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Riedemann defends fourth place in the DRM
Rally driver Christian Riedemann and co-driver Lara Vanneste had really imagined this weekend differently. At the ADAC Cimbern Rally, the German-Belgian duo nevertheless finished fourth overall after seven demanding special stages and under difficult weather conditions, thus defending their fourth place in the DRM standings.
It was already not a good start into the Cimbern Rally for Christian Riedemann and Lara Vanneste. Right on the 1st special stage "Kleinsolt 1" at noon on Saturday, the intercom system failed. This meant that Riedemann could not hear the route announcements from co-driver Vanneste, which consequently made it impossible to keep up with the times of the top competitors. In addition, Riedemann/ Vanneste drove the wrong set-up for the difficult conditions around Süderbrarup in the morning. The chassis of their VW Polo GTI R5 was eventually modified during the first service. At this point, Riedemann was 25.1 seconds behind in fourth place overall. In order to make up this deficit in the afternoon, Riedemann played poker with his choice of tyres and drove to the second loop of the rally with hard tyres, contrary to the competitors Griebel, Tannert and Dinkel. Unfortunately, Riedemann lost this tyre poker, because shortly before the start of the first special stage it started to rain again and thus he had no chance to catch up with a hard tyre compound. Nevertheless, Riedemann scored two additional points for the championship with the fourth fastest time on SS5 "Dollerup 2", which was classified as a Power Stage. "We had no choice but to choose a different tyre compound than my competitors. If we still wanted to get close to them, we had to take this risk. We couldn't really lose anything with it, we could only win," explained Riedemann after six special stages in the service on the market square in Süderbrarup. After that, the city circuit in Süderbrarup was still on the schedule after 80 of 88 kilometres had already been completed. Here, too, Riedemann/Vanneste did not allow themselves to be deprived of fourth place. The pair collected a total of 22 points and now continue to occupy fourth place in the German Rally Championship. "I am still happy to have brought the car to the finish in one piece, because the conditions here in the far north were really demanding. Now I have a little time to catch up on this weekend before the next round of the ADAC 3-City Rally in five weeks' time" Riedemann explained in conclusion at the finish of the ADAC Cimbern Rally. The 3-City Rally takes place from 15-16 October around the Bavarian town of Freyung.
Thriller for seconds in Saarland
Christian Riedemann and Marijan Griebel put up a thrilling fight from the first to the last special stage at the ADAC Saarland-Pfalz Rally. In the end, Riedemann and co-driver Lara Vanneste were just 2.0 seconds off victory. The German-Belgian duo is overjoyed to take second place overall.
"If someone had told me on Friday morning that Marijan and I would have such a close seconds thriller, I would not have thought it possible. That's why I'm even happier to be able to celebrate this second place now," beamed Riedemann at the finish of the ADAC Saarland-Pfalz Rally. The weekend began for Riedemann/Vanneste with a test drive on Thursday, during which Riedemann was able to reacquaint himself with his vehicle, the VW Polo GTI R5. He last drove this bolide at the 2019 ADAC 3-City Rally. "The test was very important for us and I had a super feeling with the Polo and with my new team Baumschlager Rally Racing right from the start." After the route inspection on Friday morning, the rally started on Friday evening in St. Wendel, Saarland. Riedemann/ Vanneste started well into the rally and they were immediately able to match the pace of local hero Marijan Griebel. With a first best time on the last special stage of the first day, "Windpark 2", Riedemann finished Friday in second place overall, just 3.9 seconds behind. On Saturday morning, the 33-year-old was able to set an exclamation mark for the final day with another best time. Suddenly, Riedemann and Griebel were separated by only 0.1 seconds. The two did not give each other anything on the following stages and the best stage times went almost exclusively to their accounts. On SS10 "Rödelstein 1" Riedemann lost 4.1 seconds and was then 6.2 seconds behind Griebel. And then it came to a finale that is unparalleled. On SS11 "Westrich 2" Riedemann was able to fight back and with his fifth best time he was able to make up 5,7 seconds on Griebel. The two were separated by only 0.5 seconds before the final Power Stage. In the