Marvelous de Mévius leaves rivals trailing in his wake

Marvelous de Mévius leaves rivals trailing in his wake

Ghislain de Mévius blasted his way into the Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy title reckoning with a stunning display at ADAC Rallye Deutschland this weekend. As crews made a switch to asphalt roads after three rounds on gravel, de Mévius blitzed his rivals with 13 thrilling stage wins from a possible 21.
That performance earned him a richly deserved maiden Trophy victory and means he is the fourth different driver to top the podium this year after events in Portugal, Poland and Finland.
De Mévius, with co-driver Johan Jalet, was hotly tipped to perform well in Germany on his preferred surface of Tarmac, particularly after finishing third at the corresponding event last year. And the brilliant 26-year-old Belgian did not disappoint, winning five of the opening eight stages before scooping seven from nine on what was a super Saturday.
Mats van den Brand and Martijn Wydaeghe netted their best ever Trophy finish as they took second spot in the sustainable GEM-fuel powered Ford Fiesta R2. The rookies won a total of five stages, including the opening run of the weekend through the Sauertal test.
Britain's Tom Cave suffered a dent to his title ambitions and was forced into an early retirement when he crashed out during stage five on Friday. Cave and co-driver Craig Parry clipped a kerb on the inside of a right corner which pushed them off the road and into the trees.
That was especially frustrating for 23-year-old Cave as he had won two of the opening four stages in Germany and was an early leader.
However, Cave's disappointment will be eased by the knowledge that drivers can drop their worst round score from the campaign in the final shake-up.
Max Vatanen took advantage of Cave's mishap to leapfrog over him and into second place in the overall standings by taking third place this weekend.
Immediately behind Finland's Vatanen was Will Hudson, who has found the going tough in his first Trophy season. But, having failed to complete each of the opening three rounds, the American finally made it to the finish line this afternoon.
Dutchman Kevin van Deijne was another to impress, and was lying third until a crash during stage 13 on Saturday. Van Deijne eventually finished in sixth spot, one place behind Norway's Marius Aasen who still leads the way in the Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy series.
Aasen and his title rivals will now prepare for the final event of the season, the Rally de Espana on mixed surfaces in late October. This will be run as two rounds and means there are double points on offer for the crews. It is set to be a thrilling climax to the season as Aasen, Vatanen, Cave and de Mévius are all in the hunt for the championship. A total of 73 points are still up for grabs.
This year's overall Trophy winner will net a lucrative full season of 2016 WRC 2 competition in the Drive DMACK team.
For ADAC Rallye Deutschland, the drivers' identical M-Sport-prepared Ford Fiesta R2 cars were converted to asphalt specification for the first time this year. That meant bigger front brakes, asphalt dampers and springs and a lower ride-height to improve stability and precision.
Drivers could choose from two compounds of control DMACK tyres which delivered the traction needed to tackle the tough stages through vineyards, military ranges and flowing country roads. Extra performance was provided by race brake fluids and oils supplied by Morris Lubricants.
Alongside the main field, Scottish driver John MacCrone won the Vatanen Touch nomination from this event and will progress to an end-of-season shoot out final to win a prize drive.
Dick Cormack, DMACK managing director, said: “We knew the drivers with more asphalt experience would be hard to beat here and it’s great to see another new rally winner and Ghislain taking his first victory. It sets up an exciting battle for the title in Spain and once again the series has proved its competitiveness.”
Malcolm Wilson OBE, M-Sport managing director, said: “Firstly, huge congratulations to Ghislain de Mévius on securing his first DDFT victory – with an impressive tally of stage wins – and also to Mats van den Brand on a career-best second place. With four different winners from four different events, we have one of the most exciting series in the FIA World Rally Championship.
“The competition could not be closer going into the final rounds with four drivers all with a good chance of claiming the title in Spain – the first time in our five-year history of running a Ford Fiesta R2 programme within the WRC that this has been the case.”

