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Thoroughly drenched and hindered by rain, the Glasbachrennen in Germany witnessed the first ever overall victory for the Austrian Christoph Lampert at the wheel of his Osella FA30 Zytek. Timo Bernhard, the guest of honour and two-time winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, outran the competition in Category 1.

The FIA Hill Climb Championship Regulations provide that out of the 12 events on the schedule, drivers can only count 10 of those results towards the final overall classification. The process for calculating the results is two-fold: the drivers are allowed to use one joker during the first six rounds of the season, and a second joker during the last six events of the year. With this little game, the Italians Christian Merli and Simone Faggioli had decided to skip this sixth European showdown taking place in Germany, having each won the maximum number of points in the first five hill climbs of the season in their respective categories (E2-SS and E2-SC).


The absence of these two big names therefore opened up the doors to a victory that was almost unattainable under other circumstances to the usual outsiders of the Championship, including the Luxembourger Guy Demuth (Norma M20FC Judd), the Italian Diego Degasperi (Osella FA30 Zytek) and the Austrian Christoph Lampert (Osella FA30 Zytek). The practice sessions that took place on Saturday on dry roads confirmed them to be among the favourites, having clocked very similar times. While Lampert was in fact the fastest, he had had to deal with a few engine-related electrical glitches, a cause for concern for D-Day. Thankfully, his mechanics were able to find solutions to the problems after many hours of work. However the recce conducted on Saturday proved to be useless on Sunday, as the intermittent, sometimes heavy rain disrupted the smooth running of the climbs, and even forced the officials to stop the race so that the drivers could equip their cars with suitable tyres. The disparity between the road conditions were such that the final overall classification revealed some surprises -  among the single-seaters and GTs there were smaller cars, not eligible for the European Championship, such as Faulhaber’s Opel Kadett, Eller’s VW Scirocco and Heindrichs’s Opel Corsa!


Despite these extremely precarious conditions, Lampert remained firmly in control, finishing the two runs with a comfortable lead on Demuth from Luxembourg. Racing in different categories, the two scored the maximum of 25 points for the Championship, putting them in fourth (Demuth) and fifth (Lampert) place, with only one point between them.


The experienced driver Timo Bernhard, whose career in Circuit racing has been very successful, had accepted the organisers’ invitation to line up with a Porsche GT3R. He showcased his talent in Category 1 of the European Championship, even managing to place his GT3 ahead of the cars in Group E2-SH – a rare occurrence.

The other group victories were won by Dan Michl (E2-SH, Lotus Elise V8), Christian Bouvier (CN, Wolf GB08 Honda), Lukas Vojacek (A, Subaru Impreza WRX STi) and Antonino Migliuolo (N, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX), with the last two on that list taking, in that order, the first two places of the Category 1 provisional classification mid-Championship.


The seventh event of the European tour will take place on 6 and 7 July in Italy, on a determining, 17 km (!) course that links Trento to Bondone. Christian Merli and Simone Faggioli will pick up their dual where they left off, with the aim of not only grabbing the win, but also setting a new course record, under the symbolic bar of nine minutes. In 2017, Faggioli had won with a time of 9’00’52!


For the mid-season (6 out of 12 events) provisional classification of the Championship, click here.