Dust, gravel, sun, dirt, mud, asphalt, rain & snow….. these are some of the components and elements that contribute to one of the most exciting motor sporting events…. RALLY!
As an avid rally fan from the Caribbean, only a few of these components are known. Rally Trinidad, Rally Barbados and Rally Jamaica comprise of all except snow (and cold weather), these events also have WRC Class cars that belong to the locals; but to actually go to a WRC Event surely has to be a highpoint.
The 2014 ADAC Rallye Deutschland ceremonial start was held in the very historic town of Trier, thousands of fans from all over the world gathered to witness the beginning of yet another epic WRC event. Unfortunately jet lag got the better of me and while I took a nap, these loyal fans were in the town square, rubbing shoulders, getting autographs and taking photos with these rally drivers and co-drivers.
I did arrive just before the teams prepared to drive over to the staging area and luckily snapped a few photos and got some autographs…. just the start and already it was an amazing experience.
Over the duration of the rally it was indeed a thrill, the sounds, the crowds, the atmosphere was a totally new experience, even my wife who tagged along as my assistant and GoPro camerawoman started to feel the bite of the rally bug. The 5 am departure for the Panzerplatte stage in 5 deg C weather did not deter us, granted when we got there it eventually warmed to 10 deg C but it was amazing to see the crowds already assembled awaiting the 9am start, the tents of the fans that camped the night before to get that right spot was something totally new to us.
We even ventured to the service park, seeing and meeting the rally drivers was reminiscent of a child meeting Santa Claus or Spiderman; just this time it was the likes of Malcolm Wilson, Mikko, Jari Matti, Mads et al. WRC even had its very own simulator, an enclosed capsule that gave a true feeling of being inside an actual WRC car and driving one of the Finland stages. Every bump, jump and turn was felt in true 360 degree sight and sound on the projected screen.
The stages were breathtaking, from winding narrow roads alongside vineyards of Moselle, the military roads of Baumholder (Panzerplatte) even the twists and turns of Galleria Dhron Teil has an amazing view while you are spectating from the slopes. Rallye Deutschland has to be THE most scenic rally event on the WRC calendar, and it is advisable as a must for any rally fan.