Driver quotes

Marius Aasen said: “We planned to have a safe and consistent drive here but on stage three I made a mistake with my braking and we ended up sliding into the wall. That ending our chance to compete for the podium, but other than that I’m happy really. We still lead the championship and I’ve got some rallies lined up in Norway before the last round in Spain to make sure we are completely ready.”
Mats van den Brand said: “This year in Germany has been really good and I’ve really enjoyed the rally. The stages are difficult and even today we had a big moment when I cut a corner just a little too much. We’ve had problems earlier in the year and there was a lot of pressure to have a strong finish here. I’m delighted to be on the podium, my best result of the season.”
Tom Cave said: “Obviously I’m disappointed with the result. It was completely my mistake and actually just a small error which ended in quite a big accident. I need to thank M-Sport for building such a strong car and luckily we both were unhurt. The championship is still wide open so we need to focus on Spain and make sure we do our best.”
Kevin van Deijne said: “I was surprised with our position at the end of Friday but ultimately we carried too much speed into a hairpin on stage 13 and went off. We were lucky the damage was not too significant. The rally in Spain will be difficult with the dual surface but I am still aiming for a good overall result.”
Gus Greensmith said: “Friday was the worst day of rallying I think I’ve driven. A silly mistake meant I missed a lot of potential experience. Since then, however, I’ve been getting progressively sharper but I still lack know-how. I’ve certainly improved this weekend and I look forward to having another go in Spain.”
Will Hudson said: “I’ve been going very cautiously as it’s been my first Tarmac event and we’ve had three crashes in the last three rallies. Considering all that, I’ve been having a lot of fun and it’s been a great learning experience. There are a couple of Canadian championship events I hope to get involved with before Spain so I’ll be keeping my hand in ahead of the next round.”
Ghislain de Mévius said: “It has been a great rally for us. When Tom Cave went off it left us with a big lead so we backed off a little but still managed to get quite a few fastest times. It was a new experience for me to learn how to manage the race but it feels really great to have taken my first win and be back in the fight for the championship.”
Tim Novak said: “The goal for this event was to gain as much experience as we could about driving on Tarmac, about the car and about the DMACK tyres. We were setting some good stage times and were happy about that, until we had our incident on Panzerplatte. That was the end of our rally. But before that we had a good feeling with the car and were getting used to the set up.”
Max Vatanen said: “It’s been a very up and down rally for me here. There has been a lot of action and I’ve had to drive wisely. I’m happy with the Tarmac experience I’ve gained, it’s all really valuable. Our pace is improving all the time so I’m quite satisfied with our finishing position. The competition is going down to the wire in Spain and I look forward to getting stuck in.”
Vatanen Touch winner John MacCrone said: “I couldn’t have asked for a better result with the lack of seat time I’ve had. We’ve picked up quite a bit here and it’s been great to secure the Vatanen Touch nomination – that was our focus. Hopefully we can use this as a platform to help compete on Spain.”

Final rally classification

1. Ghislain de Mévius / Johan Jalet 2hr 51min 6.5sec
2. Mats van den Brand / Martijn Wydaeghe 2hr 51min 17.3sec
3. Max Vatanen / Jacques-Julien Renucci 2hr 53min 11.2sec
4. Will Hudson / Alex Gelsomino 2hr 55min 55.4sec
5. Marius Aasen / Veronica Engan 2hr 56min 3.8sec
6. Kevin van Deijne / Hein Verschuuren 2hr 57min 3.9sec

Trophy classification after round 4

1. Marius Aasen / Veronica Engan 87
2. Max Vatanen / Jacques-Julien Renucci 82
3. Tom Cave / Craig Parry 70
4. Ghislain de Mévius / Johan Jalet 61
5. Mats van den Brand / Martijn Wydaeghe 38
6. Kevin van Deijne / Harmen Scholtalbers 34
7. Gus Greensmith / Elliott Edmondson 25
8. Will Hudson / Alex Gelsomino 12
9. Edoardo Bresolin / Rudy Pollet 0
10. Nicolas Amiouni / Joseph Matar 0
11. Nil Solans / Miquel Ibańez 0


Marvelous de Mévius leaves rivals trailing in his wake
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