Julius Tannert wins the 58th ADAC Rallye Erzgebirge by a wide margin. Sepp Wiegand, a hero back home, takes first place in the DRM2 category. During the course of two days, thousands of fans witness world-class rallying action.
In contrast to last year, when he finished second to first by less than a tenth of a second, Julius Tannert did not leave anything to chance. The 32-year-old driver started off the German Rally Championship with a dominant victory in his home race at the 58th ADAC Rallye Erzgebirge. “That’s unbelievable. I used to come here as a kid to watch the stages, and now I get to drive in them and win the rally right here in front of my house. And that in front of this many excited spectators!” the victorious Zwickau local exclaimed.
On Saturday, co-driver Frank Christian joined Julius Tannert in the driver’s seat as they began the last 108 kilometers in the lead in their Skoda Fabia RS Rallye2. From the first minute on, the duo was untouchable. They won six of the event’s eight special stages and cruised to a 26.7-second victory. The final set of challenging special levels was grueling. The last thing you want as a leader is to make a reckless error, but you also can’t afford to be too relaxed behind the wheel. For this reason, we persisted right up until the very end. Now, let’s all take a beer together,” Tannert finished.
The defeated foes begrudgingly acknowledged the local hero’s performance. I thought Julius did a fantastic job. Because of this, we didn’t go to any lengths to defeat him in his own country. To finish second under such rigorous testing and pressure is an outstanding achievement. Marijan Griebel, who came in second with co-driver Tobias Braun, made a pledge that her time would come if the company stuck with her. Philip Geipel and Katrin Becker, the reigning German rally champions, finished third in a Skoda Fabia Rally 2 Evo. “We won the fight against the clock before by getting our damaged vehicle back together at the start of the rally,” said the 36-year-old from Plauen. That’s why coming in third place is satisfying, especially since we dropped 30 seconds due to a slip. The crowd was amazing once again. Feelings in the Ore Mountains are difficult to put into words, and that just serves to spur us on. When they were more than a minute and a half behind, the Hyundai i20 N Rally 2 duo of Riedemann and Otterbach and the Ford Fiesta Rally 2 duo of Satorius and Ostlender had no chance.
In the DRM2 standings for two-wheel drive vehicles, a local hero also took first place. Like his teammate Tannert, Sepp Wiegand drove an Opel Corsa Rally4 alongside Christoph Gerlich and easily beat out the competition. “I was born and raised in Grünhain, the site of two spectacular stages, and I loved every minute of them. Because we were in a hurry on Friday, we put on the good rain tires. “It’s nice to be able to tell my friends and followers about how well this strategy worked,” remarked Sepp Wiegand.
Martin Christ and his co-driver Lina Meter finished second at the DRM season opener in Saxony, and they were pleased with their performance. We were able to keep the race under control and there were no major accidents. Things improved somewhat on Friday, but today’s less-than-ideal tire selection made matters worse. Yet, the “Erze” is merely a fun rally. I came here in 2001 in a Trabi, and the crowd was just as weird as it is now, recalls the Geesthacht driver. For the third time, Raffael Sulzinger and Lisa Kiefer (Ford Fiesta Rally4) battled the odds. Raffael Sulzinger: “I wrecked the tire and the rear axle by turning in early on Friday.” Another hole appeared today; this keeps happening like some sort of spell. The good news is that the car survived the rally without a scratch, and I didn’t even manage to scratch one of the exterior mirrors. From there, we can go forward.
Predictably, defending champions Andreas Dahms and Paul Schubert in their Porsche 911 dominated the DRM Classic. There wasn’t a single crooked person among the crowd at this massive rally. With the help of recycled tires, we made it. Andreas Dahms, the man behind the wheel of the green 911, adds, “Consistency is our secret to success.” Following closely after them in a Ford Escort RS were Axel Schütt and Klaus Finke. However, Dennis Rostek’s unbeaten streak came to an end at the DRM Trophy (2022’s Gentleman Trophy). The man from Bückeburg finished second in the “Erze,” after winning all five races the year before. This time, Georg Berlandy and Tina Annemüller in their Skoda Fabia R5 took first place. “It feels fantastic to have triumphed over Dennis. But things almost went awry this morning because I made a poor tire selection based on the forecast on my phone. We ran on slicks in the rain, which didn’t end poorly save for a last spin. Thankfully, we were able to climb back up the field,” Georg Berlandy said. Third place at the DRM Trophy went to a car co-driven by Oliver Bliss and Julius Simon.
By 7:15 p.m., the rally’s remarkable 58th edition concluded at the Stollberg market. On two of the four special stages on Friday, the rally’s many spectators were treated to a nighttime show, and on Saturday, the event went uninterrupted through daylight on the same twisting, turning asphalt sections with surprising crests. Attendees at the evening’s closing celebration could reflect on the day’s events in greater depth after witnessing them from a variety of vantage points.
German Rally Championship will continue on May 5 and 6 with ADAC Actronics Rallye Sulingen.