The WRC rally I miss from the calendar

This time of year always used to be Rally Germany, which is the inspiration for this week's picture of the week

POTW Citroen

I miss it.

There’s plenty of excitement for the all-new Central European Rally later this year which could well allay these thoughts.

But Rally Germany was one of the highlights of the World Rally Championship season for me, and in another life it would probably have been taking place this week or next.

None of this is drawn from personal experience, I hasten to add. I was never fortunate enough to make it to Trier (or latterly Bostalsee) myself. But from afar, Germany always did it for me.

The reasons why are endless.

I’m still camping out and prepared to die on the hill that Tarmac rallying is better than gravel, so that’s a handy box ticked straight out of the gate.

Omv Adac Rallye Deutschland 25-28 2005

But far more importantly, look at the picture above and tell me you don’t instantly recognize it as Rally Germany. The vineyards, the narrow, technical junctions – even the stage-side arrows!

That for me is key for any good rally. It must instantly stand out from the rest. It must have a USP.  And Germany’s was that it would pack three rallies into one, with the vineyard tracks of the Mosel Valley on Friday (as pictured), the Panzerplatte tank arena stages with the famous hinkelsteins on Saturday and then Sunday’s tests more typical of a Tarmac rally.

The weather usually delivered too, making Germany an extremely difficult event to master. And, as such, very few drivers did. Across the 17 seasons Germany was in the WRC calendar, only five drivers won – Sébastien Loeb of course famously winning the first eight editions.

And from Petter Solberg and Phil Mills’ miraculous escape from a huge crash in 2004, Carlos del Barrio’s worst nightmare as he got lost in the notes and sent an irate Xevi Pons into the grapes in 2006 and of course the Loeb and Ogier feud of 2011, Rally Germany always had a story to tell.

We all have rallies we wish were still on the calendar. Germany is right up there for me.

Omv Adac Rallye Deutschland 25-28 2005