ADAC Eifel Rallye Festival 2018 - Ready to go
Just one week to go until the eighth edition of the ADAC Eifel Rallye Festival (July 19 - 21, 2018) kicks off in Daun. While the one hundred and seventy-plus participants are giving the final touches to their classic rally cars, many helping hands from the MSC Daun are involved in the final preparations of the Festival. They want to be 100 percent ready for tens of thousands of international guests who will come to the Vulkaneifel for this unique demonstration event. "It is time to finally get going. After a good year of preparation we are all looking forward to the start", says Otmar Anschütz (Daun), the chief organiser of this motorsport event.
The philosophy: uniquely authentic without pressure of times
Responsible for the compilation of the entry list is renowned rally photographer Reinhard Klein who describes the philosophy of his Slowly Sideways group as follows: "Our goal is that the spectators should not recognize any difference between our cars and the famous rally cars from the past." This accounts for both the more than fifty original cars all with their own glorious history and the perfectly-made replications resembling famous cars and which are practically indistinguishable from their role models. Another indispensable element for the character of the Eifel Rallye Festival is the complete renunciation of any form of competition. In order to allow the rare and popular Group B cars to drive in an event alongside their forerunners from the 1960s and 1970 and at the same time create a relaxed atmosphere among the participants in the Daun "Rally Mile" without any pressure on them to perform, the Eifel Rally Festival has always refrained from timing its stages. Nevertheless: "The Eifel Rally Festival might be a demonstration event, but it is still organised in every respect like a modern rally. This involves above all the safety of the participants and spectators which is very important to us", says Anschütz.
Thursday: new 'Maubach Arena' and Welcome Evening
On Thursday at 15.00 hrs, the sound of seemingly long-gone rally days will return to the Eifel. For the very first time, the 'Maubach-Arena' between Darscheid and Hörscheid is the venue for the shakedown stage. This is conveniently situated less than a kilometre from the exit of autobahn 1. Later on, starting at 20.30 hrs, the audience will flock to the Rally Mile in Daun for the Welcome Evening. Here, Austrian film-maker Helmut Deimel will show a selection of rally clips in a programme at the traditional open-air cinema, the theme of which this year, like the Festival, is dedicated to the Pikes Peak hill climb.
Friday: Scrutineering, autograph session, gravel and night action
Friday morning is the perfect time to visit the Rally Mile in Daun. From 8.00 to 12.45 hrs, the spectators get fascinating insights into the development of rallying's history during public scrutineering in the Rally Mile. Then from 11.00 to 12.00 hrs is the time for autograph hunters when stars like Stig Blomqvist, Timo Salonen, Luis Moya, Jochi Kleint, Harald Demuth, Matthias Kahle, Mike Kirkland, Jimmy McRae, Salvador Cañellas, Rudi Stohl, Jayant Shah and Niki Schelle will sit side by side on the show stage at the Laurentiusplatz. In the afternoon, from 14.20 hrs, the fans have the agony of choosing where to watch on the all-gravel Super Stage since it offers everything that makes a rally spectator's heart beat faster from a water splash to a jump, or simply incredible sideways action. Only a few hundred metres away, the legendary night stage 'proWIN Hilgerath' is held from 19.20 hrs. While the pilots drive through the small Eifel village of Sarmersbach several times, the residents celebrate together with thousands of fans in the village.
Saturday: a full day of rallying and giant party
Saturday is a day full of action for crews and spectators alike with six demonstration stages in the Vulkaneifel covering a total distance of 90.98 kms. The Saturday stretches over two loops of three stages each with a long lunch break in-between where it is possible to visit the drivers and their cars in the Rally Mile. The crews will tackle the 'Risselberg' hill-climb stage in its new version as well as the demanding 'Kelberger Land' stage and the mixed-surface 'Lehwald' stage with all three repeated in the afternoon. Then from 19.30 hrs, the Festival will end with a big rally party in Daun.
Always worth a visit: the Rally Mile in Daun
The city centre of Daun will turn into a mecca for fans of classic rally cars during the Festival weekend. The so-called "Rally Mile" around the Leopoldstraße will be the service area for all teams and it is the ideal place for a chat with the VIP drivers and meet the car owners themselves. But that is not all, here you can also purchase tickets, programmes, the official merchandise of the Eifel Rallye Festival as well as other souvenirs such as model cars, books and DVDs. A special highlight this year is the unique coming together of famous cars from the "Race to the Clouds" at Pikes Peak. They will tackle two stages - proWIN Hilgerath on Friday at 19.33 hrs and on Risselberg 2 on Saturday at 13.30 hrs - as part of the 'Festival Parade' but at all other times, the cars will be on static display in the Rally Mile.
News in brief
A teenager in a classic car: Roman Schwedt is only nineteen years old but already holds several records. He was the first driver to take part in a round of the German Rally Championship at the age of seventeen and, since the last round in Stemwede, he is also the youngest driver to have clinched a podium spot in the championship driving a Peugeot 207 S2000. While Schwedt just got his first taste of an R5 car, the Peugeot 208 T16, at the Festival he will be taking the wheel of a car that is more than twice as old as the youngster himself. The 19-year-old will drive a 1976 Ford Escort RS2000 MK2.
A special birthday present: When the organisers received the entry of a Toyota Corolla WRC previously driven by Isolde Holderied in 1999, it was immediately clear that the car should get start number 60. The reason is that the entry was a present for car owner and driver Uwe Geipel who has only recently turned sixty years of age. Geipel used to be a successful Trabant and Wartburg driver in the former GDR and later drove a Toyota Celica GT-Four in the German Rally Championship. The Festival entry is a present from his family.
A community in rally mode: The fact that the Risselberg stage can be driven in a new format with a closed loop at the beginning and pass through the middle of the town is only possible due to the help and dedication of the community of Niederstadtfeld. They approached the organisers with a completely elaborated parking and crowd control concept. Thus it is not surprising that no less than a hundred and fifty seven of the approximately four hundred and fifty residents are now actively involved in the running of 'their' stage.
Rally action comes to the cinema: Helmut Deimel's films are the highlight of the open air Welcome Evening on Thursday night, but they can also be viewed on a screen indoors. The local cinema, the Kinopalast Vulkaneifel, is not just a service area during the Festival, it will also change its daily programme to suit the rally fever in the background. It will present Helmut Deimel's latest film "Walter Röhrl - Vollgasakrobat", a homage to the double World Champion, in full length.
Get your cameras ready: The photographic competition brings countless and above all fascinating pictures to light every year. In addition, attractive prizes await the winners. All information under: https://www.eifel-rallye-festival.de/en/Photo_Contest.html.
Orders from 13 nations: The pre-sale of tickets and programmes has stopped on July 06 and it was literally booming. Overall, the organisers recorded an increase of around ten percent to the previous year. The valuable freight will be sent to fans from thirteen countries.