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The Rechberg is alive…and shaking…more than ever at the 50th edition


Schatz and Schagerl are the dominators of the mountain classic

The anniversary race was an absolute success

A weekend full of new records and top performances on the track

A huge stone falls from the heart of the triumvirate at the top of the organization: “We expected an enormous response, but what happened from Friday to Sunday here on the Rechberg exceeded our wildest expectations!”

Peter Eibisberger: “We can only say thank you. To the authorities – above all the Styrian provincial government and Governor Christopher Drexler. The district authorities, the two Municipalities of Fladnitz an der Teichalm and Semriach. The supporting associations KDW Motorsport and Auer Power Motorsport with all their helpers, the fire departments with their great private commitment and the blue light organizations – they all contributed significantly to the success of this event. Landowners who made a significant contribution to ensuring that everyone had their place – whether participants or visitors.”

Mario Klammer: “I can only agree with Peter. The FIA – the highest motorsport federation in the world – had extremely complimentary words this year, which motivate us even more for the next edition in 2025. Personally, my biggest thanks go to the fans who came to us in droves. They were so disciplined, thoughtful and thus helpful for the entire process, which is something you only see in motorsports. We have only received the best feedback from our police – thank you for that!”

Christian Ferstl: “I now know every street post on the Rechberg by its first name, because I’ve been living virtually on the mountain for the last two weeks. Our cooperation with the road maintenance department, the support associations and all landowners was borderline brilliant! Everywhere we were welcomed with open arms and really everyone helped out where they could. This makes work fun and I take my hat off to the entire population from Tulwitz to Rechberg-Dorf! They live with the naturally arising restrictions that this mega-event brings with it, and at the same time use every opportunity to contribute somewhere helpful.”

The ceremonial opening with Governor Christopher Drexler and many other guests of honor was accompanied by the children of the Fladnitz/Teichalm elementary school with the flags of the 18 nations, the Fladnitz/Teichalm Music Association played hearty marching tunes and Willi Gabalier performed the Austrian national anthem live.

On the sporting side: There was a lot going on on the 4,440-meter race track this weekend. Already Saturday with its three practice runs offered the fans a glimpse of what they can expect on Sunday – namely hillclimb racing at its best.

235 starters (including 10 ladies!) tackled the Rechberg. Many established Rechberg connoisseurs competed for the best training times with “first-timers” who had come to eastern Styria for the first time. However, the top pilots have not yet shown what they are really capable of. There were also a few technical failures and slips, all of which were minor.

Karl Schagerl came to the start of the first race in top form and thanked all the fans and his team with a new touring car record (1:54.240). And it was to get even better – more on that a little later.

Second fastest was Ronnie Bratschi (1:58.968) in a Mitsubishi Evo 7 RS, third time went to Jörg Weidinger (2:00.459) in a BMW Z4 GT3.

Rupert Schwaiger was also fast in his Porsche (2:02.755) – although he drove in the D/E2-SH/+3000 class on the Rechberg because the FIA rules do not allow the Porsche to be entered in a performance class. Rupert took it easy: “I just want to have fun. It’s not about points for me. That’s why I’m racing here for the fans – and of course also because it’s my favorite mountain!”.

And Kerstin Taus celebrated a truly brilliant performance. She beat her Subaru Impreza P4 Turbo so courageously and mercilessly up the Rechberg that she was even celebrated as the fastest lady of the anniversary race, ahead of Tereza Machova and Sigrid Ferstl.

A look at the proto-types shows us a new race winner with the Frenchman Geoffrey Schatz, who showed off his new car (Nova NP 01-2 C Honda Turbo) without much opportunity to test it and also set a new track record (1:43.424).

Christian Merli (1:44.780) on his Osella FA 30 Judd LRM had to settle for second place, just ahead of the fast Spaniard Joseba Iraola Lanzagorta on his Nova NP 01-2 C Honda Turbo (1:45.074).

Breathtaking excitement was the order of the day for the second storm on the Rechberg and the fans could hardly wait for it in the glorious weather. The first race was well timed and the second session of the mountain artists began punctually at 2 p.m. in the beautiful Almenland.

First things first: Geoffrey Schatz also dominated the second run and conjured up a clean run on the mountain in a time of 1:43.550 – that’s an average speed of 154.3 kilometers per hour.

Top speed: 258.7 Km/h

Karl Schagerl was unbeatable in the touring car category. He drove his VW Golf R TFSI mercilessly to the top of the pass in the second heat in a sensational 1:54.177 and that means that he improved his own track record from the first run once again…and that with an average speed of 140.5 kilometers per hour.

The all-important second race run was started as usual with the participants of the historical classes. This year, as in the previous year, the Rechberg race was part of the historic European Championship and the many fans were treated to a veritable firework display of different vehicles – from the touring cars to the open-top “oldies”, which really stepped on the gas.

The overall results after two race rounds:

HHC (Historic European Championship)

  1. Mario Massaglia (ITA – Osella PA9/90) 4:21.115
  2. Franz Hilger (DEU – Chevron B38) 4:37.050
  3. Roberto Turriziani (ITA – Osella PA9/90) 4:44.842

EHC (Modern European Championship) – Category 2

  1. Geoffrey Schatz (FRA – Nova NP 01-2 C) 3:26.974
  2. Christian Merli (ITA – Osella FA30) 3:28.548
  3. Joseba Iraola Lanzagorta (ESP – Nova NP 01-2 C) 3:29.666

EHC (Modern European Championship) – Category 1

  1. Karl Schagerl (AUT – VW Golf R TFSI) 3:48.417
  2. Ronnie Bratschi (CZE – Mitsubishi Evo 7 RS) 3:55.487
  3. Jörg Weidinger (DEU – BMW Z4 GT3) 4:00.115

ÖBM Historic (Austrian Mountain Championship)

  1. Gerald Glinzner (AUT – Porsche 911 Carrera) 4:46.342
  2. Reinhard Sonnleitner (AUT – VW Golf Rallye G60) 4:47.494
  3. Harald Neuherz (AUT- Audi Quattro S1) 4:49.370

ÖBM Modern (Austrian Mountain Championship)

  1. Geoffrey Schatz (FRA – Nova NP 01-2 C) 3:26.974
  2. Christian Merli (ITA – Osella FA30) 3:28.548
  3. Joseba Iraola Lanzagorta (ESP – Nova NP 01-2 C) 3:29.666

Fastest Austrian: Christoph Lampert (8th place overall)

Fastest Styrian: Rupert Schwaiger (20th place overall)

Fastest Styrian: Kerstin Taus (40th place overall)

Scored: Total 197

Failed/Not started: 38

Photo credit: Rechbergrennen/HCF-Hillclimbfans