ADAC Eifel Rallye Festival 2017 - WRC stars are coming
Just two weeks after the entry list opened for the seventh edition of the Eifel Rallye Festival (July 20-22, 2017), nearly half a dozen WRC stars have confirmed their participation in this demonstration event held in the beautiful Vulkaneifel region. "The entry list is filling up quickly and it will again be headed by well-known faces", says Otmar Anschütz, the new chief organiser of the Festival. "Former World Rally Champions Stig Blomqvist and Hannu Mikkola will once again make their way to the Eifel Rallye Festival to appear alongside other great rally drivers including Kalle Grundel. Apart from that, we also have a new partner for our event: Hyundai Motorsport will show the past and present of the WRC."
As part of Hyundai's contribution, their former works driver Armin Schwarz will drive his original Hyundai Accent WRC from the 2003 Monte Carlo Rally while reigning Vice-World Champion Thierry Neuville will take the wheel of a Hyundai i20 WRC to thrill the crowds.
"The Eifel Rallye Festival is a demonstration event without time-keeping designed for irreplaceable genuine rally cars", said Armin Schwarz. "But I can reassure the fans that nevertheless I will 'demonstrate' my car at speed. I would like to say thank you to Hyundai for giving me the chance to drive my car again in an appropriate setting. I am really looking forward to this and to meeting former companions whom I have not seen for a while in a relaxed atmosphere."
Apart from WRC stars Blomqvist, Grundel, Mikkola, Neuville and Schwarz, more than sixty Gentlemen Drivers have already submitted their entry forms to Reinhard Klein. The well-known rally photographer and head of Slowly Sideways is pleased with the quantity and quality of the cars: "The entries show how well-accepted our idea has become over the years. The times when owners hastily put a few stickers on their cars to try and imitate a contemporary rally car are long gone. Nearly all the entries that we have received are nicely-restored originals or nicely-made replications. This makes me very proud."
While the Festival's key partner is new, the successful concept of the Eifel Rallye Festival will remain as it was. The action will kick off on Thursday afternoon with the shakedown stage of 'Mantaloch'. Afterwards, drivers and spectators will meet in the Rally Mile in Daun for the Welcome Evening which will once again feature film clips made by Austrian cameraman Helmut Deimel. On Friday morning, the Rally Mile will be flooded by fans coming to watch the scrutineering of the cars and to get a signature of the stars during the organised autograph session. In the afternoon, the attention will shift to the 'Hyundai Super Stage'. This all-gravel stage that features a jump, a water splash and plenty of sideways action will be one of the highlights of the event. Once the 'Hyundai Super Stage' is completed, the rest of the Festival will be held on the fast and flowing tarmac roads of the Vulkaneifel before the cars reach the finish on Saturday afternoon.
"The basic parameters stay the same", sums up Festival Manager Tim Becker. "We have only changed little details such as, for instance, the band playing at the Rally Party on Saturday night." The result will be eagerly anticipated especially as Dr. Tim Becker is a musicologist in his normal life.