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Dinkel/Fürst finish 10th overall on their debut over a gravel course in France

Rossach, 04-09-2019

The Brose rally team of Dominik Dinkel and Christina Fürst has completed its first rally entirely on gravel in Southern France, finishing 10th overall in their Hyundai i20 R5 despite tire damage.

The Brose rally team had to contend with extremely difficult weather conditions to achieve that result. “The test beforehand went positively and so that gave us a good feeling. But the weather was dry then – whereas there were repeated downpours before and during the two days of competition. That turned the narrow, winding routes with their fast forest passages into really slippery tracks,” said Dominik Dinkel.

The 26-year-old and his co-pilot Christina Fürst were faced with a further big challenge. “The trials that had to be driven in best time, and which had to be completed twice, could only be inspected once, so it wasn’t possible to check the pacenotes. That means you have to be highly focused when you prepare the pacenotes. Colleagues who’ve participated for years in the French Gravel Rally Championship have it a lot easier. All the trials are identical to the ones last year and some sections have even remained unchanged since 2011,” added Christina Fürst.

Ten trials over a total of 150.62 kilometers had to be completed over the rally’s two days. The main focus of Dominik and Christina was not on what place they would finish in, but on gaining experience. That is why they and the mechanics and engineers from the Sarrazin Motorsport crew tried out lots of things and made many changes to the setup, tires, springs and shock absorbers. Damage to the right rear tire on trial 7 was the only thing that curbed their zest for action. Around nine kilometers driving on the rim cost well more than a minute in time and also prevented the team from obtaining insights that would be valuable when tackling the trial for the second time.

“At the end of the day, we are very satisfied with what we achieved,” said Dominik Dinkel in hindsight. “A big thank-you is due to our partners and sponsors who enabled us to take part in the events in France. We’ll do all we can to put what we’ve learned into practice and hone it in our next outing. We’re already itching to get behind the wheel again at the Castine – Terre d’Occitanie rally in just under four weeks’ time. Then we travel to Portugal for our first World Championship race on gravel at the end of May. That will be a dream come true.”