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ADAC Eifel Rallye Festival 2022 – A full house in the 'Home of historic motorsport’

  • A full house in the 'Home of historic motorsport’
  • Thierry Neuville: “A weekend full of fun”
  • €5,100 collected for the charity Nestwärme e.V.

A great atmosphere in Daun!
After an involuntary break of two years, everyone was finally back: the participants, the organisers, the many helpers and the numerous fans. Only the Eifel weather turned a new page, as if it wanted to compensate everyone for the missing years The tenth edition of the Eifel Rallye Festival passed without any rain at all.
There were high spirits among all participants as finally they could celebrate the anniversary Festival together. The rolling rally museum once again became an international class reunion of the entire rally scene. It was impressive to see. The spectator car parks at the stages and in Daun were virtually bursting at the seams, the Rally Mile was jam-packed over the entire weekend and, at the autograph session, shortly before its official end, the fans were still queuing in a line that was well over one hundred yards long.

"Even after a two-year break, the necessary 'cogs' all meshed successfully again straight away," said a delighted manager, Otmar Anschütz, from the organising MSC Daun. "The cooperation with the licensing authorities, the municipalities, the village communities with their fire brigades and clubs, the ambulance services, the supporting motorsport clubs and last but not least the approximately eight hundred helpers on the festival weekend – it all worked perfectly. What made me particularly happy was that everyone had a smile on their face. In addition, the field of participants was of a truly high quality and variety – I could not have wished for it to have been better even in my dreams."

Reinhard Klein from Cologne, who is the man responsible for putting together the starting field, also drew a positive conclusion: "With this Festival, we want to give the history of rallying a home – and over the last ten events we have succeeded more and more in doing so. Over the years, and this is also confirmed by our participants, the quality of the vehicles has also become better and better." The starting field of the maximum possible one hundred and fifty-five cars comprising originals and faithful replicas of the old rally cars thus forming a perfect cross-section of more than fifty years of the history of this spectacular sport. The fans were able to enjoy a comprehensive documentation of vehicles from five decades on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the World Rally Championship. The palette ranged from DAF 66, Ford Escort RS1600, the most diverse Opel models or the early Toyota Corolla to the Group B bolides so popular with the fans. For the finale, the WRC cars of the recent past also drove on the demonstration tracks.

On Thursday evening, the Rally Mile traditionally turns into an open-air cinema. The interviews with the rally stars are embedded in moving and evocative images by cult filmmaker Helmut Deimel. Host Markus Stier, who led through the evening in an entertaining and informative way, called Deimel the 'Steven Spielberg' of the rally scene. Hyundai's WRC star Thierry Neuville was at the start this time in the Peugeot 306 Maxi Kit-Car: "In terms of sound, this is probably the best rally car ever built". The Belgian added, "Finally it worked out for me to come back here, with my team I'm just having a whole weekend of fun here." Asked about the current not easy situation in the current WRC, he replied with a wink, "Then I'll just have to win here in the Eifel." That's not easy in an event without any time classification, but Neuville drove his way into the hearts of the fans during his appearance in the 'little screamer'.
Simo Lampinen, a works driver for Lancia, Peugeot, Saab and Triumph between 1960 and 1979, is also known to many as the long-time director of the 1000 Lakes Rally in his native Finland. At the Festival, he sat alongside Fred Walter for a few stages in the 1975 Lancia Beta Coupe, the car with which he competed in the 1975 Acropolis Rally. Lampinen has lived in Hamburg for fifteen years, "but not because of the Reeperbahn but because our son moved there," he explained with a smile. "This Festival is so inspiring, Daun is currently the centre of the rally world." Kalle Grundel, who drove for VW, Peugeot, Ford and Lancia in the 1970s and 1980s, won the German Rally Championship in 1985 in the 205 T16. He then drove a 309 GTi for Peugeot in Germany. "Although the 309 was only front-wheel drive, that period in Germany was a great time for me – I always like to think back on it. Here I'm especially happy to meet up with so many friends again." And with a glance at Stig Blomqvist, the 1984 World Champion, he added with a wink: "If Group B hadn't been banned back then, either Stig or I would have been World Champion in 1987." Blomqvist grinned about the dangerousness of Group B cars, especially in case of fire: "If you see in the mirror that it's smoking, you have enough time to stop and get out."
For me, it's always great to come here," said Jochi Kleint. "There are so many people here who enjoy the earlier rally cars, that's exactly why I love coming to the Festival." However, his participation in the Ford Capri that Walter Röhrl drove in the 1972 Olympia Rally came to an early end. "A part of the cardan shaft broke. We had ordered it in England as a precaution, but it didn't arrive in time for the Festival." To the delight of the fans, he subsequently drove the Opel Ascona B in which he became European champion in 1979.
When Lofty Drews came on stage, presenter Markus Stier addressed him in English. To the surprise of the many fans, the now 82-year-old answered in German and announced: "I am German". His parents emigrated to the colony of German East Africa, now Tanzania. He was born there and later started his co-driving career. In his first appearance in the World Rally Championship, he won the Safari Rally in 1973 with Shekhar Mehta. For the start with the 'reborn' Lancia Stratos with which he finished second in the 1975 Safari together with Sandro Munari, he travelled especially from his new home in Australia to the Eifel. "And at the airport I started speaking German again after more than forty years." On the finale, he then told us, "I had a fantastic weekend with so many nice people. I made a lot of new friends, so I'm proud to say I'm a Daunian."
Fabrizia Pons, now the most successful co-driver in international rallying, had some problems switching into 'Eifel-mode' at the beginning. "So far, I don't know any events without time classification and such a relaxed way of dealing with things. But slowly I've understood the system and I think it's wonderful." She ended her promising career as a driver because she could not find the money to continue. "In the end, it was a good thing because my place is on the co-driver side." Curious side note is that Michèle Mouton, with whom she was so successful in the Audi Quattro, started her career on the co-driver side. "Fortunately, we both ended up on the right side.”
One of the most unlucky drivers of the festival weekend was Harri Toivonen. In order to shoot film for a documentary about him and his brother Henri, he travelled to the Festival with a TV production company and started in the Lancia Delta S4. The Group B car broke down during the shakedown and then completely refused to work at the start of the first stage. "Nevertheless, it was a brilliant weekend here in Daun," said the Finn happily.

