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P-WRC: Wales Rally GB: Red Bull preview

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P-WRC: Wales Rally GB: Red Bull preview
Nov 12, 2010, 6:38 PM

GASSNER JR AIMS TO END THE YEAR ON A HIGH IN GREAT BRITAIN After winning the 'conventional' Group N category on his last outing in Spain, Hermann Gassner Jr aims to bring his season to a close with a strong finish on the Wales Rally Great ...

GASSNER JR AIMS TO END THE YEAR ON A HIGH IN GREAT BRITAIN

After winning the 'conventional' Group N category on his last outing in Spain, Hermann Gassner Jr aims to bring his season to a close with a strong finish on the Wales Rally Great Britain: the final round of the World Rally Championship this weekend.

Gassner Jr, co-driven by Kathi Wustenhagen, has contested selected events this year in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX backed by Red Bull, with the firm aim of building up experience for the future. So far it has been a very successful season, with the 21-year-old German showing both his speed and consistency. Throughout the year he has also modified his pace note system, concentrating on every aspect of his race craft as he takes some valuable lessons on board.

Rally Great Britain is one of the events that Gassner Jr knows best, as he has taken part in it twice previously. Held in Wales towards the end of the year, conditions are traditionally difficult. One of the biggest challenges is the constantly variable levels of grip, meaning that drivers have to be both committed and adaptable.

Visibility is frequently poor as well, due to fog and rain. If it is very wet, the stages can easily turn into a mudbath that offers practically zero levels of grip. Despite these extremely challenging conditions, Rally Great Britain is an event that Gassner loves.

"The stages are fantastic in my opinion, but you have to respect them," said Gassner. "We've made a lot of progress recently and we also benefited from having plenty of time in the car. We need to keep this momentum going and make sure that we are there at the finish this weekend. Some of our stage times recently have been really encouraging but we need to remember that we are here to learn, so we can't afford to do anything to compromise our learning strategy. I'm sure we're going to have a lot of fun though - and I'm sure it's going to be raining too."

Hermann's car is run by the BRR team, headed up by multiple Austrian Champion Raimund Baumschlager - who has been able to pass onto Gassner Jr a few valuable tips of his own.

"Hermann is really on the right road now, so now he must continue this way," said Baumschlager. "I think this season has been very encouraging for him, so it's important for him to end it on a positive note. Rally Great Britain is a really hard event, one of the hardest all year I would say, so the main thing is that he must stay concentrated all the way to the finish. If he keeps making progress at the same rate, he has a bright future."

The Wales Rally Great Britain, based in the Welsh capital of Cardiff, features 359.44 competitive kilometres over 20 special stages. The action gets underway at 1830hrs local time on Thursday November 11 with the final podium at 1453hrs on Sunday November 14.

-source: red bull

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Series WRC
Drivers Raimund Baumschlager