ADAC Eifel Rallye Festival 2019 - A festive occasion for drivers and fans
- Isolde Holderied: "You have to go there
- Nicky Grist and Louis Moya: Two co-driver legends in Daun
- Claus Aulenbacher: The rebirth of a Group 4 Lancia Stratos
Not only is the entry list for the ADAC Eifel Rallye Festival (July 18th -20th, 2019) full to bursting, but many former drivers from works rally teams are increasingly being drawn to the world-famous event in the Eifel region. Former World Rally Champion Stig Blomqvist from Sweden will be there again, as will two World Rally Champion co-drivers, Nicky Grist 1993 (GB) and Luis Moya 1990 & 1992 (Spain). The multiple British Rally Champion, Jimmy McRae, was so enthusiastic when he was at the event last year that he wanted to be there again and will be making the journey from Scotland in 2019. Jochi Kleint is also drawn to the Eifel once again while Harald Demuth and Matthias Kahle are already regular guests.
After his Festival debut in 2017, Kalle Grundel was delighted by the experience and the Swedish WRC driver, who won the German Rally Championship in 1985 at the wheel of a Peugeot 205 T16, said: " So many memories came rushing back of my time in the DRM. It's really fantastic here in Daun with an amazing atmosphere." It is good to know that the "Lion Tamer" has fulfilled his promise to come back for this year.
Isolde Holderied: "You have to go there".
"Everybody told me that you have to come to Daun so now it's time to do just that and I'm really looking forward to it", says two-time World Champion, Isolde Holderied, as she looks forward impatiently to her first participation in the Festival. She is particularly excited at the 'class reunion' of rally drivers from her era. "There will be so many drivers and co-drivers I know who I will meet there, and also all the friends and fans who were around during the time I was driving". The Toyota brand ambassador will have her Festival debut made even more attractive by the Geipel family: "I will be allowed to drive their Corolla WRC, and it's exactly the same car in which I started in the Monte Carlo Rally in 1999. The Corolla was my favourite car anyway, it was simply fantastic to drive. I'm really looking forward to seeing it again." In addition to her two women's World Championship titles, Holderied was also able to carry off another remarkable feat. She entered the mother of all rallies, the Monte Carlo Rally, and came to the finish six times. And every time she did that, she won the 'Coupe des Dames' as the fastest lady.
"There are still some very exciting discussions going on with other great drivers, but as always, we won't announce them until everything has been clarified and confirmed," says Organisation Manager Otmar Anschütz, thus increasing the tension for the fans.
Claus Aulenbacher: The rebirth of a Lancia Stratos
The Eifel Rallye Festival thrives on the idea of preserving the history of rallying. "That's why only original or faithfully reproduced vehicles are allowed to participate," explains Reinhard Klein (Cologne), the head of 'Slowly Sideways', the Europe-wide association of owners of historic rally vehicles, who is responsible for pulling together the list of entries. Claus Aulenbacher from Mainz has been in the possession of a faithfully reproduced Lancia Stratos Group 4 for quite some time and has previously said that "to get close to a Stratos with history is on the one hand almost impossible as well as being very expensive". Now he has one of the very sought-after and rare originals - but the way he achieved that was very exciting and rather long-winded. On May 24th, 2014, a dozen or so original rally cars in a private collection near Marseille went up in flames during a garage fire. When Aulenbacher first saw the remains of the car with the Stratos specialist Udo Sparwald he said that "One could only guess from the remaining skeleton that it was a Stratos,". He bought the wreck and the lengthy and costly business of reconstruction began. The engine block and transmission were able to be used again after a complete renovation and also the pedal box is still original. The sheet metal work that was needed was carried out by Lancia specialists in Italy, and even the search for the correct blue paint took weeks.
Aulenbacher spent long hours in research and cast his net wide throughout the World to find original parts. "A single original switch from the dashboard cost me € 250, while for an original Stradale steering wheel one must expend at least € 4,000 ". Bolt by bolt and spare part by spare part it all gradually came together. "During the research I got to know a lot of people who had had something to do with this car, so I got a lot of pictures that helped us to restore it to its exact original specification". Today this Stratos is once again in the identical condition that it was at the start of the Lana Rally in Italy in June 1976. The driver, Gianni Besozzi, had won the Lana Rally with his very first use of the car in June 1975 and the combination won again in 1976. The sporting career of the car ended in May 1982 and it was then retired until it nearly perished in the fire of 2014.
Aulenbacher laughs when he remembers how it was: "Fortunately I didn't know what to expect at the beginning of the reconstruction. I had absolutely misjudged the length of time and the cost involved. But the result is all the more beautiful for that.". At the Eifel Rallye Festival, he will present the 'reborn' Group 4 Stratos on selected stages while on the remaining stages he will climb into his first Stratos. In summer, the Stratos will also have a reunion with the place it first made its debut. "At the Stratos meeting in San Remo, I had contact with the organisers of the Lana Rallye so that now this summer I'll start there with the 'Blue' as a zero car."
From now on: order all documents in advance
As usual, all the important information about the Eifel Rally Festival 2019 will be contained in the comprehensive programme. This collector's piece contains detailed descriptions of the individual special stages, the designated spectator points, all the location maps and, of course, the participant lists plus all the details of the cars presented in both words and pictures.
During the Festival, spectators are welcome to visit the Rally Mile in Daun free of charge. However for attendance at the special stages, there are a range of tickets available to spectators. They go from a single ticket for the shakedown on Thursday to a weekend ticket covering all stages for all three Festival days.
Starting on June 30, 2019, programmes and spectator tickets can be ordered from the rally shop at http://www.eifel-rallye-festival.de/Rallye-Shop.html. Shipping to countries other than Germany but within the EU is also possible. From July 8, 2019, the documents will set out on their journey to customers which will give everyone sufficient time to prepare fully for their visit to the Festival.
Eifel Rallye Festival - Time Table
|15:00 - 19:00 hrs||Shakedown at the 'Maubach Arena' near Hörscheid|
|from 20:30 hrs||Welcome Evening in the Rally Mile, Open Air Cinema with filmmaker Helmut Deimel|
|From 08:00 hrs||Scrutineering in the Rally Mile|
|11:00 - 12:00 hrs||Autograph Session with the VIP drivers|
|From 14:20 hrs||Super Stage with jump, water splash and gravel action|
|From 19.30 hrs||proWIN Hilgerath stage in Sarmersbach at night|
|08:30 - 17:00 hrs||Tarmac Stages in the Vulkaneifel region|
|inbetween||Rally Mile in Daun with various attractions|
|From 19:30 hrs||Rally Party & Prize Giving|
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