ADAC Eifel Rallye Festival 2018 - The rush of entries is as huge as ever
The ADAC Eifel Rallye Festival, held from July 19 to 21 around Daun/Germany, will go into its eighth year in 2018 and the interest in the demonstration event for classic rally cars is certainly not easing. "Only a few places in the entries list are still vacant right now, we expect to be booked fully once again", says Reinhard Klein, head of the 'Slowly Sideways' group that ratifies the entry list.
Looking at the line-up of cars, the renowned rally photographer realises a new development: "We can see that more and more modern-day cars from the Group A and WRC eras are becoming collector's items and start participating in the Festival and all the other Slowly Sideways events. But there is one more astonishing aspect. In seven editions of the Eifel Rallye Festival you would expect to have already seen all types of rally cars, but there are once again 'new' ones showing up this time - for example a Škoda 180 RS, Ford Escort Mk3 RS2000, Alfa Romeo 75 V6 3.0 and a Subaru Legacy."
While the audience will get to see these new models, sadly they won't have the pleasure of meeting Walter Röhrl who cannot come to the Festival thanks to commitments with Porsche. There is a similar problem for US driver John Buffum who cannot come for professional reasons. Buffum was to have driven his 1983 Pikes Peak winning Audi Quattro A2 which will now be piloted by the car owner, Wolf-Dieter Ihle. Röhrl, who planned to drive his Pikes Peak 1987 winning Audi Sport Quattro E2, will be replaced by Harald Demuth for the 'Pikes Peak Parade'.
Not many people know it, but the former Audi works driver has a very special relationship to the ultimate rally Quattro that was specially modified for the 1987 edition of the 'Race to the Clouds'. "I was involved in the development right from the start and I also had the chance to drive during the testing. For me, the Pikes Peak car is the pinnacle of all Audi Quattros", recollects Demuth. Last year, Demuth had a very special experience as he was able to drive this ultimate supercar on the track it was designed for in the Rocky Mountains. "To drive it at the 'holy mountain' was something really special. It was very emotional to conquer the hill-climb track with the 600 bhp monster and it was not only me who had tears of joy in his eyes."
Demuth and the Audi Sport Quattro E2 Pikes Peak will be part of the 'Pikes Peak Parade' which runs over two stages of the Eifel Rallye Festival. For the two-time German Rally Champion, it will be the eighth Festival participation in a row. "I was part of the Festival from the beginning and would not want to miss a single year. It is fantastic to see the enthusiasm of the people who spend their holidays to see us and our old rally cars." Demuth enjoys mixing with the crowd: "If I can manage the 150 metres from the Audi service to the start ramp in less than thirty minutes, then I am really fast", says Demuth with a smile.
While all the cars taking part in the main event and the Pikes Peak Parade have to either be or resemble a famous rally car from the sport's rich history, the organisers also welcome a selected group of cars who are just there for the show. These 'course-opening cars' organised by Jürgen Lenarz act as a warm-up and their owners usually drive these cars in style. Last year, Michael Rausch and his Opel Ascona B were the crowd pleasers and won the 'Sideways Star' awarded for the most exciting sideways action. "We are very proud that we are allowed to present our Ascona in such a great environment and among famous drivers which have been my role models when I was young. We want to show the fans spectacular motorsport and if we can defend our title we would be very pleased."
One of Rausch's challengers is Sascha Winter driving a 2006 BMW M3 CSL. "For me, the Eifel Rallye Festival stands for a light-hearted, spectacular and simply great time in rallying's history. Everyone drives his own pace and it is very exciting, varied and entertaining for the crowds. We are proud to be a part of it." The managing director of proWIN International will especially look forward to the 'proWIN Hilgerath' stage held on Friday night where he will make his rear-wheel drive BMW fly and try to take the 'Sideways Star' crown. "I do not know if we can beat Michael Rausch when it comes to sideways driving but one thing is for sure: We will not be driving a racing line", says Winter.
Order now: pre-sale for tickets and programmes has started
Spectators who are keen to visit the Eifel Rallye Festival can obtain their weekend 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 weekend tickets and programmes is open until July 06, 2018 from http://www.eifel-rallye-festival.de/en/rallye-shop.html.
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