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Memorable dream days

The Eggentaler Herbst Classic 2020 was special in every sense. Especially beautiful. Especially outstanding. And especially friendly. Here we have a look back at the four days.

 

Tomorrow the engines will roar. It’s finally starting!

Wednesday, 7 October 2020

We will surely all keep 2020 in mind for a long time. A year in which many things are different, many things have been cancelled. “The Eggentaler Herbst Classic will take place,” predicted organiser Klaus Pichler back in spring – and he was right. A little unfamiliar with face masks. And with Corona quick tests before check-in. Everything to protect participants, staff and the community of the classic car rally in the Dolomites. And with a hopeful Dr. Christian Thuile, who is responsible for the EHC test centre: “In the foreseeable future, these tests will help solve the corona problem”.

All tests on Wednesday were negative, which contributed to an extremely positive mood on the first day. “People here in South Tyrol and Italy take better care of themselves anyway than at home,” say Pierre Gerber and Alice Leuenberger from Switzerland, for example. And Michaela and Jürgen Blatter from the Black Forest also confirm this: “Here people keep their distance, wear masks – there is a completely different awareness here than in Germany”. But the atmosphere among the participants is by no means distant.

On the contrary: many know each other and look forward to carefree days together. And track manager Karlheinz Schott, who has already been given a lot of questions during the informal Q&A session before dinner, promises very special rally delicacies for the next three days – and above all good weather. And he is pleased that the good news from the test centre will make a relaxed but nevertheless responsible event possible: “Because everyone has been tested, it was clear that there are no concerns or fears among the participants. But the most important thing on this day is: The waiting is over. Tomorrow the engines will be roaring. It’s finally starting!

Bright sunshine - almost a certainty!

Thursday, 8 October 2020

“We are happy that it is finally starting!” The mood of Nicole and Christoph Weiland with starting number 15 could not be more splendid. Just like the weather. But somehow bright sunshine is almost a certainty at the Eggentaler Herbst Classic. At the start in Deutschnofen in front of the majestic scenery of the Rosengarten, Daniel Wenk, co-driver of Beat Voellmy, traditionally blew the hunting horn, the engines roared with power to show: We are here this year – despite all the circumstances. “The atmosphere is great, the weather is great, it couldn’t be better at all”, said Ute Müller full of euphoria – and studied the road book on her bonnet: “It’s about time I take a look in there.”

Peter Schmid is looking forward to “lots of fun, good food and good people” as he makes the final preparations for his Triumpf Sptifire GT 6. Traditionally, he and his wife Andrea have their sweet dog Bonnie with them – but he had to take a quick walk just before the start. And Thomas Wünsche, who is at the start of the EHC for the second time, is looking forward to a “great and spectacular track and, ” to seeing people again who we met last year”.

Day one has already given a foretaste of the next days. Plenty of sun. Fantastic panorama and a “secret” stop in front of the Tscheiner Hütte under the Rosengarten. Some participants enjoyed a small glass of white wine there before returning across Karersee to Deutschnofen.

Atypically while having a beer back to the Ganischgerhof, however, Matthias Targa and Klaus Thalmann from the sponsor Schreckbichl, who actually have to do with pretty good wines professionally. As locals, they know the advantages of the region, but are sad to have to give up the wheel again tomorrow. In the Schreckbichl winery there are many people who are crazy about participating in rallies so that they have to share a car during the EHC. “If the sun shines and the cars are going to last until the end, it will be another great event,” says Roland Antholzer, a friend of organiser Klaus Pichler, who has been at every EHC so far. And Klaus? Beamed with satisfaction, too, before he enjoyed his dinner during the Tyrolean evening at the Ganischgerhof: “A very, very nice day,” he summed up and promised an even nicer one on Friday. He has already set the bar very high for himself.

Photographers can choose from a wide range of options

Friday, 9 October 2020

Let’s just assume that track manager Karlheinz Schott wrote the script for the second day of the EHC in exactly this way. Minutes before the first cars crossed the picturesque Lake Carezza, the sun shone through between Rosengarten and Latemar, bathing the roads there in a magnificent morning light. And with that came the biggest question of the day for everyone who had a camera with them – no matter whether it was in a mobile phone or a professional photo backpack: Where do I actually stop to take pictures? There was simply a spectacular photo spot waiting around every corner.

