Alastair Fisher and Elfyn Evans left Antrim for Germany immediately after last weekend’s Todds Leap Ulster Rally.
They are competing in the Rally Deutschland, the fourth round of the World Championship Academy, after contrasting fortunes.
Welshman Evans had the perfect warm-up for Germany, finishing second in his little 1600cc Ford Fiesta behind Keith Cronin’s turbocharged Citroen DS3 in the British championship division.
Fisher’s home event, though, got off on the wrong foot when he was one of three drivers to hit a rock which had been dragged onto the Torr Head stage by an earlier accident.
It smashed a wheel of Fisher’s Fiesta, losing him over three minutes. He eventually retired when the Fiesta got stuck in a ditch.
The young Trillick driver led the Academy championship until the last round in Finland where he was forced out with a throttle problem and Evans went on to take the victory and the lead.
“Fingers crossed, I’ve got all my back luck out of the way now,” said Fisher. “The last two rallies have been disappointing but that’s the way it goes sometimes.
“Elfyn is really driving well at the moment so Germany is going to be tough but despite retiring in Finland I’m still third in the points table so there is everything to play for.”
Sebastien Loeb was robbed of a ninth successive Rally Deutschland win last year by a puncture but the Citroen ace is favourite to move within touching distance of his ninth world title in a row this weekend.
The rally starts from Trier, in the Mosel wine-growing district, tomorrow morning.