The 1st Swiss Motorsport Festival
On the 19th and 20th July 2003, the Albis Hill Climb will be staged for the first time since the 1950s. Hear the delightful roar of classic racing vehicles, breathe in the panoramic views of the Lake and City of Zurich and the Alps, chat to motorsports personalities and admire the vehicles at close quarters - all at the Albis Hill Climb 2003.
A hillclimb race from the beginnings of Swiss motorsport. It was in the year 1907 when the Albis hillclimb near Zurich was mentioned for the first time in a publication. It is therefore among the oldest Swiss motorsport events.
Following World War One, in 1920 the Bernese section of the Swiss Automobile Club (ACS) organized for the first time an automobile race on the Gurnigel mountain near Berne. It was called the Brevo Cup. Winner was C. Richard Schmidt racing his Cole in 5 minutes and 57 seconds up the hill. Since Schmidt belonged to the Zurich section of the Swiss Automobile Club it was now up to the Zurich members to stage the race for the second time.
This is how the Albis pass, close to the city of Zurich, became the location for the second Brevo Cup. Several thousand spectators, arriving in the town of Adliswil by bicycle, horse or car, watched the spectacular race. Back then the race course had a length of 5.8 kilometers (3.6 miles) and a difference of 339 meters in altitude. Fastest driver that day with 5 minutes and 44 seconds was W. Ramseier of Geneva driving a Pic-Pic. This Swiss construction was powered by a 4.5 liter competition engine, which had already been used at the Grand Prix of France in 1914. In second and third places followed two American cars: A. Marx with a Cadillac and W. Risch with a Marmon. Thereafter it became quiet on the Albis pass, since the Zurich section of ACS between 1922 and 1934 organised the famous Klausenrennen.
It was in September 1951 that racing engines could be heard again on the Albis. The new road had been shortened from the original 5.8 to 3.97 kilometers (2.481 miles) and there was now a difference of 259 meters in altitude. For the national hillclimb no fewer than 117 race drivers had entered their cars. Swiss citizen Rudolf Fischer raced his red and white Ferrari 212 Monoposto (serial number #110). He was fastest of the day with 2 minutes and 34 seconds and an average of 93,508 kms per hour. Since the late 1950s this rare single-seater belongs to the legendary Schlumpf Museum in Mulhouse, France. Second on that memorable day was German race ace Hans Stuck driving a metallic grey AFM Formula 2 single seater. His car’s engine produced almost 60 hp less than Fischer’s scarlet Ferrari. In third place was Swiss privateer Willy-Peter Daetwyler in his Alfa Romeo 412.
For a number of reasons no further races to the Albis pass were held following the 1951 event. However, there will now soon be the new Albis Hillclimb Revival. Due to today’s traffic situation it will be impossible to organize this First Albis Motorsports Festival on the roads originally used. The course for the new revival will also begin in Adliswil but then lead towards Buchenegg. This new track is a demanding challenge for the drivers and offers visitors a spectacular event with a fabulous scenery. A stunning racing spectacle for viewers. It is also conveniently located only 20 minutes from Zurich's Main Station.
Each year a special motorsport theme will be selected and especially celebrated. For the 1st Albis Revival the legendary 1960s racing team, the Swiss Scuderia Filipinetti has been chosen. A variety of interesting racing Ferraris have been entered. Peter Heuberger will race his extraordinary 250 GT Lusso s/n 5367 GT. This is a car with an outstanding racing history including the Tour de France and many other significant events. Heuberger acquired this car at the Bonhams auction at Gstaad in December 2002. Honda Switzerland director and President of the Geneva Motor Show Claude Sage plans to race a Ferrari 275 GTB shortnose Berlinetta. Former Swiss Formula One driver Jo Vonlanthen enters his beautiful Tipo 500 Formula One car with s/n 54/1.
There will also be an ex-Chinetti/NART Group 4 competition Daytona (s/n 13855) which is owned by Max Lustenberger. This car ran at Le Mans in 1972 with Frenchman Jean-Pierre Jarier. On the entry list is also a Ford GT40 to be driven by Jacques Calderari, an ex-Filipinetti Lola T212, several Maserati 250 Fs, 4 CL and 4 CLTs. Fredy Lienhard, the Swiss Ferrari collector, race driver and owner of the Lista office furniture company plans to race his March-BMW Formula 2. A Miller Grand Prix car, a Singer Le Mans, an AC Cobra 427, an Alfa-Romeo 8C 2300, several Bugattis and even an American La France Type 75 of 1917 will be entered as well. Also on hand will be a 1965 Brabham BT16, an ex-Filipinetti Chevrolet Corvette L88 from 1968 and a Group 5 De Tomaso Pantera. A Lagonda Rapier and a 1978 ex-James Hunt McLaren M26 Formula One car plus several Porsche Prototypes and a Monteverdi Formula One monoposto complete the entry list.
The 2003 Albis Motorsport Festival promises to become a huge success and about 20,000 spectators are expected for the two-day event. Organiser is Swiss Alex Beeler of Marengo Corse, owner of a PR and marketing firm and historic race car driver from Zurich. Additional information can be obtained from www.albisbergrennen.ch.
© Marcel Massini 27/03/2003
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