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GP Week : Issue 23
France claims Germany: Sebastien Loeb, below on the fanous Circus Maximus stage, has been unstoppable on the German round of the WRC since its inception six years ago. Last year, Matthew Wilson got up close and personal with some flora on a rural stage, right. N the six years since Germany was first included in the World Rally Championship calendar it has become well established on account of its uniqueness , not just because of the speciality and variety of the asphalt stages that it provides, but also because of the vagaries of the weather in the region. It is a classic event because of I the centralised location within Europe, and the large number of spectators it attracts from a huge number of countries. The rally itself is based at Trier, which is close to the Belgium and Luxembourg borders, and the stages are held over three different areas, with three quite individual characteristics. The Moselle Valley stages are held in spectacular hillside vineyards where the high bushes obscure the range of sight for drivers and create their own tunnel effect. These are very deceptive for drivers. The Baumholder stages are spectacular on account of their complexity of routes. They are run on military ground where the surfaces are often broken 28