The Stars begin to twinkle
The organisers of the Eifel Rallye Festival are happy to announce their first star drivers for the 2015 event. These are Hannu Mikkola and his co-driver for so many years, Arne Hertz. This Finnish/Swedish pairing first shared a rally car in 1976 and together they were successful for over thirteen years in the World Rally Championship. Their biggest success was to win the WRC driver titles in 1983 with an Audi Quattro thus making them the first World Champions driving a four- wheel drive car.
On the Eifel Rallye Festival, Mikkola/Hertz will drive another car from their career together. This will be a Mercedes 450 SLC 5.0 owned and run on the Eifel Rallye Festival by Mercedes Classic. With this type of car, they won the 1979 Côte d’Ivoire Rally and thus finished as runners-up to the driver titles in the first WRC season in which these titles were established.
Mikkola/Hertz will share this car with one of their former Mercedes team-mates, Andrew Cowan who, during his career at the wheel of a Mercedes, had won the Vuelta a la America del Sud of 1978 – a 28,592 km marathon in South America – in a similar 450 SLC. Not long afterwards, Cowan founded Mitsubishi Ralliart Europe that, during the 1990s, became a major force within the World Rally Championship winning the WRC Manufacturer title in 1998 and four WRC Driver titles with Tommi Mäkinen between 1996 and 1999.
Christian Geistdörfer who is responsible for the marketing of the Eifel Rallye Festival commented that: “Apart from Mikkola, Hertz and Cowan, there are several other stars that have already confirmed their participation. We will announce them at a later date. Thus everyone who would like to attend our Festival, should buy his ticket and reserve his hotel room soon. I promise you that the entry list for the 2015 event will be the best ever in the history of the Eifel Rallye Festival.”
Entry list fully booked!
Since opening its entry list in mid-February, the Eifel Rallye Festival has received well over 200 entries from all over Europe. It thus proved necessary to close the entry list earlier than had originally been intended. The official date for the closure would have been June 1st.
Reinhard Klein, the boss of Slowly Sideways, says: “Over the last few weeks, the numbers of entries that we have received just continued to grow, but we are limited to only 150 starters so in order to be fair, we had to do something. It is a great feeling for everyone involved in organising the Festival to see how popular our unique event has become. We are especially pleased about the high number of international entries that indicate how well accepted our event has become throughout Europe. But on the other hand it is also hard work. It hurts a lot that I have to refuse so many entries. That’s no fun at all. But with the popularity of our event, it was inevitable that we had to close the entry list early since the waiting list is now more than full.”
When selecting the entries, Reinhard Klein followed this year’s theme “originality”. “We had a very close look at all cars and this year we had more than ever an eye on the originality of the cars. The ones permitted to start are either the original cars themselves or very nicely made ‘clones’ which are built in exactly the same way as the original.”
Tickets are available from:
For hotel reservations, please contact the tourist information in Daun http://www.eifel-rallye-festival.de/en/spectators.html