Elfyn extends Academy lead after Germany win
Prior to the event, the Rallye Deutschland organisers were forced to suspend the Shakedown stage after an incident involving another car, which meant Elfyn and Phil were unable to confirm their final set-up. On the first morning, the less-than-ideal suspension configuration meant precious seconds were lost, while the duo also caught two cars on the first stage and then had a spin on stage 2. Changes to the suspension saw an immediate improvement and the Welsh pair set the fastest time on stage 5 on their way to a ten-second lead at the end of Day 1.
Day 2 then began with heavy rain, but despite being on slick tyres, Elfyn and Phil attacked on the very first stage and went 35 seconds quicker than the crew in second place on the Academy leaderboard. Avoiding the kind of dramas that befell several crews on the Panzerplatte stage on the Baumholder military training ground, Elfyn and Phil then set another fastest time on the final stage to head for the podium with a winning margin of nearly a minute and ten seconds.
Two more rounds of the WRC Academy remain; the next is the Rallye de France – Alsace that begins on October 4th.
It feels fantastic to have come here and won our third event in a row! Things were difficult for us - to have to adjust the car to our liking and then have a few moments early on - but we refocused overnight and then built up an advantage on Day 2. I think it’s too early to jump to any conclusions; we’ve got two very difficult rallies remaining and we need to get good points from both of them, so we need to really focus on the job in hand.
Phil Pugh said:
It’s been a really hard couple of days; Day 1 was tough but the first stage of Day 2 was really the turning point for us. We were on the wrong tyres, but I told Elfyn to push to get some heat into them and to come out of the stage having taken 35 seconds off José Suárez was pretty remarkable really. Elfyn puts a lot of hard work into all of the rallies and hard work reaps rewards.