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German Rally Championship: Patrik Dinkel scores first points in the Ore Mountains

Stollberg, 03-16-2024

Patrik Dinkel and his co-driver Alexander Benning are contesting the German Rally Championship this year. The duo will compete in seven rounds in a Hyundai I20 N Rally2 with the Luxembourg team FS-Sport. The season opener took place last weekend on the challenging tracks in the Ore Mountains around Stollberg.

"After the successful final test on Thursday evening in dry conditions and the inspection of all the special stages in spring-like temperatures, we felt well prepared for the rally," explained Dinkel before the first test of strength of the season. Just in time for the start at 5 p.m., dark clouds rolled in and the weather conditions changed abruptly. "A short but heavy downpour flooded the first two stages. We made a complete mistake with our tire choice, which was hard and dry," the duo was annoyed when they reached the first service. To make matters worse, they picked up a puncture on both stages and had to complete over 6 kilometers on the rim in SS 2, which damaged the front wishbone and meant a time loss of more than 1:30 minutes. "The mood was at rock bottom, but the professional service crew did a perfect job and repaired the damage within the allotted time. In the second loop, we managed a problem-free run in the dark," said the duo late in the evening, expressing their satisfaction with the opening day, which they finished in eighth place overall.

The second day began promisingly: "With the fifth time in the "Oberdorf" stage, which made our hearts beat faster with a nice long gravel section, a second overall time followed in "Bad Schlema". In the second run, the third-fastest time was set in Oberdorf, before a rain shower that started just in time for the start in "Bad Schlema II" caused some time loss again," reported the duo before the four final special stages around Annaberg-Buchholz were on the program.

The Brose-Hyundai team moved up to seventh place overall and sixth in the German Rally Championship: "After the bad start to the rally, we are very happy to have 15 points on our credit side at the finish. We know where we lost time to the leaders and want to improve at the next championship round," Patrik and Alexander summed up at the finish on the market square in Stollberg.