|20/08/2017||Hofstätten an der Raab|
After a two month break the Bergrallye-Cup returned with the Bergrallye Hofstätten an der Raab. Rupert Schwaiger took a commanding victory. It was behind him that the excitement erupted. In the 4-Wheel-Drive class all three drivers finished within a second of eachother. It was Felix Pailer who took class victory and second overall, closely followed by Werner Karl and Stefan Wiedenhofer. A huge surprise came in E1 -2000 where Andreas Marko suffered a rare defeat at the hands of Michael Wels.
The 2016 edition of the Alpe del Nevegal Hillclimb near Belluno counted towards the Italian Hillclimb Cup North and the Austrian Hillclimb Championship. After the touringcars completed their first race session on Sunday morning the started coming down hard. Because the race was not very important championship-wise a lot of Italian drivers in the sportscars and sinleseaters decided not to start. In this group of non-starters were favourites such as Michele Fattorini and Adolfo Bottura. Some others, like Danny Zardo, gave it a try but were so far back in the results that they took no risks in the second race. All in all about one fifth of the drivers was absent in at least one of the two race sessions.
Just like two years ago the touringcar drivers decided wo would win the Alpe del Nevegal. The best Italian driver Marco Sbrollini saw his Lanica Delta ground to a halt with mechanical problems early in the day. As a results the Austrians came out on top unchallenged with Karl Schagerl claiming victory.
The Austrian Hillclimb Championship returned home this weekend for the Bergrennen Sankt Anton an der Jessnitz. The race also counted towards the German Berg-Cup. The more than 100 competitors completed their races in perfect weather.
Andreas Stollnberger was the man to beat this weekend. The Dallara F302 pilot was fast right from the start as he set what turned out to be fastest time of the day in the first race run. Karl Schagerl was very close but a broken turbo hose in the second run saw him lose valuable seconds. He managed to repair his Volkswagen Golf Rallye in time for the third race and still secured second overall. This relegated Ferdinand Madrian (Norma M20F) to third place. Fourth finished Herbert Pregartner, the best of the Berg-Cup drivers.
Stefano Di Fulvio scored a sensational victory at the GHD Gorjanci this weekend. Start position was crucial as the rain kept increasing during the day. Because the historic drivers started before the modern cars they had the best conditions. In the dry Di Fulvio was around 8 seconds slower than the best modern driver but they lost way more than that in the rain. As a result the Osella PA9/90 pilot could claim overall victory, besides of course the win in the European Historic Hillclimb Championship.
Patrik Zajelsnik was fastest modern driver in the dry. The Norma M20F pilot almost broke the trackrecord even though a new chicane made the track slower than in previous years. However when the rain started falling he dropped back to eighth. International Hillclimb Cup points leader Vaclav Janik now moved forward and took home the modern victory. Beating Di Fulvio however was not possible so Janik had to be satisfied with second overall. Last year’s winner Federico Liber secured the final podium spot. Fourth was for best touringcar driver Karl Schagerl who also increases his lead in the Austrian Hillclimb Championship. Ronnie Bratschi was second best touringcardriver so the Swiss remains in the lead of Category E1 in the International Hillclimb Cup.
In the Slovenia Hillclimb Championship favourite Milan Bubnic started a lot later than his rivals Peter Marc and Ales Prek. As a results Bubnic was only third behind the two others.
The International Hillclimb Cup moves to Slovenia this weekend for the GHD Gorjanci. Besides the national championship the race also counts towards the European Historic Hillclimb Championship and the Austrian Hillclimb Championship. Just over 100 drivers are entered. Federico Liber won here in 2013 and 2015 and he is again the favourite this time around.
The Bergrallye Cup in Austria continued this weekend with the Bergrallye Seggauberg. Practise sessions on Sunday morning were completed in the rain but in the afternoon the weather improved and the races were completed in the dry. Rupert Schwaiger won the last three editions in Seggauberg and he dominated yet again this year. The Porsche 911 Bi-Turbo pilot set three extremely fast times and was the well deserved winner. Behind him a four-way battle for the runner-up spot and the 4-wheel-drive class victory developed. Markus Binder was fastest after two races but a broken clutch meant that he had to sit out the third run. He saw Stefan Wiedenhofer improving his time but coming up .35 seconds short of Binders aggregate. But the next two drivers did pass Binder who was relegated to third in class and fourth overall. In his final attempt Felix Pailer set best class time of the day. Sadly for the Lancia Delta Integrale driver his aggregate time was just .009 short of that of Werner Karl!
