Gassner gets better and better in Britain Up-and-coming German star Hermann Gassner Jr, who is supported by Red Bull, has made the most of the second day of the Rally Great Britain to learn as much as he can about the unique conditions of ...
Gassner gets better and better in Britain
Up-and-coming German star Hermann Gassner Jr, who is supported by Red Bull, has made the most of the second day of the Rally Great Britain to learn as much as he can about the unique conditions of Wales.
The 21-year-old made no mistakes at all yesterday to run consistently in the top 10 of the conventional Group N runners, despite the difficulty of the conditions.
Unfortunately, his promising run came to an end on the final stage of the day, when he was stopped in his tracks by a transmission problem that caused a small fire on his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX.
Gassner Jr, co-driven by Kathi Wustenhagen, is not competing on the full Production Car World Rally Championship this season, but is instead contesting selected rounds as part of a learning programme backed by Red Bull.
The young German has learned a lot over the course of the year, on both gravel and asphalt, with his pace becoming progressively faster and more consistent.
Today was no exception, although the stages were extremely tricky as they mixed some asphalt sections with the more usual gravel surfaces associated with Wales. Adding to the complication was the notorious Welsh weather, which was cold and damp throughout the day.
Once more, Gassner made no mistakes while Wustenhagen delivered flawless pace notes to bring his car home to parc ferme in Cardiff in one piece. The crew will start tomorrow's final four stages aiming for a strong finish to the event.
"After the problem yesterday, there was no point in pushing: we're just going to bring the car home, get a good feeling and learn the pacenotes for next year," said Gassner Jr. "We are still having some problems because of the fire as we don't know the full damage we have done. This morning SS8 was really slippery, and the asphalt part of SS10 was also hard. I was a bit afraid in that stage because there wasn't the grip we wanted. But I have learned a lot, especially with the pacenotes, which were quite fine. I'll just keep doing the best I can."
Gassner Jr's team principal and mentor Raimund Baumschlager, who recently clinched his eighth consecutive Austrian Rally Championship title, commented: "I've been very pleased with Hermann's progress all year, and in my view he has been improving from rally to rally. After the problem yesterday there was no real pressure, so he was able just to bring it to the finish. The car is actually quite significantly down on power after the incident yesterday: we took the decision to continue today just to give Hermann more experience of the stages. So to achieve what he is doing under those difficult circumstances is actually quite impressive."
The final day tomorrow gets underway at 0615 from Cardiff, with the winner expected on the finish ramp just before 1500 tomorrow.
-source: red bull
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