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Press release 2020 - 01

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ADAC Eifel Rallye Festival 2019 - World tour through the Volcanic Eifel

  • No tailor-made start: an accident at the shakedown
  • Reunion for historic rally sport
  • Rides for a good cause auctioned off

The ADAC Eifel Rallye Festival (July 18th/20th, 2019) had not really started before everyone involved was horrified by an accident during the shakedown. One of the first cars left the road on a straight and plunged down to the right and injured six spectators all of whom were in a designated spectator area. At the scene were two doctors and several paramedics, so that immediate help could be provided. The emergency services of the organizer and other help requested were at the scene of the accident in a few minutes. An emergency chaplain was also on site and looked to console the non-injured fans who had witnessed the event. The injured were taken to hospitals in the local area, one of the two seriously injured persons travelling by helicopter. The four slightly injured were able to leave the hospital immediately after outpatient treatment, the two seriously injured were operated on and, according to the doctors, are stable." This was a shock for everyone here at the Festival, for us as organizers but also for all the drivers and fans." said Otmar Anschütz, the organizer and chairman of the MSC Daun. The Eifel Rallye Festival consists exclusively of demonstration drives of historic rally vehicles on closed and secured stages. "Although we don't have any timing, the safety measures for the stages and for the spectators are implemented according to standards set for international rallies at the highest level," explains Anschütz. According to the investigations of the authorities so far, this was a tragic accident that could not have been foreseen. "After weighing up all aspects, we decided to continue our Festival, and the authorities involved were also in favour. The most important thing, however, is that all those injured recover as quickly as possible. This is the wish of the organizers, and we speak on behalf of the teams and the thousands of fans who were here this weekend", says Anschütz.

Reunion for historic rally sport
Despite the subdued mood created at the beginning, the Eifel Rallye Festival was a complete success. Several tens of thousands of fans provided the perfect setting for this 'Class Reunion of Historic Rally Sports'. The Rally Mile in Daun was bursting again this year, while the spectator zones on the special stages were full.

Erwin Weber, the European Rally Champion of 1992, came to the Festival for the first time and said: "Everything is perfectly organised here, it's endless fun to drive in front of so many spectators. In some places the whole slope is full of fans." Jochi Kleint, European Rally Champion of 1979, expressed himself similarly: "I take many positive impressions from here with me, there are so many spectators along the way, the enthusiasm for rallying is simply fantastic". The former World Rally Champions, Timo Salonen and Stig Blomqvist, not only delighted the fans with their driving skills, they also revealed some anecdotes from their long careers at the entertaining Welcome Evening with videos provided by cult filmmaker, Helmut Deimel.

There was enthusiasm for the event too but tempered by some frustration about his own performance from co-driver Nicky Grist. For the first time, the winner of twenty-one World Championship rallies took the wheel of a Toyota Celica from his time competing in the World Rally Championship. "It's a bit disappointing when you've sat alongside some of the fastest rally drivers in the World, and now you're taking the wheel yourself and going much slower. But this is my own car and I wanted to bring it safely to the finish."

Winners even without timing
Although the Eifel Rallye Festival is not about best times, there were beaming faces at the finale of the big rally party on Saturday evening. Six prizes, each a beautiful model car dioramas, all special productions of 'Bernd's Rally Miniatures', were presented. As last year Marcel Baldauf / Silke di Clemente in the BMW 325 received the 'Sideways Star' presented to them on the stage by Niki Schelle. The award 'Best replication' for the best replica rally car went to the New Zealander Ross Clarke for his Toyota Celica Turbo and was presented by Timo Salonen.

Nicky Grist presented Andreas Bayer and Inka Lerch with the prize 'Best original' for their Mercedes-Benz 280 E while Wilco and Mart Hubens from the Netherlands had particularly beaming faces as their Subaru Legacy RS Turbo was chosen by all the rally stars present and Matthias Kahle awarded them the 'Champion's Choice' prize.

There were two 'Special Prizes' awarded. The first was awarded to Claus and Sabine Aulenbacher by Erwin Weber. They had rebuilt a Lancia Stratos completely destroyed by fire. Then Isolde Holderied presented the second special prize to Peter and Patrick Berghaus. The father-son duo had entered the MSC Daun rallies for the twentieth time in a row.

Car rides yielded €3,348 for a good cause.
It is already a tradition at the Eifel Rallye Festival that rides as a co-driver are auctioned for a good cause. The passenger seats in the cars of Wolf-Dieter Ihle and Niki Schelle resulted in total proceeds of €3,348. Of this amount, €2,237 went to the KinderHerz Foundation on whose behalf Steven Körner thankfully accepted the cheque. The other €1,111 Euro went  to support the Lions Club in Daun with its Christmas package campaign. Manfred Stumps and Dr. Volkhard Bangert thanked the MSC Daun on behalf of the Lions Club Executive Board at the handing over of the cheque.

