Easter is coming up and near the Côte d’Azur that means it is time again for the Course de Côte de Bouc-Bel-Air. It is the shortest hillclimb in France, measuring just 800 metres. Jean-Claude Morel (Reynard 90D) is the favourite for any race in the P.A.C.A. region and also at Bouc-Bel-Air. Morel will be hoping to make it five victories in a row next Monday.
One year ago Harman Dalmas in a Peugeot 205 was the surprising touringcar winner. The short track is ideal for smaller cars with great handling, so a surprise is in the cards again.
The second hillclimb of the year in the Czech Republic will be the Slovácký kopec. The national championship will not visit this race, as they instead go to the Rechbergrennen next week. Only the Maverick Rescue Euro Cup will be present this weekend near Násedlovice. Polish driver Robert Stec was the winner of the first event at the Brno Circuit three weeks ago. He will not be present this weekend. The regular championship contenders Ferdinand Madrian (Norma M20F) and Michal Novicky (Reynard 032 F3) will not have an easy run for victory however. The Liqui-Moly Racing team with David Komarek (Norma M20FC) and Jiri Spalek (Norma M20F) will make an appearance and are immediately the favourites.
The drivers in the Normandie region have to wait a few more days for their second race of the year. Place of battle is the Course de Côte de Saint Pierre de Varengeville. This hillclimb was last used many years ago, so all the drivers will have to discover the track. Three weeks ago at the season opener in Hébécrevon Bertrand Lassalle (Dallara F300) collected an impressive victory. But his rivals then are aiming for a revanche this Sunday. Jérôme Martin (Dallara F397), Etienne & Jérôme Debarre (Both Dallara F302) and Anthony Gueudry (Dallara F394) have entered, which makes it almost a guarantee for another spectacular day of racing.
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Apart from the European Championship at Saint Jean du Gard there was another hillclimb this weekend in France. In the west of the Pays de Loire the Course de Côte de Bournezeau took place. With some 80 drivers entered the event could be considered a succes. Last year’s winner Serge Thomas (Norma M20F) was again the favourite this weekend. With a rocket time in the first timed race everything looked set for another victory. But some nervous moments were still left as Julien Bost (Dallara F300) went very quick in the second round. Just one hundredth of a second seperated the two in the final results, but still in favour of Thomas. The race for third was also between a Norma M20F and a Dallara F300. The Norma driven by Christopher Lecarpentier won that duel from Sylvain Moyon.
A strong field of singleseaters and sportscars was assembled as evidenced by the fact that best touringcardriver Mathieu Nouet (Simca Rallye II) was only found on 19th place overall. Click on ‘More’ to see the full results.
Karl Schagerl completed his hattrick at the Bergrallye Koglhof today. Three races in the 2014 season of the Bergrallye-Cup and as many victories place the Volkswagen Golf Rallye driver firmly in the lead of the championship. This third victory was the hardest yet. Rupert Schwaiger is the organiser of the Bergrallye Koglhof and therefore knows the track by heart. The Porsche 911 driver had to give first race of the day to Schagerl but struck back in the second race. Then in the all deciding third and final race Schagerl clocked the fastest time of the weekend which granted him the victory. Hannes Kaufmann (Ford Escort Cosworth) finished third while Andreas Marko (Audi A4 STW) was fourth and class winner in the -2000.
In -1600 Manuel Michalko (Citroën Saxo) is not yet on his pre-2012 level of performance. Or perhaps Martin Zamberger is just that good, as he steered his Peugeot 106 to class victory. In -1400 the almost unbeatable René Panzenböck had to retire early, leaving class victory to Gerald Pucher. Click on ‘More’ to see the full results.
The anticipation for the first hillclimb event of the 2014 European Hillclimb Championship was high. Would the domination of Simone Faggioli end now that he was seperated from his trusted Osella FA30?? Well to make a long story short, no… This weekend at the Course de Côte de Saint-Jean-du-Gard / Col Saint Pierre in France Faggioli proved once again that it does not matter which car he drives. He was, is and remains the best hillclimb driver. In his debut in the Norma M20 FC the Italian was more than 4 seconds faster than local hero Nicolas Schatz. In the European standings the new Osella works driver Christian Merli had to trail Faggioli by almost six seconds.
In the singleseater class Eric Berguerand (Lola FA99) takes full European points. Just after Sébastien Petit, Geoffrey Schatz (Reynard 95D) was the second single seater. But as he was not entered in the European classification the 18 European points go to Federico Liber. Dan Michl wins the silhouette class but only scores half points.
