ADAC Eifel Rallye Festival 2017 presents: Decades of Rallying
The organisers of the Eifel Rallye Festival, a unique demonstration event for historic rally cars that will be held between July 20th & 22nd, have announced the theme of their 2017 edition. It will celebrate ‘Six Decades of Rallying’ with cars and drivers representing all decades from the 1960s right up until today. This journey in time will begin with a Mercedes 300 SE fintail (Acropolis 1963), a Ford Falcon (Monte Carlo 1964) and a Wartburg 312 (Acropolis 1966) and, passing through the intervening decades, will end with a modern Hyundai i20 WRC driven by Thierry Neuville. Of course, the Festival will, in completing the journey, also feature cars from all the other categories such as Group 4, Group B, Group A and early two-litre WRC cars.
Apart from the cars coming from six decades, the Festival will also welcome their crews. Gunnar Palm, who has just turned eighty already won the 1963 Monte Carlo as co-driver to Erik Carlsson, and will represent the 1960s while he could also have a hand in the 1970s when he won the London-Mexico and East African Safari with Hannu Mikkola. Mikkola himself might lay claim to the 1980s as he was World Rally Champion with Audi in 1983, but he made his name in the 1970s by winning events as diverse as the London-Mexico, the East African Safari, the 1000 Lakes and the RAC Rally. While Mikkola represents the 1970s, it was the 1980s when Kalle Grundel became German Rally Champion in 1985 in a Peugeot 205 T16 and then a WRC works driver with Ford in an RS200. The 1990s were the heyday of Armin Schwarz’s career who drove for Toyota winning the WRC Catalunya Rally in 1991 and being crowned European Rally Champion in 1996. The first decade of the twenty-first century is represented by Matthias Kahle who won five of his seven German Championship titles in this time-frame driving for Skoda most of the time. And today’s rally scene is, of course, represented by current vice World Champion Thierry Neuville.
Apart from those six drivers, the Eifel Rallye Festival will also have one very special person present who won rallies in all of those six decades. Stig Blomqvist started his amazing winning streak in the 1960s in local rallies in Sweden. He then won the Swedish Rally seven times between 1971 and 1984, the same year that he was crowned World Rally Champion, and was victorious most recently on the 2015 East African Safari Classic Rally.
“The ‘Six Decades of Rallying’ will not only come alive on the rally stages since it will also be the theme for the ‘Welcome Evening’ on Thursday night”, says Chief Organiser, Otmar Anschütz. “Our VIP drivers representing the six decades will share their stories from their time in rallying.” All this will be illustrated with short video clips made by well-known Austrian film-maker Helmut Deimel. The Rally Mile in Daun will certainly be bustling with drivers and spectators on Thursday night especially since the entry list is nearly full already. “We have already received more than 120 entries of our maximum of 140 and when you look at the entries, you can see that the Eifel Rallye Festival is becoming more and more international”, says Reinhard Klein the man in charge of the Slowly Sideways group.
This large field of historic cars will be led round by Thierry Neuville in his Hyundai i20 WRC zero-car. This will not be his first visit to Daun for the 28-year-old Belgian who was born in St. Vith – just an hour’s drive away from Daun. “I have visited the Festival a couple of times especially when my friends were driving there. It has a great atmosphere, nice stages and good spectator areas.” To see the precious historic cars and their drivers in action makes Neuville smile: “Probably not all the drivers are the best in the world but this gives you more time to see the cars in action.” The current vice World Champion is especially fond of the Group B cars. “I would like to try them once to see how the handling is compared to our WRC cars of today.”
For his first outing as a driver in the Eifel Rallye Festival, Neuville promises that: “I am coming to make a good show.” The Belgian will host some guest co-drivers during the Shakedown on Thursday and try to make his Hyundai i20 WRC fly on the Hyundai Super Stage on Friday afternoon. His last stage will be the Prowin Spectator Stage on Friday night before Neuville will have to leave the event thanks to other commitments.
Order now: pre-sale for tickets and programmes has started
Spectators who are keen to visit the Eifel Rallye Festival can obtain their tickets and programmes from the official online shop no matter in what European country they are living. While visiting the ‘Rally Mile’ in the heart of Daun is free of charge, there are various admission tickets needed for those who like to see the action on the special stages. The range offered goes from one-day tickets right up to full weekend tickets.
The pre-sale of tickets and programmes is open until July 07, 2017 from http://www.eifel-rallye-festival.de/en/rallye-shop.html.
Eifel Rallye Festival – Time Table
15:00 – 19:00 hrs Shakedown at the ‘Mantaloch’ in Brück
from 20:30 hrs Welcome Evening in the Rally Mile, Open Air Cinema with film-maker Helmut Deimel
From 08:00 hrs Scrutineering in the Rally Mile
11:00 – 12:00 hrs Autograph Session with the VIP drivers
From 14:20 hrs Hyundai Super Stage with jump, water splash and gravel action
From 19.30 hrs prowin Spectator Stage in Sarmersbach at night Including the ‘Festival Parade’
08:30 – 17:00 hrs Tarmac Stages in the Vulkaneifel region, inbetween Rally Mile in Daun with various attractions
From 19:00 hrs Rally Party & Prize Giving