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Press release 2023 - 05

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ADAC Eifel Rallye Festival – The tension is rising

  • A rally or a race ? What are the similarities ?
  • The show creators: The advance field
  • Available to order: Programme booklets, tickets and the official book of the Eifel Rallye Festival 2011 - 2022

The preparations for this year's ADAC Eifel Rallye Festival (July 27th to 29th, 2023) are in full swing. The entry list is bulging and offers a diverse selection of cars from the history of rallying. "Our motto 'The Great Classics' means that there are cars on the entry list that have not been seen before at our event," explains Reinhard Klein, who as the brains behind Slowly Sideways is responsible for putting together the entry. "With the development of what we understand to be rallying today, there were events in the past that we had a hard time classifying. Imagine one where two people sit in a rally car and one drives while the other navigates. They tackle one long or two shorter timed stages each day over five days with a total length of around 3,500 kilometres and the start is at minute intervals. If there is also a service break every evening – then that is clearly a rally. Isn't it?" But this description is of the Carrera Panamericana race, which was held in Mexico from 1950 to 1954 and was twice part of the World Sports Car Championship. During this period, rallies were also held to the same specifications.
Dutchman Hemmo Vriend will bring an Aston Martin DB2/4 from the 1953 Carrera Panamericana to the Eifel. "That's where the fans can form their own opinion as to whether this famous road race in Mexico wasn't actually a rally after all," explains Klein.
The appearance of this Aston Martin again increases the number of different automobile brands – forty-seven ! – that have competed at the Festival so far. If you count different car models – here there are sometimes different definitions even among experts – there have now been over two hundred in Daun. That is probably the majority of the models that have ever been on the rally trail. It is becoming increasingly difficult to find models that have not yet found their way to the Vulkaneifel. However, there is one absolutely new one. For the first time, one of the Opel GTs, which were rarely seen in rallying, will roll through the Vulkaneifel. Josef Schölderle brings it just as it was used in the 1973 German Rally Championship at the Sachs Baltic.

The show makers: The advance car field
The participants in the Festival field drive originals or faithfully recreated replicas from the history of rallying. The drivers have to adapt their driving style on the demonstration tracks in their irreplaceable cars to the technical possibilities and also to the situation of the spare parts market. That is why, ahead of the Festival entry, a group of opening cars gets the fans in the mood for what is to come. This is a group of dedicated ‘sideways drivers’, mainly in slightly more modern cars that are not subject to the strict entry regulations of the main field. The 'boss' of the group is Jürgen Lenarz, a member of the Festival's organising team and vice-chairman of the MSC Daun. "When selecting the people and cars for our group, we attach particular importance to whether they can offer the fans a proper show," promises Lenarz, who is himself an active participant in the group.
In particular, the fans can look forward to watching two drivers. Firstly, the two-time German Rally Champion Ruben Zeltner who will bring his 'Zebra' to the Eifel. He will once again prove how professionally he can drive his rally 911 in the Volcanic Eifel. Then Reini Sampl is another expert behind the wheel. His handicap of being confined to a wheelchair since a skiing accident does not prevent him from putting on an impressive show once in charge of his car. He brings a very special vehicle to Daun this time. "We have fitted the body of a classic Audi S1 quattro with the modern technology of an Audi RS3. This may well be the only S1 body in the world with the engine installed transversely."
Among the rest of the two dozen forming this group are the Schumann brothers, Jürgen and Peter, from Saarbrücken in their Ford RS2000 and Björn Satorius with a Toyota Yaris. Björn’s father Gerhard is also here driving his Toyota Corolla AE 86 that he has had on the road since 1983. As a recognised troublemaker and self-confessed Festival fan, Sascha Winter from the Saarland is a regular guest at the Eifel driving a BMW M3 while Maurik van den Heuvel's Ferrari 308 GTB is certainly one of the acoustic highlights of the line-up.

