The long-awaited famous Hunsrück Rallye is back in a completely new format – and it is an enormous success for drivers and fans.
Long ago – only few of us can remember – in 1968 a rallye emerged in the south-west of Germany. It was a special rallye, being organized until 2000 when it merged with Rallye Germany and one year later became an official WRC run. The fine roads in the Hunsrück region were driven on by some of the most notable names in German rallye history like Walter Röhrl, Armin Schwarz, Harald Demuth or Matthias Kahle, just to mention a few. Rallye fans and enthusiasts from all over the world went to heart of the Hunsrück to spectate one of their favorite events of the calendar.
But you could not simply let a such a diamond of a rallye disappear forever. Especially the „wild young ones“ pushed the idea forward by managing all the pre-rallye issues like obtaining permits, planning the time schedule, concepts for spectators or integrating local clubs into the provision of food.
Let the new generation experience the nostalgia from back in the days, let us resurrect the Hunsrück Rallye. With that being said, only small steps had to be taken until a proper stage was found: the organizers chose a legendary course of the Hunsrück-Junior Rallye and made the new event a rallye sprint where this one track was the only one that was driven – but three times in a row. 22.7 challenging kilometers including 24% gravel roads were waiting for the more than 60 starters on May 21st around the small village of Hettenrodt close to Idar-Oberstein. But not only the gravel made this rallye unique. It was the mix of winding wide roads flowing through sharp corners into narrow, bumpy roads and along the gravel parts – a combination that was challenging for every competitor.
The effort and engagement of the organizers paid off and many spectators enjoyed the sunny Saturday along the appealing stages. In the evening, Georg Berlandy and his co-pilot Ricki Schmitt in their Opel Kadett C GTE could proudly call themselves winner of the first new Hunsrück Rallye Sprint. He was surprisingly followed by local Felix Griebel piloting a Citroen C2 R2 who excellently outran Hanno Brocker in an Ford Escort RS Cosworth by 3.6 seconds and Nils Kühle in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8 by 3.9 seconds.
Many pilots already gave overly-positive feedback and there was merely any voice complaining about anything. This resurrection was an overall success and maybe will hopefully be continued next year.