Round five of the 2019 FIA European Historic Sporting Rally Championship will be the Rallye Weiz in Austria, an event that is in its 11th year but is making its debut on the EHSRC calendar on the 18th-20th July. A total of 28 EHSRC eligible entries across the four categories will be competing for top honours in Styria as the championship reaches the half way stage of the 2019 season.
CATEGORY 4: PORSCHE, LANCIA, BMW, FORD, TOYOTA – BATTLE OF THE BRANDS
After missing the Ypres Historic Rally, championship leaders Mats Mysell and Esko Juntilla return to defend their to point advantage at the head of the Category 4 points table. The Swedes have switched from the Ford Sierra Cosworth in which they took the class win at the Rally de Asturias Historico in May to a Porsche 911 SC for the Rallye Weiz.
After finishing as the top EHSRC car in the Ypres Historic Rally, ‘Lucky’ and Fabrizia Pons will be looking to take maximum points in Austria in the no102 Lancia Delta Integrale. The Italians are currently in second place in the championship standings on 53 points.
Will Graham also returns to the championship after missing the Belgian round last month. The British driver, who is currently lying in fourth place in the championship standings on 36 points, will be joined by Michael Johnston in the BMW M3. Alberto Battistolli and Luigi Cazzaro will tackle the Rallye Weiz in their Key Sport Engineering run Ford Sierra Cosworth, with the class also featuring the Historic Rally Club Finland entered Toyota Celica GT-Four of Jari Latvala and Jouni Saarijärvi.
CATEGORY 3: CAN WAGNER WIN AT HOME?
The category has attracted eight EHSRC entries for Rallye Weiz, with all eyes on Round Two and Round Three winners Karl Wagner and Gerda Zauner to see if the Austrians can take their third win of the season on their home event.
The distinctive bright yellow Porsche 911 retired from the Ypres Historic Rally and the 2018 class champions head to the Rallye Weiz on 41 points in fourth overall. They are only eight points behind the current championship leaders Pentti Veikkanen and Timo Jaakkola in the no106 Porsche 911 SC.
The top six ranked cars after the first four rounds of the FIA European Historic Sporting Rally Championship will be competing in Austria, with the second placed crew of Klaus Wilkman and Hanna Valonen in the no129 Triumph TR8 on 43 points, just one point ahead of the no115 Toyota Starlet of Esa Peltonen and Jyrki Saarto.
Round 4 winners ‘Zippo’ and Denis Piceno are also competing in Austria in their Audi Quattro and are 5th on 34 points, with Zsolt and Kornel Kalapacs returning to the championship in their Opel Kadett C Coupe, the Hungarians on 24 points after missing rounds three and four.
Austrians Georg Reitsperger and Herbert Knödl are a welcome addition to the EHSRC entry list with their no120 VW Golf 16S, with the no136 Toyota Starlet of Finland’s Teuvo Hämäläinen and Pirjo Rosberg making its second appearance in the 2019 championship.
CATEGORY 2: TEN ENTRIES FOR ROUND Five
All of the leading contenders for the class title have entered for the Austrian round of the EHSRC. Championship leader Carlo Mylle will be joined by his Round Four winning co-driver Steven Vyncke in the no110 CMS Porsche 911 RSR. The Belgian driver is currently on 50 points, eleven ahead of Laszlo Mekler and Paolo Pasutti, the two drivers tied on 39 points.
Reigning class champions Laszlo Mekler and Edit Mekler-Miko will compete in the Scuderia Coppa Amici run no111 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint 1600, while Paolo Pasutti and Giovanni Campeis will be in the no116 Porsche Carrera RS.
Anders Johnsen and Peter Magoss are tied in 4th place on 37 points. Anders and Ingrid Johnsen will be competing in the no105 Tractive Motorsport Transmissions Porsche 911 RSR, with Peter Magoss and László Rónay return after missing the Ypres Historic Rally in their no125 Alfa Romeo GTam 1750.
Maurizio Pagella and Roberto Brea are lying in sixth place in the class championship standings on 29 points and will be competing in the no114 Rododendri Historic Rally Porsche 911 RSR.
James Calvert and James O’Brien will be back on track in Austria in their no137 VW 1303S, with Estonian crew Villu Mättik and Arvo Maslenikov in the no138 VAZ 2101. Two Italian crews – Mirko Acconciaioco and Francesco Zambelli (no118 Porsche 911 SR) and Pietro Corredig and Sonia Borghese (no123 BMW 2001 Tii) – complete an impressive line up for the Category 2 entry for the Rallye Weiz.
CATEGORY 1: PARISI AND GRAHAM GO HEAD TO HEAD IN AUSTRIA
In Category 1 the Ford Escort Twin Cam of Ernie and Karen Graham has been the car to beat but a gearbox failure in Belgium cost the British crew dearly.
Reigning champions Antonio Parisi and Giuseppe D’Angelo have been the most consistent crew on the opening four events, with two wins in Spain and Belgium. The Italians head to Austria in their Porsche 911 SC on 71 points, 17 ahead of their British rivals, the round three winners on 54 points.
Carlo Fiorito finished second in class in Belgium and is currently on 50 points. The Italian is joined by Marina Bertonasco in the no133 BMW 2002 Ti for the Rallye Weiz. Finland’s Elias Kivitila and Timo Tuominen are in fifth place overall on 38 points and will be competing in the no134 BMW 2002 Ti.
Jari Hyvärinen and Jarno Ala-Turkia make a welcome return to the championship after missing the events in Asturias and Ypres, the Finns competing in the no139 Historic Rally Club Finland Volvo 122.
The rally begins on Thursday 18th July with the ceremonial start at 19h00 at Europa-Allee Weiz. The start is preceded by the shakedown between 13h00 and 18h00 on Thursday afternoon.
On Friday 19th July the competitors will tackle six special stages, while day two on Saturday 20th July will feature eight stages.