Ecce Homo 2015

6th - 7th June 2015

European Hillclimb Championship

Famous and traditional Ecce Homo hill climb race was the fifth venue of the 2015 season. After the first race in France, followed by Austrian Rechberg, which we reported on RSC as well, two races in Spain and Portugal completed the season so far. Actually the Austrian race, which was marred by a fatal accident and which consisted of just one racing heat was not in the end counted for the points. So after three competitive venues, it was Simone Faggioli who led the points championship with three counted victories, and one uncounted victory in Austria. After having won six Ecce Homo races in row, he was the clear favourite of this event. No driver before was able to win so many times, not to say so many times in a row.

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However compared to the Rechberg race, the level of competition, especially among the top class prototypes was much higher, mainly due to a real support of local Czech drivers running very quick Normas and Osellas.

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Simone Faggioli dominated the event since the very first practice session and only question (unless he had some unexpected troubles) was whether he would beat his old track and race records. Already after the first day, Faggioli claimed that the record is very unlikely to be beaten as track is too bumpy these days. And he confirmed his words on Sunday. He actually won the race all the way, he was very close to his record times 2:45, but still about one second slower than his best times from two years ago.

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Second overall, and winner of the single-seater category, was bet Czech driver Miloš Beneš. Despite single-seater class, he was driving prototype Osella FA30, a special central-seat sport car similar to the car which Faggioli use to defend his early victories and titles (before switching to his current Norma M20FC.

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Fausto Bormolini from Italy, was the second fastest among single-seaters (E2-SS), with his Reynard Formula Nippon from 2000 (type 2KL). Even this car was not a traditional formula car, as it was fitted with a large and extremely wide rear wing. The car this resembles the latest generation of Can-Am cars, which flooded Interserie by the mid 90-ies - large wing but only small cycle wing-style fenders in a black colour.

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The next three positions among the sports cars (E2-SC) belonged to Czech driver in Normas M20FC: David Komárek, Dušan Nevěřil and Václac Janík. Only Janík's Norma looked the same as the winning car of Faggioli though.

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Sebastien Petit, a debuting French star, arrived with another Formula Nippon, Lola B06/51, despite driving a prototype Norma in his home France Championship. Since his 4-litre Norma is not legal for points in the European Hill Climb Championship, he drove his older car. This does not mean that over 3000 prototypes cannot race in EHC hill climbs. Even here we had such entry - ProSport 3000 Wolfgang Terschl. Unfortunately, not only the car was a bit heavier than a common hill climb prototype, it was not also driven well and was classified only 84th.

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He was still far from being the last. Together, including historic cars, there were 134 classified finishers, 148 starters, and other 7 cars which did not start. Among the historic cars, there was just one and quite obvious favourite for the win: Uberto Bonucci with an Osella PA9/90, who broke the current record for historic cars by three seconds per heat. Jaroslav Prášek, the second position among the historic cars was nearly half minute further back, driving his Chevron B45´2 Formula 2.

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Closed cars, consisting of various Touring cars, GT and Silhouette Speacials, had an interesting race on their own despite running in several classes and classifications: E2-SH, E1, GT, Group A, Group N and S20. Fastest of them, Dan Michl with a Lotus Evora, was 10th overall. Just one place behind him was Vladimír Wittwer with an older Audi DTM TT, also running as a Sihouette (E2-SH).

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Andreas Gabat, driving much more silhouette-looking Ford Escort actually won class E1 and was 16th overall, third closed car. Groups A and N were dominated by Mitsubishi Lancers. And in GT, a single Ferrari, with Petr Vojáček at the wheel, easily beat duo of Nissans 350Z, entered by the same team, actually filling the entire, very sparse, GT field.

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Overall, this year Ecce Homo was a nice race, with minimum delays of the race programme, much better this year than Rechberg a month and half ago.

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