McCormack fighting for results in ADAC Rallye Deutschland
Northern Ireland's Marty McCormack competed in his third World Rally Championship event on the ADAC Rallye Deutschland at the weekend, alongside navigator Phil Clarke.
The event was based in the beautiful region of Trier, Germany and boasts some of the championships most spectacular stages, twisting and turning through the breath-taking vineyard slopes.
This event was another new venture for Marty in the World Rally Championship and the first asphalt round in his Tiger Risk Partners Fiesta R5 rally car.
The World Rally Championship has been an emotional roller-coaster so far. Marty competed in Portugal but was forced to retire on the penultimate stage, after a puncture caused him to roll. In Sardinia, Marty was faced with a series of technical issues leaving him frustrated; however a 3rd overall on the Ronde del Ticino in Switzerland and invaluable seat time with returning navigator Phil Clarke, meant he was mentally prepared for the technical stages which he faced in Germany.
After a spectacular Ceremonial Start on Thursday evening at Trier's historic Porta Nigra, it was Friday morning before the competition got underway on the bumpy narrow Mosel vineyard roads.
The pair settled in well on the first loop of three stages and stayed within reach of the leaders in WRC2. On returning to service in Trier, Marty reported that he was happy and the car was handling well, resulting in the A-Style team only making a few minor adjustments before the final 3 stages of the day.
Saturday morning saw Marty and Phil start the day in 7th place in the WRC2 category. As they made their way to the infamous Baumholder military tracks, Marty was very comfortable with the car and set a 6th fastest time on Saturday’s opening Stein & Wein 17.53km stage. Stage 8 Peterberg was cancelled, and after a remote tyre change Marty needed to get heat into his hard compound tyres on the short 3.03km Arena Panzerplatte Stage before the challenging 42.51km Panzerplatte Lang Stage.
Marty still held 7th place comfortably, however luck was not on his side and he slid wide just 2km from the flying finish, breaking the steering arm and forcing him to end the day early and return to service. He commented, "It was so disappointing to get so far but not to the end of this long, challenging stage"
Sunday morning saw Marty starting the rally again under Super Rally Rules however a heavy landing on Stage 15 shattered two wheels on the Fiesta R5. Despite this misfortune being followed by a loss of brakes on the penultimate stage, Marty and Phil still made it to the finish ramp. On his weekends exploits Marty commented, "We haven't had a great weekend here in Germany, however we've gained some valuable experience and had the pleasure of racing on some spectacular stages. The stages are fast and unforgiving but for me it's all about getting comfortable in the car and learning to push a little more."
Marty is now preparing for a two day tyre test in Switzerland, with Hankook tyres, before making the journey to Rallye de France on 3rd-5th October 2014 where he has previous experience and hopes to push all the boundaries to gain a good result having previously competed on this event in his Citroen DS3 back in 2011.
Belfast Telegraph Digital