Sports Car Challenge Report – Hockenheim, October
Pedrazza And Payr Sign Off The Season
For the last
of its eight race weekends, the Sports Car Challenge travelled to
the German Grand Prix circuit (or as of 2007, the former German
Grand Prix circuit) at Hockenheim. With the champions in the various
divisions all but crowned, the race for the overall title was still
open. First, though, Friday brought a major scare.
PRC-BMW during free practice, German stalwart SCC competitor Gerd
Beisel only completed a few laps before his car came to a halt in
the gravel. As the marshals attempted to tow it to a place of safety,
the tow cable snapped, and slashed Beisel’s hand. A hurried
airlift to the nearest hospital was followed by four hours of surgery
to try and save the severely damaged limb. It now appears that this
has been accomplished; still, the mood in the SCC paddock was a
The racing resumed
on Saturday, with both races held on that day; Emanuel Pedrazza
in the lightweight 3,2l PRC-BMW occupied pole position for race
1, with Division 1 champion-elect Wolfgang Payr alongside him. Payr’s
rival for the overall Sports Car Challenge title of 2006, Division
2 leader Pius Truffer, was right behind them.
These two, Payr
and Truffer, above, provided most of the entertainment throughout
the first half of this 14 lap race. Also fighting the good fight
was Karl-Heinz Matzinger, who still had hopes of clinching third
place in the Division 2 standings, some little consolation for a
chequered season. He spent the initial laps dicing it out with Alexander
Hin; the hard-charging hillclimb specialist from Germany (whose
runs up the Alpine mountain roads rarely last longer than two minutes)
later freely admitted that controlled aggression is not his forté;
two spins spoiled his effort, but gave him yet more opportunity
to charge through the field.
all this, Pedrazza in #4 scored a flag-to-flag win, while Payr’s
second place now secured him the title of 2006 Sports Car Challenge
and Payr, below.
Pedrazza/A, PRC-BMW (1. Div.1), 14 Laps in 20:40,153
2. Wolfgang Payr/A, PRC-Cosworth (2. Div.1), -21,872sec.
3. Pius Truffer (CH), PRC-BMW (1. Div.2), -32,435
4. Adi Gärtner/CH, Martini-Alfa (3. Div.1), -1:02,412
5. Karl-Heinz Matzinger/A, PRC-Opel (2. Div.2), -1:03,158
6. Alexander Hin/D, PRC-Honda (3. Div.2), -1:05,433
7. Mirco Schultis/D, PRC-Honda (4. Div.2), -1:06,374
8. Peter Kormann/D, PRC-BMW (5. Div.2), -1:17,624
9. Gerhard Münch/D, Norma M20, -1:24,648
10. Martin Brückl/A, Porsche 997 (1. Div.4), -1:28,770
11. Georg Hallau/D, MRP-Honda, -1 Lap
12. Thomas Wolfert/D, MRP-Opel
13. Otto Dragoun/A, Porsche 996 (2. Div.4)
14. Klaus Essig/D, PRC-Opel, -2 Laps
15. Christian Bösch/A, Porsche 944 (3. Div.4), -4 Laps
Not classified: Nico Unteregger/D, Chevrolet Corvette, -9 Laps
Race 2 started
as a confrontation between the PRC team mates, Pedrazza and Payr,
and their very different cars.
to have it all his own way when he ran wide going into the Mercedes
Arena – the first sign of brake trouble which would later
take him out of the race. With his main adversary gone, Payr ended
the 2006 season in style, celebrating his title on the top step
of the podium.
Payr/A, PRC-Cosworth (1. Div.1), 12 Laps in 17:26,843
2. Pius Truffer, PRC-BMW (1. Div.2), 30,481sec.
3. Alexander Hin/D, PRC-Honda (2. Div.2), -57,586
4. Adi Gärtner/CH, Martini-Alfa (2. Div.1), -58,274
5. Karl-Heinz Matzinger/A, PRC-Opel (3. Div.2),-58,928
6. Peter Kormann/D, PRC-BMW, -1:03,976
7. Martin Brückl/A, Porsche 997 (1. Div.4), -1:21,948
8. Mirco Schultis/D, PRC-Honda, -1:25,514
9. Thomas Wolfert/D, MRP-Opel, -1 Lap
10. Gerhard Münch/D, Norma M20
11. Otto Dragoun/A, Porsche 996 (2. Div.4)
12. Klaus Essig/D, PRC-Opel
13. Emanuel Pedrazza/A, PRC-BMW, -3 Laps
Christian Bösch/A, Porsche 944, -4 Laps
Nico Unteregger/D, Chevrolet Corvette, -9 Laps
After the final
race of the year, the SCC family found the time to send a special
message to their injured friends, Tony Sinclair and Gerd Beisel
who will hopefully be back in action again next year.
who is still in hospital in Milan, recovering from his dreadful
accident at Monza track, has a broken pelvis and multiple fractures
to his legs (adds Harald Gallinis). Faced with three months
in hospital, the Englishman is looking forward to the opportunity
to be despatched back home.
and his crew are already hard at work to make 2007 the Sports Car
Challenge’s best season ever; judging by the positive feedback
and the interest from potential competitors the introduction of
the GT class has brought about, they are on the right track.