Ecce Homo 2017

3rd - 4th June 2017

European Hillclimb Championship

This year Ecce Homo, the European Hill Climb Championship race, was exceptional from several points of view. First of all, the number of cars exceeded two hundreds, which happened never before. Thus the traditional 1-minute intervals from the past were shortened even more, to only 35 seconds, which is at the limit of 7800 meters long track, which is not easy to cover in less than three minutes.

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General competition was arguably also the best of all time. Especially the number of sports prototypes was huge - maybe over 30, counting historic cars as well. Both favourites for the overall title were present as well: Simone Faggioli and Christian Merli.

Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 021Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 022Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 023Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 024Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 025Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 026Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 027Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 028Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 029Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 030Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 031Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 032Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 033Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 034Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 035Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 036Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 037Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 038Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 039Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 040

Already Saturday's practice sessions brought a bug fight between those two. Merli in his Osella ran first (as he competed among single-seater with his sports car center seated FA30 car) and for the first time in modern history beat the absolute track record, lowering it by almost two seconds (2:44.15). Faggioli, trying to answer this excellent performance of Merli, did a mistake and spun during his second practice heat. When recovered, he was still running very strongly, not influenced by this unfortunate delay, but obviously his time said nothing about his real performance.

Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 041Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 042Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 043Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 044Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 045Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 046Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 047Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 048Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 049Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 050Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 051Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 052Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 053Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 054Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 055Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 056Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 057Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 058Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 059Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 060

For the main race on Sunday, the weather forecast was not really optimistic for the afternoon, so every delay was unwelcomed much more than usually. During morning racing heat, Merli was not able to achieve his time from Saturday, but was still very quick (2:45.30), however Faggioli made no mistake now and manage to run the track at the best ever time in its history. He improved the Merli's record by almost another second: 2:43.37.

Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 061Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 062Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 063Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 064Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 065Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 066Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 067Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 068Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 069Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 070Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 071Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 072Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 073Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 074Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 075Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 076Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 077Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 078Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 079Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 080

Afternoon heats started again with the historic cars and were still run under regular dry conditions. Uberto Bonucii with his almost modern sounding and looking Osella PA9/90 let nobody to doubt about his victory and with another time at 3:14 beaten almost entire field by more than a half-minute. Only Adam Klus with his ex-Adámek Interserie March HSB Audi Turbo Can-Am, could keep some 10-12 seconds per heat behind the winner. Very attractive car was brought his by former EHC Champion Jean-Marie Almeras but continuous problems with the engine in his Porsche 935J prevented him from completing more than one of the two runs he actually started (out of four over the weekend), so spectators could not enjoy this great Group 5 silhouette as one would wish.

Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 081Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 082Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 083Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 084Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 085Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 086Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 087Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 088Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 089Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 090Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 091Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 092Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 093Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 094Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 095Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 096Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 097Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 098Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 099Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 100

Modern cars also started their second heat on dry conditions but then a first rainstorm arrived. It caused nearly two-hour break in the programme, during which it was being decided whether the race would continue at all. Special touring cars (groups E1 and E2-SH) and GT cars run first. Followed by single-seaters (E2-SS).

Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 101Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 102Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 103Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 104Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 105Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 106Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 107Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 108Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 109Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 110Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 111Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 112Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 113Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 114Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 115Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 116Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 117Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 118Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 119Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 120

The track was drying and since Christian Merli ran among Single-Seaters, it was expected that it would play into the card of Simone Faggioli, as he would have the track almost dried out. However local fastest driver Miloš Beneš, running one of 3 present single-seater FA30s, had a collision with the barriers and the programme was stopped again. Merli scheduled to run only two cars later, could not do better than 3:08. So it looked good for Faggioli... only before the next rainstorm was coming... It started with a light rain and drivers were not sure what to do, many of them prepared on the start line on dry slicks... the order of them was not really kept...

Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 121Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 122Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 123Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 124Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 125Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 126Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 127Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 128Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 129Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 130Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 131Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 132Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 133Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 134Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 135Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 136Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 137Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 138Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 139Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 140

Faggioli was the last one as scheduled. It was really rather wet and he looked to have a very small chance of winning overall, maybe his class. When he covered half a distance, he was still 2 seconds ahead of Merli, but there was really a huge rain at the first third of the track that hardly allowed run faster than 60 kph. It was only a question whether Faggioli reaches the finish line earlier than the huge rainstorm would reach him... nobody knew, until commentator sadly sad that Faggioli won the race by 0.2 seconds ahead of Merli. ‘Sadly’ not because the first two positions were not deserved, but because the weather really spoilt the race, which had all preconditions to be the best and fastest one of all time.

Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 141Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 142Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 143Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 144Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 145Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 146Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 147Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 148Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 149Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 150Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 151Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 152Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 153Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 154Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 155Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 156Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 157Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 158Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 159Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 160

The other positions (third Paride Macario) were more a less a lottery. Dan Michl with his closed car running among silhouettes was 5th overall which speaks itself. Best historic would be 9th overall, had there officially been overall joint classification. A great driver Sebastien Petit from France, who was third fastest in heat one (2:49) had a bad luck in the rain and dropped down to only 8th overall.

Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 161Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 162Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 163Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 164Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 165Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 166Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 167Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 168Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 169Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 170Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 171Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 172Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 173Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 174Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 175Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 176Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 177Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 178Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 179Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 180Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 181Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 182Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 183Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 184Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 185Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 186Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 187Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 188Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 189Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 190Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 191Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 192Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 193Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 194Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 195Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 196Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 197Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 198Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 199Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 200Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 201Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 202Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 203Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 204

Some eventful photos:

left: This historic NSU stopped near our station but the race was not stopped until later, when another car further up the track stopped in more dangerous position and cause a red flag.

right: Once the race was terminated because of a suffering spectator. The same place and heat as the NSU ended its way up the hill.

Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 205Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 206

left: This Osella caught a fire. Nobody could stop it, the driver was not aware of the smoke and when it was leaving our station, the fire and soon end of the car was obvious. It is from the second practice as the other two photos above, and it never appeared on the track again.

right: The end of Almeras 935 which passed us in suspiciously peaceful speed to parked the next second. It was a great look at it after the dust disappeared, reminding DRM photos of the 1977-1981 era, before it was hidden by a bunch of other retired cars. Maybe 5 or 6 of them.

Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 207Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 208

left: At the end of the race, it started to rain, while most drivers were on dry slicks. For this car I was a bit late with taking a photo, when it started to slide into the barrier - so I just got the crash - well, the two photographers 'improved' the photo a little, I was complaining to the spectators next to me, interested in it.

right: The very last car on the track, in the dark and rather slippery track. A few moments later, a heavy rain came down but Faggioli had a good luck in a bad luck and was not caught by water so much. So he could actually win by 0.2 seconds, mainly thanks to his excellent, record packed first heat.

Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 209Ecce Homo 2017 (European Hillclimb Championship) - picture number 210
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