters this years rally.