Osella victorious at Rechberg
In the summer sun with a great field combining quality and quantity, the stage was set for a great day of racing at Rechberg, attracting a huge number of fans. Over twenty thousand spectators flocked to the 5 km of verges along the road climbing from Tulwitz to Rechbergsdorf on Sunday.
Not content with his total domination of the FIA European Hill-Climb Championship since 2009, Italian Simone Faggioli, together with his team, put his father Mario − himself a former multiple Italian Champion − back in the driving seat. At the wheel of an Osella PA5 from his glory years, Faggioli senior showed that he still had some great driving up his sleeve. He finished second in the historic part of the event, behind defending champion Uberto Bonucci (Osella PA9/90).
In the modern event, Simone Faggioli once again emerged victorious, although he was unable to better his absolute record for the course, set in 2010. Having come first in practice on Saturday, the Italian comfortably won the first round, leaving his closest challenger two and a half seconds behind. But his rivals did not lose heart; they fought back valiantly in the second round, significantly improving on their times, but still unable to outstrip the master, despite him complaining of engine trouble due to problems with the fuel feed. Although he rarely competes outside of his home country, Switzerland, where he has dominated the national Championship for three years, Marcel Steiner took a convincing second place, in front of Czech Milos Benes. Young Swiss hopefuls Joël Volluz and Julien Ducommun showed very promising potential, finishing fourth and fifth. Volluz regretted not having had a practice climb, which would have helped him to familiarise himself with the course, as well as having suffered the nuisance of the car vibrating at high speed during the races. Ducommun, on the other hand, was delighted with his classification, given that not only was it his first time at the Rechberg course, but also he had not covered an inch of practice at the wheel of his new – and still gleaming white – Osella FA30 Zytek.
Also starting out in an Osella, but in a PA30 two-seater model, Fausto Bormollini took sixth place, in front of the F.3000s of Otakar Kramsky and Vaclav Janik.
As for the closed cars, the best performance was that of Austrian Herbert Pregartner’s Porsche GT2 RSR, which beat Franz Pailer’s souped-up Lancia Delta Integrale by a whisker. In the other groups, victory went to the Audi WTTR DTM driven by Czech Vladimir Vitver (Group E2-SH) and to the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolutions of Croatian Tomislav Muhvic (Group N) and Czech Jaromir Maly (Group A).
The next two events of the FIA European Hill-Climb Championship will be contested successively, with a week’s interval, at Falperra in Portugal (12 May) and Al Fito in Spain (19 May).
To see the photo albums of the Rechberg event and visit the FIA Facebook page, click here.