Super Sprint Challenge Salzburgring – May 22-23
The Interserie and Sports Car Challenge competitors reconvened at
the Salzburgring on 22/23 May, for the second meeting of their new-for-2004
joint series. The healthy field of 29 cars served as clear indication
that the two organising bodies' decision to cooperate was the right
one. In what can be seen as a vote of confidence, a number of Swiss
competitors who had chosen to sit out the first round at Brno, now
made their return to the series.
The prototype brigade
had a score to settle following their crushing defeat at the hands
of Peter Milavec and his Audi-powered Reynard F3000, and there is
no sign of disarmament among the sportscar ranks. The PRC works
team brought along a car, with 3.5l Cosworth DFR power, for Emanuel
Pedrazza, and Zajelsnik Motorsport rolled out its latest acquisition,
a Lola B2K/10 formerly owned by Franz Konrad, and propelled by a
6l Chevrolet V8. Also seen in the paddock was a 6.5l V8-engined
Royale, which still bore the insignia of the Castle Combe Special
It proved to be the wrong
weekend to debut these rocketships, on one of Europe’s faster
tracks, in dreadful weather. Eager to familiarise himself with his
new car, Alexander Zajelsnik tried too hard in the Saturday morning
practice session. The heavy impact into the armco resulted in extensive
bodywork damage, and the team had no choice but to withdraw. The
B2K will hopefully be straighened out in time for the first Interserie
100 minute "mini enduro", which is now scheduled for the
Eurospeedway Lausitzring in early August.
The persistant rain led
to the postponement of the Saturday race to Sunday morning, and
mercifully, the weather did improve overnight. Emanuel Pedrazza
started race 1 from pole position but headed straight back to the
pits for repairs to a damaged diffusor, and then rallied to make
up for lost ground. The race played out in his favour, as double
Brno winner Milavec retired with a broken timing belt on his Audi
turbo engine, and two more front runners hit technical trouble.
Wolfgang Payr spun his PRC-BMW off the track and out of the race;
and Gerd Beisel found that "power is nothing without transmission"
as the gearbox broke on his 3.5l PRC-Mugen. Meanwhile, Pedrazza
kept picking off slower competitors one by one, and sometimes several
at a time. With two laps to go, he overtook German hillclimb star
Arnold Wagner's F3000 Reynard and Rainer Fink's Osella for the race
lead, and the win.
The two litre sportscar
class wen to Burkhard Stricker in front of Manuel Metzger and Wolfgang
dietmann, while former sportscar driver Markus Altenstrasser won
the small single seater class.
then took a turn for the worse as showers of not rain, but snow
came down over the Salzburgring; several teams promptly withdrew
from race 2, and so victory was never in doubt for Emanuel Pedrazza
It was dominant
performances all round, as Metzger was in charge in the 2 litre
class, and Altenstrasser once again won the 2l single seater race,
while Jean Claude Monbaron predictably won his class with the only
F3000 left in the field.
The next round of the
Super Sprint challenge will take place on June 19/20 at Dijon-Prenois.
Johannes Gauglica & Harald Gallinnis