From Thursday the 19th til Saturday the 22nd of July the Austrian Ennstal will once again be the magnificent venue for one of Europe’s largest classic car rally’s, the Ennstal Classic.
Since 1993 the Austrian region Schladming-Dachstein is the decor for the Ennstal Classic. Sporting the motto ‘Autofahren im letzten Paradies’ in 2017 cars from the past will race the contemporary roads once again. For the 25th time already. With approximately 100.000 fans along the route and about 20.000 visitors to the final event on Saturday, the 220 participating equipes will receive plenty of attention. With cars dating from 1923 up til 1972 the Ennstal Classic deserves to call itself one of the greats in the classic rally world.
The three day programme departs on Thursday with a prologue of around 400km, with start and finish on the famous Red Bull Ring. On Friday morning it’s an early day for the hillclimb on the Stoderzinken. Followed by a marathon stage of 500 km covering the entire region. Saturday the city of Gröbming is the place to be for the ‘Zenith Grand Prix of Gröbming’, the events grand finale. The real fanatics compete in the Racecar-Trophy, decided in serious stages against the clock, raced on closed roads of course. The rest of the event takes place on the open road and on the streets of the historic villages and towns forming the grand decor of the event. Leaving the spectators the big winners as they are capable of following the event at close range.
Participant lists of the last 25 years show the names of many greats from the race- and rallying scene. Maria Teresa de Filippis, sadly deceased in 2016, aged 89, was still proudly behind the wheel of ‘her’ Maserati 250F in 2006. Of course she was ‘only’ 80 years old then. In 2010 Teresa was no longer racing herself, but she was still at the Ennstal Classic to welcome the participants at the finish of the marathon in Schladming. Sir Stirling Moss is still a regular in Gröbming. For many years he drove himself, his spouse Lady Susie Moss as his trusty navigator. Although the Moss’s stopped competing a few years ago, the likes of Derek Bell, Rauno Aaltonen, Jochen Mass, Dieter Quester, Mark Webber, Jo Ramirez, Christian Klien, Helmut Marko and many local heroes will still be giving their best at the Ennstal Classic.
CineCars will be present at het Ennstal tarmac as well. The pictures accompanying this article were taken during earlier visits in 2006, 2010 and 2013. Those that are in the region from 19th til 22nd of July should make sure to go and take a look, better even, everyone that has the opportunity to visit the Ennstal during this particular weekend should take his chance. More information can be found on www.ennstal-classic.at
Jan van Hylckama Vlieg