ADAC Eifel Rallye Festival 2022 – The anticipation is swelling
ADAC Eifel Rallye Festival 2022 – The anticipation is swelling
- A successful start to the fiftieth anniversary of the WRC
- More top teams coming to the Eifel in July
- Spectacular on the road: the stage-opening squad
At the Portuguese round of the World Rally Championship, there was a foretaste of what fans will be able to experience in full at the ADAC Eifel Rallye Festival from July 21st to 23rd, 2022. The FIA celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of its World Rally Championship with many celebrities and champions from the WRC’s history. In the middle of it all, there were selected historic vehicles from Slowly Sideways taken from those that will appear in the Eifel. These sixteen cars and their crews ran in front of the WRC entrants on the three spectator stages. Their demonstration provided the thousands of fans with a visual and acoustic gala performance. Five teams were then allowed to contest the legendary Fafe stage with its giant jump. They did this immediately before the WRC cars and their performance included live TV coverage plus a finish line interview. "Fafe, that is sacred rally ground, a very great classic," beamed Fred Walter afterwards, who was there in his 1975 Lancia Stratos with co-driver, Klaus Hucke. "It was a unique experience to be part of this anniversary. The enthusiasm for our sport was huge and, even on the liaison stages, there were fans everywhere." Enthusiasm was also voiced by Hyundai's Belgian WRC star, Thierry Neuville: "It was fantastic that the old cars were there this weekend and were able to excite the fans. It should be like that at every WRC round."
This appearance at a WRC round cranks up the anticipation that is building for the anniversary festival in the Volcanic Eifel. At this, the tenth edition of the biggest rolling rally museum, the focus is on the fiftieth anniversary of the WRC. The entry list had to be closed early, as the maximum possible of one hundred and fifty rally cars was quickly reached and now it is the waiting list of reserves that is bulging. "The fans can look forward to an exciting and varied entry with contemporary cars drawn from five decades of the World Rally Championship," says Reinhard Klein (Cologne), who is responsible for the composition of the starting field. In Portugal, the veteran WRC photographer coordinated the entries of the historic demonstration drives for the FIA. One thing is already certain: If you want to experience the complete history of fifty years of the WRC live, you should plan to come to Daun in July.
More top teams at the start
A special appearance in Daun will be made by the Finn, Harri Toivonen, with his original co-driver from the 1980s, Cedric Wrede. Their participation at the Festival will be in a Lancia Delta S4 and they will be accompanied by two TV teams, each of which will shoot a film about Harri and his brother Henri, who was killed in an accident with an S4 in 1986.
Driving at the Festival will almost be a home game for World Championship star Thierry Neuville. The Belgian will not have far to travel to drive a Peugeot 306 Maxi to the delight of the fans.
Fabrizia Pons, who used to be Michèle Mouton's co-driver, will be celebrating a special reunion. As the driver of an Opel Kadett GT/E from the Italian tuner, Conrero Squadra Corse, she finished third in class and ninth overall at the 1978 Sanremo Rally. Dutchman Ton Scheepers bought this Kadett, restored it to its original 1978 condition and is now letting Fabrizia take the wheel again. "It's a strange feeling to be allowed to sit in this car again. I have a lot of respect for it, but also a lot of anticipation for our reacquaintance," explains Pons. "But most of all I'm looking forward to a weekend where I'll meet a lot of friends."
Kenyan Mike Kirkland is a self-confessed fan of the Eifel Rallye Festival and drives here whenever possible. This time, he will be behind the wheel of the Nissan 240RS with which he contested the 1983 Safari Rally as a works driver. Three of these original Nissans were found in Kenya in 2008 and completely restored. The owner of this one, Achim Loth, will guide Kirkland around the Eifel stages.
The Group 2 Toyota Corolla that Roger Andersson will bring to Daun has a unique history. It was with this car, then driven by Hannu Mikkola, that his late father Ove Andersson celebrated his first WRC success as head of the newly founded Toyota Team Europe (TTE) at the 1000 Lakes Rally in Finland in 1975.
"We are in promising talks with other top drivers and car owners, and I am sure that we will soon be able to present our fans with more highly regarded participants", organisation manager Otmar Anschütz (Daun) is pleased to say.
Spectacular on the road: the stage-opening squad
They are perhaps the most ‘Slowly Sideways’ at the Festival and certainly do whet the appetite of the spectators for more of the same. The stage-opening squad, led by Jürgen Lenarz, vice-chairman of the organising MSC Daun, gets the fans in the mood for the historic field that comes after them. Their vehicles do not have to comply with the strict historical rules of the main field, but they do guarantee a visual and acoustic treat.
Regular guest among the 'Quertreibern' is Sascha Winter, who drives a BMW M3 with his co Christian Schwindt. "I appreciate the relaxed and beautiful atmosphere of the Festival. It is unique that cars from all nations and eras can come together here and present a spectacle that is no longer seen in rallying." The Prowin managing director is looking forward to the event. "Not only do I get my money's worth as a fan of historic rally cars, but I can also enjoy the atmosphere of the Festival as an active participant. The fun lies in the fact that, without looking at the clock or a classification, one can drive in a way that is as spectacular as possible for the spectators. For rally fans, it's a ‘must’ to come to Daun to experience up close the action of these rarities." There is little one can add to that.
The Eifel Rallye Festival - Timetable
15:00 - 19:00
Shakedown in Bodenbach
Welcome evening in the Rally Mile Open-air rally cinema with cult filmmaker Helmut Deimel
From 08:00 hrs
Vehicle scrutineering, Rally Mile in Daun
11:00 - 12:00
Autograph session with many VIPs and stars
Peugeot Super Stage with gravel sections between Demerath and Steineberg
proWIN spectator circuit Demerath-Winkel at night
08:30 - 17:00 h
asphalt tests in the volcanic Eifel
Rally Mile in Daun with many attractions
Rally party with prizes and awards