Salzburg June 1.-4. 2011
The first weekend of June saw the 9th edition of the annual
Gaisbergrennen. After the original hillclimb in the 1930s-1960s the
Salzburg Rallye Club revived the event as a regularity trial for
historic cars back in 2003. In this short period the Gaisberg race
established itself in the classic car calender and it is one of the
few events that can proclaim an increasing quality over the last
years. With so many other events challenging for the good cars
and the steadily increasing values of the classics preventing
owners to use them this is not a self-evidence.
This year saw several highlights including the 1901 Lohner
Porsche. The electric driven car was stored for more than 104
years before being restored by Austrian restorer Egon Zweimüller
for its owner, no less than Ferdinand Porsches grandson Ernst
Piech who drove the car on the closed off town course on
Thursday. The car was announced well in advance for its post
restoration debut and drew much attention within the media,
several television teams came to Salzburg to feature the car and
its owner. Egon Zweimüller himself brought another star of the
weekend, a Lancia D24. Together with the Ferrari 375 MM
(0382AM) that was at the Villa d´Este just a few weeks ago the
Lancia blasted around the short rectangle course in Salzburg but
both cars were not seen the following days unfortunately.
Although the cars were escorted by the police from the
scrutineering in Schloß Hellbrunn to the Residenzplatz near the
cathedral the slow speed was not to the taste of the very original
racer from Maranello that is used to full speed at events like the
12 hours of Sebring the car took part in 1954. The general layout
of the car and maybe a radiator with reduced flow due to deposits
made the fan work constantly and therefore the battery was
stressed to much, a problem that often appears on rallyes with
those cars. So the 375 MM was replaced by a beautiful 275 GTB
for the following two days and was missed at the “main event”, the
drive up the hill.
But fans for Italian cars had enough other cars to admire,
including a 500 Mondial (0536MD) and the 250 GT PF Berlinetta
(0415GT) or a 250 Series 1 Cabriolet that was rebodied in time as
a California Spider (0829GT). Maserati was represented by a 200
SI (2415), two Ghiblis and a 3500 GT Touring Coupé.
Porsche was represented by the factory and cars included a
718/8, a Carrera Abarth, two 550 Spyders, a 906 and even a 917-
The 177 cars had to come for the scrutineering in Schloß
Hellbrunn on Thursday morning where they got their race
numbers, a transponder and the drivers were briefed for the
following event. As mentioned above the cars were escorted by
the Police to the city center to be lined up at the Residenzplatz
were speaker Walter Zisper introduced every car to the waiting
public. The weather looked very much the same as last year and
nobody knew whether it would rain or not. But fortunately it
stayed dry all the afternoon much to the pleasure of the numerous
visitors around the track. The cars started in small groups to do 5
laps in given time and as the cars were started time-displaced
there was a steadily changing field on the road. The track is about
1.8 km long were two straights with a chicane each connect the
two bridges over the Salzach. The day ended with the opening
evening at the Zistelalm at the Gaisberg.
Friday is the day of the name giving hillclimb at the Gaisberg. The
cars are divided in 2 parts with the first group doing their first two
timed attempts in the morning when the other group is driving a
rallye of about 150 km. In the afternoon the two groups change
place and the second group has two attempts at the hill. Some of
the cars are purely seen at the hill and drive up more than twice.
These are mainly the race cars that do not care about regularity.
With a given time of 10 minutes up the hill the average speed is at
a moderate 50 km/h. To achieve this many cars stop in the
middle at the parking of the Zistelalm to wait for the last miles up
the hill. The more sportive drivers can be recognized by roaring
past this parking to go up as fast as preferred, the fastest was a
Porsche 911 with a time of less then 4:40 minutes and an
average of 108 km/h.
The ones taking the regularity more serious fought for 1/100 s
with Florian and Sibylle Kunz doing best in their Aston Martin
The third day starts in the morning at the nearby Salzburgring.
After two laps to get used to the track the third lap is setting the
time for the three following laps. The ring is not very difficult to
drive with two main straights, a chicane and few corners but again
it is a question of 1/100s rather than tenths.
After the race track the convoy is rolling to the Fuschlsee to take
lunch at the Hotel Fuschl. This is a great location for the cars with
the traditional architecture and the typical painted window
After lunch the last run up the hill was on the program with the
winners ceremony at the famous Redbull Hangar-7 where Florian
and Sybille Kunz were handed over their trophy as they kept on
top of the timetable for all three days to win overall.
Last year was our first year to visit the Gaisberg as the event was
at the same time as the International Bugatti Meeting in Salzburg.
This year the Bugatti Meeting was held just the days after the
Gaisbergrennen in Spain (we will report later on that) by the
agency 2fast4you. They are also doing the Alfa Romeo 8C rallye
in Sptember in Austia and now guess were this event will partly
be based? Yes, at the Hotel Fuschl, so once again one can see
that the world of classic cars is a small one.
Watch out for the dates of next years Gaisbergrennen, they will
be published on the site of the Rallye Club Salzburg
(www.src.co.at <http://www.src.co.at/>) as soon as they are
Text&Images: Peter Singhof