By the time we reached the Fedaia reservoir, the tuning with the accelerator pedal – or in this case the brake pedal – decided which was the most popular selfiespot of the day. The car in the foreground, the mighty Marmolada in the background, the picturesque lake in between. There had to be that much time, even if the long loop over the Karer Pass, Feidaia Pass, Passo di Cereda, Passo Rolle and Passo di Lavazè did not leave too much time to stroll. “With our car we are a little slower and therefore we can’t stop so often”, says Stefan Flohr, who enjoyed “pure go-kart feeling” in the countless bends with his Fiat 500. His wife and co-driver Angelika used the time to take photos from the roof, unless she had to guide Stefan through the stages.

In contrast to the Flohrs, Wolfgang Gallmetzer celebrated his premiere at the Eggentaler Herbst Classic. It was therefore not so easy for him to be conducted by his co-driver Elfriede Delvai. “It’s simply too loud in the car all the time,” he says with a laugh – and leaves it open whether this is due to the engine noise or other accompanying circumstances.

“We might be able to do a little better on the tests,” says Thomas Dänzel, but he is pleased “that the little machine” of his Jaguar E-Type “runs well”. In general, he, who is participating for the second time, has a big grin on his face because of an absolute dream day. “Great course – especially when it got really warm”, Jürgen Strasser also says on the second day of the rally in the Dolomites and joins in the storms of enthusiasm of the participants. “Grandiose, I don’t know how Klaus always manages to do it like that,” says Sascha Wilhelm, who was also pleased to have no car in front of him for ten minutes in his Ferrari Dino 308 GT4.

It all sounds as if there really is no downer. But if you watched attentively, you could already see that one or the other back was already a little bit troubled – by narrow serpentines, hard-tuned suspensions and sporty seats. Ganischgerhof senior manager Walter Pichler, for example, got into the Porsche Speedster after lunch, just like his co-driver Franco Bozzetta, by sliding elegantly down the backrest. “Getting into the car is still possible,” Walter laughed. “Just not getting out of the car anymore”. And drove away with a loud roar onto the Passo Rolle.

Riding on the red carpet

Saturday, 10 October 2020

“We thought it was going to snow today,” Magda Pardeller explained why two pairs of historic skis stood out from her and her co-driver Michaela Amplatz’s Alfa Romeo. But as locals, who have already competed in the Eggentaler Herbst Classic for the twelfth time, they should know better: During the EHC, sunshine is almost a guaranteed feature of the event. On the top of the Penser Joch, there was already noticeable snow beside the roads – but the sun shone down on the participants. Even though the announced bad weather conditions caused some worry lines on the faces of the organisers. ” To take what is possible in the morning”, was the motto of the photographers’ meeting the evening before, for example. Totally for the birds in the end. Because until the Concours d’Élegance in Deutschnofen in the late afternoon, the sun was shining almost unhindered from the sky.

And so there was a great deal of sunshine not only on the Penser Joch, but also in Sterzing. A somewhat humourless local complained that cars suddenly drove through the pedestrian zone, but this did not detract from the magnificent mood of the participants and the many spectators in Sterzing. On the contrary – the drive over the red carpet including a tube test in front of the town’s landmark, the Twelve Tower, was definitely one of the highlights of the three rally days in South Tyrol and the Dolomites.

Anyone who thought after the dream day on Friday that there would be no more increase was taught a better lesson on the final day. On the Penser Joch, the French horn team around Daniel Wenk and Beat Voellmy suddenly unpacked an alphorn – a big trumpet, but because it is made of carbon, it can be easily slid into each other and stowed in the back of the car. After the spectacular city tour in Sterzing, the old-timer team made a stop at Maria Trens, a place of pilgrimage, for a lunch break at the Gasthof Post. Afterwards, they took part in a challenging test at the shower cubicle manufacturer duka on the spacious company property.

And of course the Concours d’Élegance was, as always, a stylish presentation at the end of the rally days. See and be seen, sporting ambition and relaxation, joy and humour met here once again. “And here comes number 94 – they not only don’t care about time, they don’t give a damn,” said presenter Michael Hagemann, who, as always, commented on the final day extremely competently but also with a great deal of humour.

And it was precisely this mixture of good vibes, humour, expertise and participants who more or less take it seriously that made this EHC a sensational experience once again. With “nice people and laughing people”, as track manager Karlheinz Schott summed up at the award ceremony.

At this time the bad weather front had hit the Penser Joch and completely snowed in within a very short time.

 

text and photos: Jens Vögele | 360°-Kommunikation