A bevy of champions

The list of eminent participants for the Eifel Rallye Festival in July has increased yet again.

The World Rally Champions from 1984 and 1985, Stig Blomqvist and Timo Salonen will be joining previous holders of that title, Walter Röhrl (1980 and 1982) and Hannu Mikkola (1983) to demonstrate classic rally cars during the three-day Festival. They will join Sandro Munari, European Rally Champion in 1973 and winner of the 1977 FIA Cup for Rally Drivers that preceded the World Championship title, and two more European champions from 1989 and 1990, Yves Loubet and Robert Droogmans.

All of these champions will drive cars that featured in their rally career. In particular, Salonen will drive the very first example of the Peugeot 205 T16 with which he won his title and a Fiat 131 Abarth similar to the one in which he won his first WRC event in 1977. The Fiat will also be driven at some time during the weekend by Röhrl who won his first World title in such a car. Blomqvist won his World title driving an Audi Quattro but for the Festival he will drive the actual Ford Sierra RS Cosworth in which he finished fifth on the 1988 Portugal Rally. Munari will be driving his original Lancia Stratos in which he won the 1977 Monte Carlo Rally thus completing his hat-trick of Stratos wins on that event.

In addition, two multiple German Rally Champions will be among the 150-plus crews taking part in the Festival. These are Harald Demuth, German Champion twice in the 1980s with an Audi Quattro, and Matthias Kahle who has won the title no less than seven times using Toyotas, Seats and Skodas.

Also a multiple champion is John Buffum who won eleven North American titles in his rally career with Triumph TRs and Audi Quattros while Andrew Cowan's claim to fame is as a double winner of the London-Sydney (1968 & 1969), five consecutive victories on the Australian Southern Cross Rally (1972 to 1976), winner of the Ivory Coast Rally in 1977 and of the world's longest rally, the Vuelta a la America del Sud of 1978 - a 28,592 km marathon.

The Festival's theme this year is "originality" and it has set a new record by attracting fifty-five totally original rally cars to the market town of Daun in the heart of the Vulkaneifel. "I had hoped to attract that many original cars but I never believed that it would actually come true", says Reinhard Klein, the founder of Slowly Sideways.

Eifel Rallye Festival 2015 - The Schedule

Thursday, 23.07.2015
15:30 - 19:30 h, Shakedown at the ‚Mantaloch' in Brück
from 21:00 h, Open Air Cinema with films by Helmut Deimel

Friday, 24.07.2015
09:00 - 13:30 h, Scrutineering, Rally Mile in Daun
11:00 - 12:00 h, Autograph session with many star drivers
from 14:20 h, all-gravel Bosch Super Stage with water splash, jump and great sideways action
from 19.00 h, night stage Hilgerath at Sarmersbach incl. the new 'Festival Parade' for very precious rally cars

Saturday, 25.07.2015
08:00 - 17:00 h, tarmac stages in the Vulkaneifel region
All day, Rally Mile in Daun with many attractions
From 19:00 h, Rally Party in Daun