In the touringcar category Nicolas Werver (Porsche 997 GT3) was a class of his own. He took a commanding victory for the French Championship and was also the best European Competitor. Sadly he only scores half points internationally as the GT class had just two competitors. The other was Yanick Bodson from Belgium who debuted his Porsche 997 GT3 Cup with some excellent times.
Some last minute withdrawals meant that Group A had just three competitors and half points… Jaromir Maly from the Czech Republic managed to beat his compatriot and rival Lukas Vojacek for class victory. Christian Schweiger from Austria first experienced his new Mitsubishi Lancer EVO VIII in competition. He set a faster single time then Vojacek, but in the combined European classifications he was slower.
The touringcar champion will most likely come from Group N again. Reigning champion Tomislav Muhvic from Croatia had to retire early in the event. The Czech competitors could not celebrate however, as a new driver from the former Yugoslavia has entered the scene. Igor Stefanovski travelled the farthest of any competitor present but for the Macedonian it was all worth it. He was two seconds per run faster than Jiri Los, and delivered a crushing victory over his opponents.
Finally one other foreign competitor was present outside the European Championship. Spanish champion Javi Villa (BRC B-49) measured himself with the French CM competitors. Villa quickly found out that the level of competition in France is just as high as in his homecountry. The Spaniard was almost surprised by Fabien Bourgeon (Tracking), but in the end Villa was the best CM.
Click on ‘More’ to see the full results.
Jelle De Coninck took back the Course de Côte de Vencimont today. After his scary crash last year De Coninck showed no fear during the opening round of the 2014 Belgian Hillclimb Championship. With three fastest times, the quickest being 47,56 or 160 km/h average(!), the Norma M20F driver won the event and collected maximum championship points. Numerous top drivers were absent for one reason or another including Georges Hubert, Pascual Perez, Roland Tromp and Emmanuel Gonay, while last years winner Jacques Marchal only competed in the regional support race. The battle for second place was now left to two French competitors, Anthony Loeuilleux (Tatuus FR2000) and Jérôme Debarre (Dallara F302). In a battle for tenths of a second it was Loeuilleux who could collect the silver at the podium ceremony.
In the touringcar category the main question to be asked is: Who can stop Philippe Dewulf? Two weeks ago at the regional hillclimb of Mont Saint Aubert Dewulf scored an impressive overall victory in his powerful Citroën Xsara T16 4×4. Today competing in the national event Dewulf was perhaps even more impressive. With his fifth place overall he finished ahead of many formula cars and sportscars. Second in the touringcars and a long way back was Georges Goedert. At Vencimont Goedert debuted his new Porsche 996 GT3. While no match for the Xsara, at least the Luxembourg driver can aim for winning the Belgian Cup, open only to non-Belgians.
Third and fourth in the touringcars were Stéphane Emond (BMW M3) and Eric Lejeune (Peugeot 205 GTI). Both of them also doubled up in the Regional Support Race were they finished first and second respectively in Division 1-2-3 combined. Best of the ‘regular’ regional drivers was Jérémy Delchambre who scored yet another great result in his small Peugeot 205. The regional event was won by Jacques Marchal in a motocycle-powered Van Diemen FX, ahead of Frédéric Souris in a Dallara F399 and current champion Bruno Collard in the BRC CM05 EVO.
Click on ‘More’ to see the full results.
The Subida a Opakua opened the 2014 Basque Hillclimb Championship.Some 40 drivers celebrated the return of this hillclimb to the championship. None of them were a match to Aitor Zabaleta who used his old but trusted Lola BMW sportscar to collect yet another victory. The honours in teh CM category went to neighbouring Navarra as Arkaitz Ordoki (Silver Car S2) and Pantxo Egozkue (Demon Car) split the remaining podiumspots. In the touringcars the experienced Aitor Iban Ramirez (BMW 320 ST) had to fend off two Mitsubishi Lancers in the battle for the lead. Ramirez was quicker than Iban Tarsicio Fernandez (EVO IX), but had to leave victory to Markel Cestafe (EVO VI). Click on ‘More’ to see the full results.
One more classification from last week had to be uploaded. The Subida a Ramonete opened the Murcia Hillclimb Championship. Reigning champion Julian Bornas debuted his Fiat Punto S1600 with a touringcar victory. Only the sole prototype kept him from winning as Daniel Albert in the Speed Car GT was more than 20 seconds faster. Click on ‘More’ to see the full results.