Calendar Swiss Hillclimb Championship 2018

The calendar for the Swiss Hillclimb Championship was released recently. The same 7 events that were contested this year return in 2018. Just like the last two years the Course de Côte de Massongex is also on the schedule. The event was last competed in 2015 so it remains to be seen if it will run next year.

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Results Course de Côte de Châtel-Saint-Denis / Les Paccots 2017

The Course de Côte de Châtel-Saint-Denis / Les Paccots was the final round of the Swiss Hillclimb Championship. Marcel Steiner had already secured himself the title last week and decided to skip this race. Frédéric Neff won the title by default after Roger Schnellmann had to withdraw with technical problems.

The weather conditions were very difficult this year. Light rain was followed by sunshine and then hard rain. Picking the correct tyres was a big gamble for everyone. Right before the singleseaters began their first race the rain started coming down hard. All the drivers were lined up with slick tyres. Robin Faustini decided that it was too dangerous and withdrew from the startline. For this action he was promptly disqualified. All singleseaters were on slicks… well except one. Joël Grand made the correct gamble and set the fastest time. In the second race he succesfully defended his lead. His luck kept going as the third race was cancelled because of the difficult conditions. This meant that Grand scored his first ever overall victory. A great end to his season. His race winning Tatuus Master will change hands (for one event) as Robin Faustini will pilot the car in Mickhausen.

While the singleseaters struggled in the rain, the touringcars had better conditions. Thomas Kessler was initially the fastest driver but in the very end he was passed by Romeo Nüslli. The two also finished second and third overall. For Nüssli his victory means that he ends up third in the touringcar championship. New champion Frédéric Neff finished fourth overall and also claimed his 12th consecutive InterSwiss victory. Last year’s winner Eric Berguerand struggled with the tyres and ended up fifth overall.

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Results Bergrennen Gurnigel 2017

The Swiss Hillclimb Championship visited the Bergrennen Gurnigel this weekend. It rained on Saturday during practise and the track remained wet until Sunday afternoon.

Eric Berguerand almost saw his last title hope disappear in the third practise session. The champion of the last four years spun of the track and suffered quite a lot of damage. Luckily the Lola FA99 could be repaired in time for the first race. Berguerand immediately moved to the top of the results tables with two fastest times. It was good enough to take his fifth consecutive victory at Gurnigel.

Marcel Steiner was a little frustrated that he could not win his home race. His disappointment quickly disappeared as he realized that his second place was enough for the 2017 title. Steiner has planned to more races this year. Not the season finale in Les Paccots but rather Sankt Agatha in Austria and Mickhausen in Germany.

Third place in Gurnigel went to Austrian Christoph Lambert. A great performance for the Austrian in his Osella PA2000 as he kept 5 F3000 cars behind him. Thomas Amweg is still improving every race in his Lola B99/50, he finished fourth in Gurnigel. Simon Hugentobler managed to remain ahead of his son Robin Faustini this time around. The duo finished fifth and sixth. Frenchman Damien Chamberod was in Gurnigel for the first time and immediately finished seventh overall.

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Preview and Entrylist Bergrennen Gurnigel 2017

The Swiss Hillclimb Championship picks up again at the Bergrennen Gurnigel. As can be expected in Switzerland a massive entrylist of 315 drivers is announced. 230 of them drive in the national race, 40 in the regional event and another 45 in the motorcycle race.

Marcel Steiner can become the new champion at his home race in Gurnigel. For this to happen Steiner need to finish within the top 3, if my calculations are correct. Eric Berguerand has won the last four races at Gurnigel and he needs another one to keep his championship hopes alive. In the touringcars Frédéric Neff has a 13.5 points lead over Roger Schnellmann and a worse drop score. Schnellmann is lucky that Reto Meisel is problably not competing anymore this season after the firedamage suffered in Oberhallau.

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Results Bergrennen Oberhallau 2017

The Bergrennen Oberhallau was stopped halfway during the third race after a serious accident involving Martin Wittwer. Some 500 metres before the finishline Wittwer lost control of his Peugeot 205 GTI and went off the road. He was airlifted to the hospital but his injuries were too serious. The race was abandoned immediately.