end, Riedemann had to admit defeat there and finished the rally in second place overall by a scant 2.0 seconds - a breath of fresh air after 112 kilometres on time! With the third fastest time on the Power Stage, Riedemann/ Vanneste were able to collect an important three additional points for the overall standings. The German-Belgian duo is now in fourth place with 36 points. They celebrated with a proper champagne shower on Saturday evening at the Schlossplatz in St. Wendel. "That was really an exciting fight, which was so much fun for me! I didn't expect to be so close behind Marijan here in the Saarland. I really like the challenging tracks here and we are very happy with the result. A big thank you goes to my team BRR, my co-driver Lara and of course to all my partners," Riedemann reported at the finish and gave a small preview of the future. "The continuation of our duel at the next round of the DRM is already in three weeks and I can hardly wait." The third round of the German Rally Championship will be held as part of the ADAC Cimbern Rally on 11 September 2021. "The weekend was so much fun and I'm really proud of our performance. The entire team around Raimund Baumschlager simply did a perfect job. I'm already looking forward to the sequel," Belgian Lara Vanneste also beamed at the finish of the rally.
Rally with ups and downs for Riedemann
After almost two years, the ADAC Rally Stemweder Berg finally hosted another round of the German Rally Championship this weekend. Even though the rally did not go according to the expectations of Christian Riedemann and his Belgian co-driver Lara Vanneste, the two can still draw a positive conclusion and take home the victory on the final Power Stage.
The ADAC Rally Stemweder Berg started on Friday evening with a special stage that was driven twice. Christian Riedemann and Lara Vanneste started well on this 15km long special stage and finished the day in third place overall. However, Riedemann already knew at this point that it would not be an easy rally. "The first two special stages already showed what kind of speed you need at the front and that every second is hard-fought," Riedemann reported in the evening at the service in Lübbecke. The second day was not to be the day of the German-Belgian duo. Already at the time control of the first special stage, the team got stuck in a ditch with their Skoda Fabia R5 on a narrow dirt road. The rescue operation took a whole nine minutes and with the corresponding delay they arrived too late at the start of the third special stage. Here, the rally regulations stipulate a time penalty of 60 seconds per minute of delay. This means a time penalty of nine minutes. In the second morning loop, in addition to a wrong tyre choice, there was also a puncture, so that Riedemann and Vanneste had no chance of scoring points in the overall standings. Nevertheless, from the afternoon loop onwards, the two got going better and better, which is illustrated by the distribution of the best times. Of the total of twelve best times to be awarded, three went to Riedemann's account. The other best times went to Julius Tannert (2), Marijan Griebel (4) and Dominik Dinkel (3), who ultimately won the rally. However, they will not go home without any points, because on the final Power Stage Riedemann/Vanneste set the fastest time by a narrow margin of 0.1 seconds. This gives them five bonus points in the championship, which can be worth a lot at the end of the season. "Of course, Lara and I had imagined the course of the rally to be different. Nevertheless, the three best times at the end of the rally give us a lot of courage and I can hardly wait to be at the start of the ADAC Saarland-Pfalz Rally from 20-21 August. Now we have to take the positive aspects out of the event and work on the collected data in order to be at the top again at the next rally", explains Riedemann at the finish of the rally in Lübbecke. Belgian Lara Vanneste has nothing to say against this either: "After a 5-year break, I sat in the car together with Christian for the first time again this weekend and it felt just like before. As always, working together is a lot of fun and I'm already looking forward to the next round." The first round of the German Rally Championship after the COVID-19-related break was of course provided with a strict hygiene concept. For example, only a certain number of people per team were allowed on the service area. A prerequisite for this authorisation was a negative Corona test. "I would like to thank the entire organisation team of the ADAC Rally Stemweder Berg, who managed to organise another round of the German Rally Championship after a break of almost 20 months," Riedemann concluded.