Celebrating forty years of the World Rally Championship

The theme for the third running of the ADAC Eifel Rallye Festival is the landmark reached next year by the World Rally Championship that was launched in 1973. Thus the emphasis of the weekend’s show will be the cars and drivers that have starred in rallying during that period. It is fitting that the Patron of the Festival should again be double World Champion, Walter Röhrl.

The Eifel Rallye Festival is the biggest event in the world to focus entirely on rally cars and rally drivers. For the last two years, it has attracted tens of thousands of spectators to watch some 130-plus twentieth century rally cars being driven at speed over closed special stages but not in direct competition with each other. The whole ethos of the event as well as the concept of restoration and use of old rally cars has sprung from ‘Slowly Sideways’, an informal group founded by legendary rally photographer – and a keen owner of old rally cars – Reinhard Klein. Together with the MSC Daun and with the support of the ADAC, the Festival has rapidly become THE place for anyone interested in seeing older rally cars driven on stages as well as meeting some of the stars that drove them in the past and are still driving them today.

The city of Daun and the surrounding area of the Vulkaneifel region are completely taken over by the Festival for three days. The cars are on show in town when they are not driving the stages and there are many rally-related activities going on there during the three days such as film shows and autograph sessions. Out on the stages, most of which are tarmac there is plenty of action including one night stage. Also retained for next year is the BOSCH Super Stage that is 100% gravel and provides a contrast for drivers and spectators alike. With a ‘shakedown’ stage on the Thursday when members of the press and media get a chance to sample rally co-driving and more stages on the Friday and Saturday, there is plenty to see and do.

The organising team is headed up by Peter Schlömer, the chairman of the MSC Daun with Christian Geistdörfer who was Röhrl’s co-driver in those championship years and Reinhard Klein whose Slowly Sideways group provides the majority of the cars. This is what they had to say about next year’s event.

Peter Schlömer : “Daun and the whole Vulkaneifel region are delighted by our event and everyone is already looking forward to the 2013 edition. The new BOSCH Super Stage proved to be popular with competitors and fans so this gravel stage will be held again in 2013. However, we will make a few improvements to the rally route that we shall announce in the Spring. Apart from that I would recommend to those people who plan to come to the Eifel Rallye Festival to be quick as the hotels in Daun will soon start to fill up.”

Christian Geistdörfer : “Walter and I are really looking forward to the 2013 Eifel Rallye Festival. This is an event that is truly dedicated to the participants and rally fans. Last year we had 40,000 spectators watching nearly 160 historic rally cars and who celebrated a great rally party despite imperfect weather conditions. Be assured that we will do everything possible to make the Eifel Rallye Festival even more spectacular in 2013.”

Reinhard Klein : “The World Championship will be celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2013 and we would like to use the Eifel Rallye Festival to congratulate it in our own way. We will put on show the amazing variety of cars that have competed in the WRC and try to have as many different car models as possible on the starting line. Our focus will be largely on the fascinating cars of the Group 4 and Group B eras from 1973 until the end of 1986. Hopefully we will be able to break last year’s record where we had 31 car makes and 76 car models present.”

Two further points of interest.
For anyone contemplating a trip to the Eifel Rallye Festival, they should contact the Tourist-Information Daun where there are English-speaking staff.
Tel.: +49 (0) 6592 / 95 13 0
E-mail :
Web site :

The official DVD from the 2012 Eifel Rallye Festival with its ‘Safari Rally’ theme is now available. This has everything including some historic Safari footage from Helmut Deimel’s archive and interviews with rally stars amongst whom are Walter Röhrl, Björn Waldegård and Stig Blomqvist. It also has additional material that shows footage from all 160 cars that tackled the stages. The DVD is available from for €19.95.