Final classifications are based on all the runs completed until that time. That means some drivers can count three runs while others two. Class results for Group SS, SBMJ, Group N, Group A, Group IS and Group KW are based on the best two out of three runs. Class results for Group E1 and all the other Groups are based on the first two runs.

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Preview and Entrylist Bergrennen Oberhallau 2017

This coming weekend the best drivers from Switzerland and Germany meet at the Bergrennen Oberhallau. A staggering 260 drivers have entered for this years edition. Eric Berguerand and Marcel Steiner are the obvious candidates for victory. Uwe Lang and Simon Hugentobler will probably battle for third place on the podium. After his brilliant performance in Saint Ursanne Reto Meisel is the favourite for touringcar victory. In what order the other 255 drivers finish is anybody’s guess!

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Results Course de Côte de Saint Ursanne – Les Rangiers 2017

For its 10th round in 2017 the European Hillclimb Championship moved to Switzerland. Like the past 40+ years the Course de Côte de Saint Ursanne – Les Rangiers was the destination. The entrylist was once again massive with over 200 drivers. All classes in the European Championship had at least 3 drivers which meant that everyone received full points.

After a lot of stoppages the race was finally decided Sunday evening just before nightfall. Christian Merli was the final driver to take the start and he set a new trackrecord. His final time was 1:43,58 which gives an average speed of 183,28 km/h! Merli was the quickest driver this weekend, but not the winner. For the sixth time in a row Simone Faggioli was the best in Saint Ursanne. Because of the half points in France, Faggioli leads the championship with 12,5 points.

Best Swiss driver was Marcel Steiner in third. The LobArt LA01 Mugen pilot was however almost 15 seconds slower then the two Italian leaders. Fausto Bormolini and Simon Hugentobler were quite closely matched and finished fourth and fifth overall. The single seaters -2000cc were the most competitive class at Les Rangiers with 20+ entries. Billy Ritchen was the best driver here and sixth overall. Noticable is also the great 9th place overall for Corentin Starck, who did not compete in the European event.

Vladimir Vitver had a small mishap in the first race which cost him 20 seconds. Even without that problem he probably would not have defeated Dan Michl. The Lotus Elise pilot was extremly quick all weekend and won the E2-SH class. The Czech was however no match for Reto Meisel who finally had a trouble free weekend in his Mercedes Benz 340 SLK. Meisel set a new touringcar record and even managed to finish 10th overall!

In Group GT there were only three drivers but they were equally matched. At the end of the day “Tessitore”, Jan Milon and Martin Jerman were seperated by just 1 second. One driver had to win and that was “Tessitore”. The Austrian did a great job in the championship race as Lukas Vojacek retired from the Group A lead. In Group N Tomas Vavrinec was defeated by Liridon Kalenderi and finished only second.

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Results Course de Côte de Ayent-Anzère 2017

Results of the Course de Côte de Ayent-Anzère.

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Results Bergrennen Reitnau 2017

Results of the Bergrennen Reitnau.

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Results Bergrennen Hemberg 2017

Marcel Steiner is the winner of the first round of the Swiss Hillclimb Championship. At the Bergrennen Hemberg Steiner defeated reigning champion Eric Berguerand and Simon Hugentobler.

It was an unlucky weekend for two of the favourites in the touringcars. Ronnie Bratschi had a hard crash in practise, apparently because of a technical defect in his Mitsubishi Lancer. His weekend was over at that point. Reto Meisel set fastest touringcar time in the first race on Sunday. However in the second race his Mercedes Benz SLK 340 inexplicably stalled in the middle of his run. This resulted in a 20 seconds loss of time. The problem repeated itself in the third and final run, which meant that Meisel dropped way down the order.

Roger Schnellmann benefitted from the misfortune of his rivals. Not that he did not deserve his succes here. Apart from Meisel he was the only touringcar driver to complete the track in under 1 minute. Romeo Nüssli was second best while Simon Wüthrich completed the podium.
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