Brno 6 Hours
The weekend of October 9/10 was an unfortunate piece of scheduling for what should have been the 12 Hours of Brno. With a 3hr race in France (VdeV), a 6hr race in Britain (Britcar), a 3.5hr race in Germany (German Ch'ship), and a 500k race for Porsches at Spa, not to mention the Spanish GT races, and FIA-GT in Dubai, this must have been the busiest weekend in European endurance racing in recent years; and a number of potential entrants went racing elsewhere. Add to this a certain hesitation on behalf of the organisers to actually confirm the 12 hour format, and you will understand why the teams were not queuing up to take part in the Agrotec Prima Epilog, at Brno on October 9. With this in mind, the decision to shorten the race to the usual 6 hours is understandable; still, the announcement was made barely two weeks before the race itself, and thus created further insecurity for the teams that had already made provisions for the longer race, and in some cases taken on paying drivers. On top of this, anything but a win for one of the two Mercedes DTM cars entered by the Charouz Racing System team would have been a surprise. But it was not the Mercedes’ immediate competition that stayed away; the over-2000cc class saw 16 cars line up for the cars, among them seven Porsches. Instead, the smaller classes were somewhat depleted.

Driven by Antonin Charouz, Jan Charouz, and truck racer Adam Lacko (Jarek Janis was busy testing an IndyCar), the faster of the two Mercs headed off into the distance, and that was that. For the 2000 model CLK, things were different. Juraj Sedivy / Sascha Bert / Milan Bezak found themselves under pressure from the Renauer Motorsport Porsche 996 RS throughout the event. Qualifying went ahead as planned for the Charouz team, with both cars on the front row; but Manfred Jurasz / Wolfgang Kaufmann / Petr Valek had their sights set on second place. With a smart race strategy, the fastest of the Porsche teams controlled the Merc for most of the race, and had already worked up a comfortable two lap advantage, when the alternator let go half an hour before the end, and the CLK got ahead. Although they were still on the same lap, the margin proved unassailable in the remaining time, and the Charouz team got its 1-2 dream result.

Mercedes and Audi dominated the proceedings in a fashion reminiscent of the pre-war Grand Prix on the old Masaryk-Ring street circuit; in the same fashion as the winning CLK put five laps on his nearest rival, the Bohemia Racing Audi A4 Super Tourer put 11 laps on the next 2000cc finisher, and mixed it with the Porsches.

As far as close and exciting racing went, the 2004 Brno 6 Hours were a case of “oh well maybe next year”. We will see what 2005 holds in store for Czech endurance racing.
Johannes Gauglica

Result
1. Antonin Charouz / Jan Charouz / Adam Lacko, Mercedes CLK-DTM (2003), 159 laps
2. Sascha Bert / Milan Bezak / Juraj Sedivy / Antonin Charouz, Mercedes CLK-DTM (2000), - 5 laps
3. Manfred Jurasz / Wolfgang Kaufmann / Petr Valek, Porsche 996 GT3-RS, -6 laps
4. Rudolf Machanek / Istvan Racz / Andrej Studenic / Josef Venc, Porsche 996 GT3, -7 laps
5. Milan Maderyc / Jaroslav Paral / Stefan Rosina jr., Audi A4, -10 laps
6. Miro Konopka / Rudolf Machanek, Porsche 996 GT3
7. Tomas Kostka / Robert Senkyr, BMW M3, -11 laps
8. Kurt Menhofer / Wolfgang Stöhr / Georg Zoltan, Porsche 996 GT3, -13 laps
9. Franz Kollitsch / Harald Mahatsek / Klaus Kollitsch, Porsche 996 GT3, -15 laps
10. Petr Kacirek / Marcel Kusin, BMW M3, -16 laps

 

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