Andreas Marko made a rare driving error in the first race. Still the Audi A4 STW was fastest in the E1 2000 class in the other two races so he takes another class victory. Manuel Michalko dominated the E1 1600 class in his Citroën Saxo. Group A and Group N were for the Mitsubishi Lancer drivers Wolfram Sommer and Dieter Holzer. The historics saw a battle of the Porsches as Gerald Glinzner and Reinhold Prantl battled for victory.
Osella beat Norma this weekend at the fifth round of the European Hillclimb Championship. At the Ecce Homo Hillclimb the Osella FA30 finished 1-2-3 with lead driver Christian Merli taking victory. The Norma M20 FC on the other hand did no better than 4-5-6-7 although Simone Faggioli did set fastest single time of the day in his last run, after he suffered technical problems in the first run. In the championship both are still equal in points as both Merli (Singleseaters) and Faggioli (Sportscars) won their group.
Just like in Verzegnis last week Christian Merli dominated the practise sessions in Sternberk this weekend with two fastest times. Although in contrast to Verzegnis the race did actually run as planned in great weather, we were more or less still denied a duel between Merli and Faggioli. This is because Faggioli lost 11 seconds in the first race after electrical problems hampered his Norma M20 FC. Paride Macario and Joel Volluz benefitted and moved up to second and third, while Faggioli recovered enough in the second race to claim fourth. Right behind the European Champion were the three best local drivers. Vaclav Janik advanced David Komarek and Dusan Neveril. Milos Benes crashed in the first race and had to retire. Fausto Bormolini also had an accident but at least he saw his nephew Andrea Bormolini (Osella PA21/S) win Group CN.
The silhouettes were a Czech affair with Vladimir Vitver and Dan Michl battling it out for victory. Eventually the Audi WTT-R DTM pilot secured the win in front of his Lotus Evora driving rival. Karl Schagerl mixed it up with the two locals but he was not classfied in E2-SH but rather in E1 for the Austrian Championship. The Volkswagen Golf TFSI-R pilot did claim victory in his own championship. He was even faster than best sportscar driver Ferdinand Madrian!
Nikola Miljkovic made a big step towards the 2016 European Touringcar title after another victory in Group N. After the first run just .28 seconds seperated leader Tomas Vavrinec, Miljkovic and Peter Jurena. With a great second run the gaps remained almost the same but the order switched. Miljkovic had a great run and won with Jurena in second and Vavrinec dropping to third.
In Group A Jaromir Maly had a fantastic weekend and scored a well-deserved victory in front of his home crowd. Christian Schweiger had to settle for second while Lukas Vojacek completed the podium. Austrian “Tessitore” won GT while Grzegorz Duda was the best in S2000. Although the Pole was probably more interested in his points for the CEZ Championship.
Apart from the Austrian Championship, where you could already read about the winners above, there was also a round of the Slovakia Hillclimb Championship. The Skoda Fabia’s dominated once again with Veroslav Crvcek winning, Igor Drotar second and Jan Milon third.
The Italian Hillclimb Championship is seeing massive entrylists at all rounds so far. At Fasano two weeks ago there were 270 entries, this weekend in Verzegnis there were even more with 282 drivers at the start. With so many drivers the timing has to be perfect to allow everyone their 2 runs. During Saturday practise in nice weather this worked wonderful and everybody managed 2 sessions. But rain was forecast for Sunday and it turned out that was just one of the problems descending on the 47th Verzegnis – Sella Chianzutan…
Right before the start of the first race it was discovered that the radio for the safety marshals stopped working. This took a long time to repair and close to mid-day only a handful of cars had made it to the top. When everything finally worked a driver crashed and destroyed a large part of the guardrail. This prompted more repairs and longer delays. When Ronnie Bratschi started it was already past 14:00 and the first drops of rain were starting to fall. The Swiss did manage to set fastest time up until that point, but everyone who came afterwards had to battle ever increasing rain. Although not that many drivers were left as only the GT’s managed to complete the run. The Silhouettes were stopped after Fulvio Giuliani crashed hard and after that it was decided to cancel the rest of the meeting. So no results for the singleseaters and sportscars which complicates the various championship standings.
As far as the racing goes Ronnie Bratschi was declared the winner as already mentioned. After a long night of repairs Karl Schagerl managed second place. The Austrian crashed his Volkswagen Golf Rallye TFSI-R in practise but managed to repair it in time for the first race. As a reward he also wins the Austrian Championship. Marco Iacoangeli was best Italian in third as he was just a little faster than Marco Sbrollini who finished fourth. The Slovenia Hillclimb Championship was also present in Verzegnis and here Milan Bubnic was the best driver.
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