Matthias Kahle at the Eifel Rallye Festival

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One hundred fifty-five historic competition cars bring the history of rallying to life, including five Skoda cars.

Everyone is anticipating the tenth annual festival, which will be held on the last weekend of July. It will be held in and around the area of Daun, which serves both as the starting point and the finishing point of the Eifel Rallye. Following a hiatus of two years, the organizers, the drivers and teams competing in the event, and the approximately 40,000 fans anticipated to attend are all excited about the event's return to its former glory. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the World Rally Championship, giving us a unique and worthwhile reason to rejoice. Matthias Kahle, the seven-time German rally champion, will chase a Skoda 130 RS across the demonstration routes and present it on the rally mile in Daun as Skoda AUTO Germany celebrates its anniversary. In addition, the Czech manufacturer will be represented by two FABIA WRCs that are privately owned, as well as a 130 LR and a FELICIA KIT CAR.

Come back to a location that has seen a lot of success: Matthias Kahle, a long-time Skoda rally driver and the current brand ambassador for the company, has a lot of fond recollections from his time spent in the Eifel. When the German Rally Championship (DRM) held another round in Daun, also the Eifel Rallye Festival's starting and finishing point, the Saxony native finished on the podium six times. Daun is also the starting and finishing point of the Eifel Rallye Festival. Even more impressively, he won the competition overall in 2003 and 2010. At the Skoda 130 RS wheel, which he will drive again this weekend, Kahle charms the crowd along the route with hearty drifts year after year. This is one of the reasons why the seven-time DRM champion is always thrilled to start at the Eifel Rallye Festival.

There is little doubt that Kahle will once again have access to an appropriate piece of athletic gear. The Skoda 130 RS is one of the most successful vehicles in the more than 120-year history of the company's motorsports division. The greatest victories of the rear-wheel drive, also known as the "Porsche of the East," include a victory in the manufacturers' classification of the European Touring Car Championship in 1981, as well as a double victory in the category of up to 1,300 cc displacement in the 1977 Monte Carlo Rally. Both of these victories came in the same year. Even though the Eifel Rallye Festival is not concerned with the fastest times, Kahle can uninhibitedly demonstrate the capabilities of the 130 RS and race through the tests at an actual competitive speed because the majority of the newly selected demonstration roads are restricted to public traffic.

The same holds true for the other Skoda privately owned vehicles and may be viewed at the Eifel Rallye Festival. These cars have also been a part of the history of the World Rally Championship, which was first held in 1972. Fans have a lot to look forward to, one of which is that there will be two FABIA WRCs. These World Rally Cars were developed using the regular Skoda FABIA RS from the very first generation as their foundation. While the five-door hatchback model had a 96 kW (130 hp) TDI diesel engine, the FABIA WRC has a turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine with a displacement of two liters, 221 kW (300 horsepower), and a maximum torque of 600 Nm. This Skoda engine is designed specifically for rally racing. At the 2003 Rally Germany, the Skoda FABIA WRC made its debut in the World Rally Championship.

In addition, a Skoda 130 LR from 1987 can be found in the Eifel. Because of its unique characteristics—namely, rear-wheel drive, a displacement of 1.3 liters, and the absence of a turbocharger—during the Group B era, it was regarded as a genuine underdog. Despite this, the Skoda 130 LR could shine with successes, including the following: Together with his co-pilot, Borivoj Motl, Ladislav Krecek finished sixth in the Sanremo World Championship Rally in 1986. That same year, Ladislav Krecek also won his class in the British RAC Rally. The example, which will make its debut at this year's Eifel Rallye Festival, is a Group A car that was brought into the former German Democratic Republic by Eberhard Uth, who won many rally championships. Jens Roth won over 150 class victories with the four-door sedan in the numerous rally series in which he competed between 1991 and 1994. In addition to that, he gave the vehicle its current Group B configuration.

The Skoda FELICIA kit car from 1997 is one of the highlights of the Skoda collection in Daun. During 1996 and 1997, this original works car was driven by the Czech driver Pavel Sibera as he competed in several different rallies. In addition, the reigning world rally champion from Sweden, Stig Blomqvist, has taken a seat in this car with front-wheel drive. At the Rally Australia in 1997, the final factory run of the Skoda FELICIA Kit Car was successfully completed. As a result of Sibera's triumph in the A6 class, the Czech manufacturer was awarded the vice world championship title in the so-called KIT CARS category. After that, the German WS Motorsport team got its hands on the four-door car. In this instance, the car's present owner, Matthias Kohler, competed in the German Rally Championship with it.