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Sports Car Challenge - Brno report

(5.-6.th August 2000)

Sports Car Challenge

During the SportsRacing World Cup (see my brothers report) in Brno there were 8th and 9th rounds from Sports Car Challenge 2000 (earlier Euroserie). The big entry was reduced to 17 participants, which took their free practices on Friday. The biggest favorites were Marcel Steiner (CH/Martini Mk.77) and Emanuel Pedrazza (A/PRC SC98/99 BMW). Their victories ratio was 4:3 for Steiner, but who is interested in SCC knows that very quick is also Klaus Nesbach (D/Stealth B6 Sport), the only closed-cockpit car in Brno.

SATURDAY RACE - round 8

Unfortunately one of three JAZ cars was out of the race during the free practice session on Friday. Josef Zajelsnik did not come with their regular JAZ C97 Mugen, but with Osella PA16. Good weather during the official Saturday practice established the starting grid with Marcel Steiner leading in 1:59,14 ahead of Emanuel Pedrazza (1:59,64) and Nesbach (2:00,70).

The formation lap was sad for Josef Pfyl (CH/Centenari MAC3), who did not start his engine. Another unhappy was Steiner, because his car did not start well and he had to abandon with gearbox or clutch problem behind the first corner. Pedrazza made a margin ahead of Nesbach and with the quickest laps (2:00,15 etc.) he won this race without problems and set the victory ratio 4:4! Patrick Zajelsnik (D/Osella PA16) had some troubles and stooped after the first lap in box. Sliding Josef Robl (D/Osella PA20S/97) and Charlie Grütter (CH/PRC S94) failed for good positions but they made a good race, especially Robl increased from 13th position to 7th in the finish line! The 3rd and 4th places were strong hold by Andreas Tandl and Alexander Zajelsnik, even more Tandl decrease the margin behind Nesbach and himself to 4 seconds. Walter Forster (ex-BMW 2002 hill climb gr.H driver) could be happy from his first sportscar finish this year, he finished 5th ahead of Martin Krisam sr. (D/URD WSC). Hans Locher (CH/Martini Mk.66) began from 6th place in the first lap but finished 8th. In the second division we saw the debut of Hungarian driver Andras Bakos (PRC S2000). He was rather quick and finished 3rd ahead of division leader Hannes Gsell and Grütter. The other abandoned was Ralph Baumann who finished his 6th lap in box.

SUNDAY RACE - round 9

The Sunday morning was very rainy. The practice was very hard to drive in. The happiest was Emanuel Pedrazza who dominated this session with 3 seconds margin ahead of Steiner. The disappointing was 9th starting place for Dr. Nesbach. By the other side very exciting was 3rd place for Grütter who used not so quick Alfa Romeo powered PRC car, but rain was pleasant for him. Troubles hold to JAZ team. Both Zajelsniks were the slowest and no of them participated in the race. Pfyl and Forster did not take a part in this practice. Pfyl came home in the late Saturday afternoon.

The start was very exciting, because Pedrazza overslept the green light and Grüter overtook him and trying not to hit Pedrazza's car Grütter touched Steiners Martini. But all was OK and Grütter started the race in 2nd position! Second division leader Hannes Gsell had starting troubles and he retired. Other retirements were Baumann (again) and Krisam URD BMW with engine troubles. Who was disappointed by Nesbach bad training was excited know, because Nesbach on wet track came 3rd in first lap behind leading Steiner and Pedrazza. Grütter was 6th. But Nesbach made a fantastic race, he was about 6 seconds (!!!) quicker per lap than Steiner and took the lead in the second lap! His very quick driving on the wet track continued to the finish line when he had a margin of 42 seconds!!! His fastest lap was 2:12,37 while Steiners one was 2:18,28!!! and Pedrazzas 2:19,25. This was the first and convincing Nesbach triumph. Pedrazza tried to catch Steiner, but nothing was changed and Pedrazza finished 3rd behind Steiner. Tandl was in the entire race ahead of Locher and finished 4th. Only in the first lap Josef Locher raced on the 4th place, but later his Osella lost power and Robl came down to the 9th and last position. Grütter was very happy from his division victory in wet race. Second finished newcomer Bakos.

The SCC showed in Brno its potential and it is the best championship for private drivers in the middle Europe.