Permanent guests at the Eifel Rally Festival - Andreas Hoppe
Andreas Hoppe has been a permanent guest in the Eifel since 2007. Until 1998, he was on the road at best-time rallies. "Due to the responsibility for my company, I then gave up the active sport and looked for another opportunity. After a tip-off, I took a look at the Slowlys in the Eifel. Then it was clear to me very quickly: this is it. I understood the spirit in the Eifel around the preservation of rally history. In addition, I met and re-met many friends there. And the nice thing about it: the many long conversations are not only about motorsport, they are also about the family, the dog or the whole world. That is also the only disadvantage of the Eifel Rally Festival: the weekend is far too short for all the good conversations. For the many fans, the cars are important. Through their diversity, their character, the shapes or the sound, you can experience the history of the sport live. The celebrity participants are then the cherry on top of the great cake.
The Eifel has given me several highlights so far. In 2010, we exhibited the original Safari Opel Ascona 400 from 1983, freshly brought back from Africa and unrestored. When we unloaded it from the container with all the extra parts, it was like a huge toy shop for big kids. At the festival premiere in 2011, it was almost completely restored, but not yet running. In 2012, in keeping with the Safari theme, we were able to show it in action. And in 2022, Aaltonen's co-pilot at the time, Lofty Drews, returned to his former operational unit. By a lucky coincidence, I was recently able to acquire the original Opel Ascona B in Group 2 that Jochi Kleint drove when he won the European Rally Championship in 1979. In 2022, we had it with us for the first time and Jochi Kleint drove a few stages with it. For me, in this particular case, the co-driver's perspective was also fascinating.