Panzerplatte pulls in the crowds: The Baumholder military training area, with its iconic Panzerplatte stages, is a centrepiece of the ADAC Rallye Deutschland. The unique view from the "Turm" spectator area also attracted a host of big names from the world of rallying and circuit racing. Four-time world rally champion and current Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT team principal, Tommi Mäkinen, followed the action on site, along with former European rally champion Armin Kremer. Iron Force Racing duo Lucas Luhr and Jan-Erik Slooten, who race in the ADAC GT Masters series, also stopped by to check out the stars of the World Rally Championship. ADAC GT Masters team principal and driver Timo Bernard is a regular at the ADAC Rallye Deutschland, and he returned this year to watch the action in the Service Park at the Bostalsee lake and out on the special stages.
Big air: The longest jump on tarmac in the World Rally Championship is over "Gina", a crest on the Panzerplatte. The 380-ps World Rally Cars fly 40 metres through the air. This year's unofficial best was set by Esapekka Lappi in a Citroën C3 WRC, who jumped 44 metres. The Finn still came up two metres short of the unofficial record of 46 metres, set by Ott Tänak in 2015.
ADAC committee visits rally: The ADAC Rallye Deutschland would not be possible without the assistance of the 3,000 volunteer helpers. They included over 2,000 volunteers organised by the ADAC, who were instrumental in ensuring the event passed safely. In appreciation of the huge collaborative effort, the ADAC committee - themselves in voluntary positions - paid the rally a visit. ADAC President Dr. August Markl was joined at the rally by Ulrich Klaus Becker (Prime Vice President ADAC), Hermann Tomczyk (President ADAC Motorsports), Jens Kuhfuß (Vice President Finances), Karsten Schulze (Vice President Technology), Gerhard Hillebrand (Vice President Transports) and Kurt Heinen (Vice President Tourism). ADAC Managing Directors, Lars Soutschka and Dr. Dieter Nirschl, were also in the Saarland region to check out the action at the ADAC Rallye Deutschland, along with Dr. Andrea David, member of the board of ADAC Stiftung.
Hyundai manager pays a visit: The Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team received a prominent visit from group management at the ADAC Rallye Deutschland. Executive Vice President Thomas Schemera, head of the "High Performance Vehicle and Motorsport" division, watched the WRC team at work.
Night-time atmosphere: Many competitors used the service on Saturday evening to fit additional headlights to their cars. And with good reason: The final two stages on Panzerplatte took place in twilight, and it was dark by the time the drivers returned to the Service Park. This made for a unique atmosphere in the Media Zone and Service Park, where photographers were delighted with the opportunity to capture some fantastic and rather unusual images of the ADAC Rallye Deutschland.
Girl power leads the way: The men of the WRC had to share centre stage with two no-less prominent rally ladies - Michèle Mouton and Jutta Kleinschmidt. The first woman ever to win a round of the World Rally Championship and the only lady ever to take overall victory at the Dakar Rally drove the "FIA 1 Safety Car", which preceded the competitors on all of the stages. As well as this role, which is important for the safety of spectators, volunteers and teams, Mouton and Kleinschmidt also found time to sign many autographs and pose for selfies with rally fans.
Eye-catcher in the Service Park: Prior to the ADAC Rallye Deutschland, there was much speculation regarding a possible appearance from Sébastien Loeb (FRA). Although the nine-time winner of the Rallye Deutschland (2002-2010, 2012) was not behind the steering wheel, delighted fans were able to check out one of the rally legend's iconic cars - the original Citroën Xsara WRC, with which Loeb and his co-driver Daniel Elena won the ADAC Rallye Deutschland and the Manufacturers title in 2003. The car was exhibited by Citroën and proved to be one of the most popular backdrops for photos in the Service Park on all four days of the rally.
A double dose of spectacular trial show: Fans at the Baumholder military training area were not only treated to thrilling action on four wheels this year, but also on two. Between the two passes, they were royally entertained by German Red Bull athlete Adrian Guggemos and his spectacular trial freestyle show. The man known for his appearances on RTL show "Das Supertalent" also amazed rally fans with his awesome stunts at the opening ceremony in the Service Park on Thursday.
Rallye Deutschland veterans go head to head: Henk Vossen (NED) and Hermann Gassner Senior (GER) had a particularly charming duel this week. This time it was not about fastest times, but the number of appearances at this rally. 60-year-old Gassner has not missed a single ADAC Rallye Deutschland since 1988 and started for the 31st time this year. A record - but not if you use Vossen's method of counting: "The ADAC Rallye Deutschland was previously the Hunsrück Rally - if you include them, I have 38 starts," said the 74-year-old, who recently received a golden driving licence for 50 years of rallying. "Yes, I have also driven in the Hunsrück Rally," responded Gassner, with a cheeky wink.