The finale of the 2016 German Rally Championship was staged in Karpfham, in the “Spa Triangle” in Lower Bavaria. This was the 53rd time that the ADAC Three Towns Rally had welcomed the rallying elite to Lower Bavaria. After a magnificent season in the Brose Skoda Fabia S2000, Dominik Dinkel and Christina Kohl went into the race knowing that they could not improve on their position: They were certain of finishing third in the final standings.
Always true to the motto “learn, learn, learn,” the two of them had set their sights on third place at the start of the season. Switching from the Brose Opel Adam R2 to the Brose Skoda Fabia S2000 was a big step. To begin with, there were some who doubted whether the young master car mechanic from Rossach had taken the right path, but successes came right away. The new team with co-pilot Christina Kohl and KRT service team worked perfectly together from the word go. At the first event in 2016, they finished third overall in extremely tough conditions in Saarland. No one had expected that the young pilot would immediately capture a place on the rostrum for the first time in his new car.
It goes without saying that Michael Stoschek also followed his superb season. It was the former European FIA Historic Rally champion and his Brose Group that enabled Dinkel to switch to the Brose Skoda Fabia S2000. And he also had a special surprise in store for Dominik Dinkel and Christina Kohl for the finale to 2016. The reward for the successful season: lining up in a BRR Skoda Fabia R5.
The rally finally got underway on late Friday afternoon. Still very tense, Dominik Dinkel and Christian Kohl embarked on the first trial in their unaccustomed car. The start was then pretty rough. The duo did not want to risk too much on a damp and difficult surface at night in Lower Bavaria. The young driver from Rossach stalled the Skoda Fabia R5 at the start in the darkness. It was therefore all the more astonishing that he lost only 7.8 seconds on the leader Fabian Kreim (likewise in a Skoda Fabia R5).
The weather improved on the Saturday morning. The 120 participants set off on the next seven trials that put a real strain on their material in a slight fog but in dry conditions. The day’s first trial “Sankt Salvator 1” was almost made for the young pilot. With its gravel and slippery, greasy flagstone roads, it offered him precisely the conditions that he masters like no other. As a result, he notched up his first best time in the Skoda Fabia R5. The competition could only watch on. He managed to leave Kreim/Christian trailing by 9.5 seconds. It was unbelievable how Dinkel managed to adapt to the Skoda Fabia R5 in such a short time. One man’s joy is another man’s sorrow. The championship was decided here when Christian Riedemann (Peugeot 208 T16 R5) was forced to withdraw with a torn gearshift cable. That meant Fabian Kreim and Frank Christian were 2016 German Rally Champions. Anyone thinking that the excitement had dissipated does not know the young rebels in their powerful Skoda Fabia R5. There was a real fight for every best time.
Smallish and largish mistakes on the subsequent trials prevented Dinkel/Kohl from picking up more best times. The participants had to wait a relatively long time on the seventh trial “Fellner Arena 1.” The organizers had to battle with the crowds of spectators who did not want to miss this spectacle. The unwanted break meant that the tires were no longer at their ideal temperature and a chicane got in the way of the young driver from Rossach. As a result, the gap between him and the leader Kreim grew by a further 30 seconds.
Dominik Dinkel and Christina Kohl were always a match for Kreim on the following trials. Dinkel was able to keep with with the leader’s times, despite his lack of experience driving the R5. In the end he came second overall, finishing 52 seconds behind Kreim (30 due to the contact with the chicane and 22 after the first four trials on the Friday). So it was a successful weekend for Dominik Dinkel and Christina Kohl. The trust in the two youngsters shown above all by Michael Stoschek and his Brose group was rewarded with a first-class result. Thanks naturally go to all the sponsors and the KRT service team.
Dominik Dinkel and Christina Kohl caused quite a stir, with great results and third place in the German Championship.