Day 1 of Rally Germany has been a good day for us. We have finished the day with no major issues, in 21st overall, 2nd PWRC and leading PSD.
The day, however, got off to an interrupted start, after a JWRC competitor in front of us had a big accident that blocked the first stage. Luckily they were both okay and we, along with several other competitors, toured out of the stage and were given an assessed time. Up until then the stage had been going average, as on my first proper tarmac rally stage I struggled a little to find a rhythm.
With the first stage blues out of the way, the next two vineyard stages went well, although we did miss getting it right around a tight hairpin turn on stage 3 and we had to back up to get the car pointing in the right direction again.
The weather here has been quite stable, with hot conditions making tyre choices easier. This morning we went with a soft compound tyre that proved to be a fraction too soft, but it would have been vice versa on the hard, so it was a good compromise. This afternoon the hard compound felt good and we were able to win our first “offshore” PWRC stage on the final stage.
Today’s vineyard stages have been very tight and twisty, with many hairpin turns. As every stage has gone by we have been gaining confidence and speed, which I’m sure we can carry through to tomorrow. Probably the biggest place I am struggling at the moment is where there are cuts and loose gravel on the road, to know just how much grip there is. Nevertheless, today has been a good day and I am looking forward to tomorrow.
There have also been a couple of Kiwi flags out on the stages, which has been great to see. Like Finland, there have been many spectators lining both the special stages and the touring stages.
Tomorrow will be the hardest day of the event, with an early start and a late finish. The day also includes two runs of the long 48km Panzerplatte stage, which is something unique. So the plan is for more of the same tomorrow, on faster roads, which should suit us better.
Photos: Willy Weyens (2010 Rally Finland)