The VIP field is filling up
It is gradually becoming clear who will be driving which car in July. Harri Toivonen, who has never gone far on his attempts at the Eifel Festival, wants to finally see the finish ramp with a Škoda Fabia Rallye2 Evo. Audi Tradition will bring two gems from its collection. One is the Audi Quattro 200 in which Hannu Mikkola won the 1987 Safari Rally and the other the Sport Quattro S1 in which Walter Röhrl drove in Portugal in 1985. They will be driven by World Champion Stig Blomqvist and Harald Demuth. Co-driving for Blomqvist will be Fabrizia Pons who previously navigated for Michele Mouton at Audi.
Thierry Neuville, who can only be a spectator this time because of testing for the Finnish WRC round, will send his two brothers as substitutes. Yannik Neuville will drive the Ford Fiesta WRC from Thierry's 2013 WRC season and Tom Heindrichs will be allowed to drive the Citroën DS3 WRC also from his big brother's collection, the one that Thierry drove in the WRC in 2012. The VW Golf GTI driven by Bruno Thiry comes from Wolf-Dieter Ihle's collection. It is the original car driven by Lars-Erik Torph in the 1988 Safari Rally.
With the Suzuki Ignis Super 1600 from his season in the 2002 Junior WRC, Niki Schelle brings another absolute 'screamer' to the Eifel. Rui Madeira starts in the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo3 with which he won the Group N WRC in 1995. Rally professor Rauno Aaltonen is at the wheel of a replica Opel Kadett GTE with which he contested the Safari Rally in 1976. Kalle Grundel will drive his Peugeot 309 GTI from the 1987 DRM, Jean-Pierre Nicolas his Alpine A110 from the 1973 RAC Rally, Rudi Stohl his Audi 90 Quattro from the 1989 Safari Rally, Nicky Grist the Toyota Celica ST185, in which he became World Champion in 1994 alongside Juha Kankkunen, and last but not least, Mike Kirkland will drive his Nissan 240 RS from the 1983 Safari Rally – they all bring not only themselves to Daun, but also the cars that step with them from the history of this wonderful sport. Real contemporary witnesses ...

Eifel Rally Festival 2011-2022 – The definitive book.
The official book about the first ten editions of the Eifel Rally Festival is not just a simple chronicle. With the stars of the scene from the past and present and with the most beautiful original cars and replicas from rally history, it is, so to speak, a Who's Who of the sport. Within its pages are the highlights from ten years of the Festival with cars that are normally never seen outside museums, such as the Group S Audi, the rebuilt Safari Stratos and exotics ranging from the Jidé to the Clan Crusader. There is a unique cross-section of rally history with the older classics from Mini and Volvo PV544 to Group 4 legends like the Stratos and the Ascona 400, not forgetting the amazing Group B monsters, the stars of Group A from Lancia to Subaru as well as the spectacular World Rally Cars. The bilingual texts (German and English) and the many photos in the 300-page work are completed by numerous tables and lists of starters and cars from the ten years. The foreword is written by long-time patron Walter Röhrl in which he recalls his own impressions of the Festival. Here is the order link at the RallyWebShop:

The Eifel Rally Festival - Timetable

Thursday, July 27th, 2023  
15:00 – 19:00 Shakedown in Bodenbach
From 20:30 Welcome Evening in the Rally Mile, Open-air rally cinema with cult filmmaker Helmut Deimel
Friday, July 28th, 2023  
From 08:00 hrs Vehicle scrutineering, Rally Mile in Daun
11:00 – 12:00 Autograph session with many stars
From 14:20 Hochkelberg One
From 18.20 Hochkelberg Two, by night
Saturday, July 29th, 2023  
08:30 – 16:00 Asphalt stages in the Volcano Eifel
In between the stages Rally Mile Daun with many attractions
From 19:30 Rally party with honours and prize giving

Advance sale of programme booklets and tickets has started
In order to optimise the distribution and to extend the offer, the sale of the programme booklet and the tickets will be organised via the RallyWebShop this year. This makes it possible for the first time to offer day tickets in advance as well as weekend tickets. In addition, the RallyWebShop offers a variety of payment options such as PayPal or credit card. Here is the link to the different ordering options in the RallyWebShop:
The prices for the programme and tickets can be found in our price list:

Info for all journalists:
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