Note on the side :: Festival-News

New stories: Timo Salonen and the Argentina Rally 1981
At the Welcome Evening, the EmCee, Markus Stier, elicited previously unknown stories from his guests. Timo Salonen related how he had had to park his Datsun at the 1981 Argentina Rally in the last special stage. According to the information he got from the team, it was said that his co-driver and he would be picked up soon. As time dragged on and hunger and thirst tormented them, they chatted to local residents and, in exchange for the fancy Datsun team jackets, they were given food and drink, including wine. The night was cold, the waiting Datsun duo lit the spare tyre to keep themselves warm. Eventually, after the other four tyres on the car had also served as a heat source, they flagged down a passing pickup, which, however, was heading in the wrong direction. After a few hours of driving, they organised a taxi in a larger settlement, which took them to their destination in Tucuman. They arrived at the hotel around 09.00am. The rest of the team were sitting happily at breakfast, celebrated their second and third places overall with the other two cars and had completely forgotten Salonen and his co-driver, Seppo Harjanne.

Confidentiality: Harald Demuth and the emergence of the Quattro
At the Eifel Rallye Festival, Harald Demuth celebrated a reunion with the actual Audi 80 GLE with which he had scored the first WRC points in Audi Sport's history at the 1979 WRC round in Portugal. At the same time back in Germany, the two-time German Rally Champion was also involved in the development of the Quattro. "It was like going crazy. During the week we tested the Quattro prototype with all-wheel drive and turbo engine and got to know this new dimension of rallying better and better. At the weekends, we drove events in the Audi 80 GLE with a very modest 165 horsepower and front-wheel drive - I always thought my feet would fall asleep," the Bavarian smiles and added: "The worst thing about it was that we weren't allowed to tell anyone what we were developing and how great it was." This phase lasted for two years for Demuth, and eventually marked the beginning of a new era in rallying.

Co-pilot at the limit: Luis Moya leads Stig Blomqvist astray
For former World Rally Championship co-driver, Louis Moya (World Champion in 1990 and 1992 alongside Carlos Sainz) a dream came true in Daun. He was allowed to sit alongside his idol Stig Blomqvist (World Champion 1984) in the Ford Escort WRC. "It was as always: Professionally prepared, I opened the logbook and guided Stig to the stage. But I had overlooked the fact that we should go to the second stage and not to the first," the Spaniard admitted later. Nevertheless, he was able to prove his quality - he found the way without any problems from the start of the first to the start of the second stage. He was enthusiastic about the driving style of his new chauffeur: " Stig is still incredibly fast and really only steers for parking. He makes all other changes of direction with the car using very little movement on the steering wheel."

New co-driver for Isolde Holderied
The plan was perfect: Isolde 'Isi' Holderied and her co-driver Catherine Francois were to pilot the very same Toyota Corolla WRC in which they won the Coupe des Dames on the 1999 Monte Carlo Rally. The Geipel family, the owners of the car, had restored the Corolla to the condition it had been at the start in Monte Carlo twenty years ago. "At that time, it was a brilliant feeling to drive to the award ceremony in front of the palace and receive the trophy from the prince. Apart from the overall winner and the best privateer, he only did this for the Ladies Cup," explained the two-time Ladies World Rally Champion. Shortly before the Eifel Rallye Festival, Francois had to cancel, but Tanja Neidhöfer was ready to replace her. "That was a perfect solution, after all I drove my last rally in Germany during 2001 with Tanja", said the Toyota brand ambassador.

New findings: Kalle Grundel as a role model for Matthias Kahle
Kalle Grundel won the German Rally Championship title in 1985 in a Peugeot 205T16. From 1988 he had to change to the Group A Peugeot 309 GTI instead of the Group B car. "With so little power and only one driven axle, that was really frustrating. I tried to drive spectacularly, at least for the spectators," he revealed in Daun. His victory with the 309 at the Sachsenring Rallye 1989 in Zwickau had unexpected consequences. In Daun, the Swede Matthias Kahle, the German record seven-time rallies champion, stood on stage. He explained, "At the age of twenty, I saw on television how Kalle in the 309 was able to make the DDR-Elite look pretty old. Instantly, there matured in me the desire to become a rally driver, in order to be able to drive just as well as this Grundel chap."

We are looking for the most interesting photos
The photo competition organized for the fans brings countless and fascinating pictures to light every year. In addition, the winners can look forward to attractive prizes. All the information you need can be found at:

Journalists: Big crowd from twenty-two nations
Three TV stations, two radio stations and many other representatives of the writing and photographing guild reported on the Eifel Rallye Festival. A total of ninety-nine journalists from twenty-two nations relayed their impressions out of the volcanic Eifel 'Around the World'. The man who had the longest journey was a photographer from Australia.

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Contact for international media
John Davenport (UK)