Winners even without timed stages
Winners are also crowned at the Eifel Rallye Festival without recourse to timekeeping. At the finale of the big rally party on Saturday evening, there were again many beaming faces. Six unique prizes were presented. The 'Sideways Star' as 'cross-driving' advance car was awarded to the Dutchmen Gerard and Mike Stacy in a Ford RS2000 MK2 and was presented to them by Matthias Kahle. Kalle Grundel stepped up. To hand the 'Best replication' prize to Frank Unger/Thorsten Scheffner for their Lancia Delta Integrale 16V.
Lofty Drews presented Ezio Lolli and Alessandro Grillo with the 'Best original' prize for for their Lancia Stratos. The faces of Helmut Steiner and Hanna Wadlegger were particularly beaming since their Toyota Corolla WRC was chosen by the rally stars present and they received the 'Champion's Choice' award from Stig Blomqvist.
The prize for the 'Most Beautiful Car' was awarded to Franz Zehetner/Martin Strobl by Harri Toivonen. They drove a prototype Alpine Renault A310 V6 from 1977. Fabrizia Pons presented a special prize to Fred and Eva Walter. Simo Lampinen was this time co-pilot with Fred Walter in exactly the same Lancia Beta Coupé with which he had competed at the Acropolis in 1975. This was Fred Walter's tenth start at the Festival.

A collection of €5,100 for chosen charity, Nestwärme e.V.
There were beaming faces at the cheque presentation during the Shakedown in Bodenbach. The auctioned rides with Stig Blomqvist, Thierry Neuville, Niki Schelle and Wolf-Dieter Ihle resulted in the sum of €4,800. Otmar Anschütz, Chairman of the organising MSC Daun e.V. in the ADAC, handed it over to Petra Moske, Chairwoman and founder of Nestwärme e.V. in Trier. This association supports families with seriously ill or terminally ill children. "We are very happy about this huge sum, we will use it to support our project to build a hospice for children," said a delighted Petra Moske, who had travelled to the event together with Leonie Moske, project manager at Nestwärme e.V.. As a spectator at the cheque presentation, a fan present spontaneously decided to increase the donation amount by 300 Euros. A total of €5,100 will now be transferred to Nestwärme. After the €50,000 euros donated by Festival participants and fans last year for the victims of the flood disaster, this is further proof of the Festival community's willingness to donate.
In the photo from left: Otmar Anschütz (Head of Organisation Eifel Rallye Festival), Petra Moske (Chairwoman Nestwärme e.V. Trier) Stig Blomqvist (World Rally Champion 1984), Leonie Moske (Project Manager Nestwärme e.V.) and Daniel Schümann (bidder for a ride with Stig Blomqvist in the Audi Sport Quattro S1E2).

Anniversary for Kahle
During the shakedown the experts did the maths and it was right to the day. Exactly twenty years ago, on July 21st, 2002, Matthias Kahle and his co-driver Peter Göbel finished second in a Škoda Octavia WRC at the ADAC Eifel Rally as a round of the German Rally Championship. The points thus gained were enough to secure the title even before the last event of the series. While Kahle already had several titles under his belt, it was Škoda and Göbel's first year working together that led them straight to great success. With a total of seven titles, Kahle is the record-breaking German champion and has a very special connection to the Eifel. He won the last DRM edition of the Eifel Rally in 2010. At the Eifel Rallye Festival that followed, he is one of the crowd favourites when he drifts over the Eifel stages in the 1977 Škoda 130 RS. With eight starts, he is also one of the most loyal participants.

Journalists: Large crowds from a total of twenty nations
Besides representatives of the writing and photographing association, TV stations and radio stations also reported from the Eifel Rallye Festival. A total of ninety-six journalists from twenty nations are now broadcasting their impressions of the double anniversary to the world.

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