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 GT Championship.

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.

The weather 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 (below).

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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

 

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