Serra da Estrela - Comment
First win for De Biasi!
The small Portuguese town of Colvilha held the third event of the 2004 European Hillclimb Championship, which was taking place just a week after the Spanish hill climb of Fito. The latest round of the series had a less crowded entry list, with just five entries in both the SP and N groups and a mere three cars actually competing for group A honours. The CN group was almost full though, with all the usual entries plus the addition of Fausto D’Alpaos’ PA20, not present in Spain the previous weekend.
The twisty nature of the Serra de Estrella climb was a perfect opportunity for Andrea De Biasi, and his less powerful but more nimble PA21, to break Regosa’s domination. On the other hand, the quite steep hill could favour the 3-litre engines, so it was quite difficult to guess the final results.
Things started to appear far clearer on Saturday during the training climbs. De Biasi, helped by the occasional drops of rain that alternated with sunny periods started to look good scoring the fastest time of the day followed by Regosa. The CNs were obviously the cars to follow for overall honours although the Spanish CM prototypes, already seen at Fito the previous week, were also present in Portugal and still showing their interesting performance. Former Peugeot works rally driver Solis put his BRC in the top ten, although the CMs weren’t actually included in the overall standings.
Robert Senkyr was easily the quickest touring car with his BMW, followed by the best group Ns, Jurena and Benes, both beating Krugg’s BMW which was far least at ease in the Serra de Estrella turns than their four-wheel drive equipped rivals.
Sunday was sunny and dry the whole day which really helped to improve times. After yet another training climb, early in the morning, the serious business started with the first official climb. De Biasi laid down his marker setting a time under 2:40 and beating Regosa and Bormolini, his closest rivals, by more than half a second. Behind the top three, Magliona and Napione were on 2:42 with Doubek and Kramsky on 2:46, the two pairs battling for the places from 4th to 7th but already without any chance to get a top three slot.
Group A was again a stroll in the park for Senkyr with his only rivals being Fritsch and Löeber, both more than happy to finish and get a place on the podium without any other rivals in the category. Jurena had the upper hand over Benes and Krugg in group N while Vojacek was the quickest in SP followed by Charvin.
The second official climb didn’t produce any big changes. De Biasi was even quicker, while all his rivals were slower than on their previous attempt, due to a road affected by higher temperatures. Regosa and Bormolini settled for second and third while Doubek was a surprise 5th which allowed him to overtake Kramsky for 6th overall.
There were no problems at all for Senkyr in group A, while Jurena kept Benes at bay to score an important victory, especially given that current series leader, Krugg, finished only third. Superproduction was a bit more interesting, with Charvin on a charge trying to recover the time lost on the first attempt, but even if this time he was quicker than Vojacek, the Czech driver was still first on aggregate.
A special mention is warranted for the CMs with the 1300cc engined Outeda driven by Varela being the quickest just a second better than Solis and his BRC with a 1000cc engine. These cars were again a big surprise following on from their performances in Spain, managing to score times within the top ten overall and even beating a couple of CNs.
Also really quick was the best of the Portuguese drivers, Antonio Monteiro Nogueira, setting times faster than the best “European” touring car of Senkyr, with his venerable but very powerful Ford Escort MkI.
Following the results from Serra de Estrella, Regosa stays at the top of the points table but De Biasi has become a serious threat and could soon create a big surprise by beating all the 3 litres PA20s with his PA21 2litre Honda.
Literatura, odkazy, zdroje
Text: Daniel Ceán-Bermúdez www.citadecampeones.com - English translation: Gerald P. Swan www.gjd-solutions.co.uk
Autor: Daniel Cean-Bermudez/E
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