WRC - Rallye Deutschland: Bertelli out after food poisoning
ADAC Rallye Deutschland, 9th round of World RallyChampionship, starts today with shakedown practice. Fastest driver at 4.55km track near Konz was Volkswagen’s Jari-Matti Latvala. He set the fastest time 2.21.4, two tenths of a second faster than his team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen. Third was Citroen’s Kris Meeke.
15 drivers with WRC cars took part in the shakedown session. Most of them ran three times, but some of them had five or six rides through the track (Thierry Neuville, Sebastien Ogier, Robert Kubica, Stephane Lefebvre). Despite completing five runs, Ogier and Kubica could manage no better than fourth and fifth respectively.
The fastest WRC2 runner was Qatari Nasser Al-Attiyah with his new Škoda Fabia R5 (2.29.6), ahead of two Škoda factory drivers Esapekka Lappi (2.30.1) and Jan Kopecky (2.31.3). Further in classification were Craig Breen (Peugeot 208 T16) and Eric Camilli (Ford Fiesta R5).
Regular WRC driver Lorenzo Bertelli unfortunately had to withdraw from Rallye Deutschland, after he was taken ill during yesterday’s pre-event recce. Suspected reason is food poisoning. Italian, who drives Ford Fiesta RS WRC, wrote at Twitter that he couldn’t complete the recce and was forced to retire from the event. Bertelli’s FWRT team manager Carlo Cassina told wrc.com that a fish dish was possibly to blame for his driver’s upset stomach. “He tried to finish the recce but on Wednesday in the middle of the day it was not possible to continue and he missed the long Panzerplatte stage,” he said.
The official start ceremony will follow at the end of the afternoon in front of Trier’s Porta Nigra monument where a big spectator turnout is expected. First special stage is scheduled for Saturady at 8.30. The forecast is still for mild weather, until Sunday morning.