KEEP UP THE REVS!
In the heat and the sweat of Austria AC ‘Bluebird’ completed the notorious Ennstal Classic between 20 and 23 July.
The Bluebird team.
Over 220 cars took part in the event, with cars ranging from a 1924 Cunningham V5 Special, up to the ubiquitous Mercedes Gullwings and Jaguar 120s. Many cars did not survive the mountain climbs of the first day; a spritely canary coloured Fiat 750 was last seen steaming and gasping halfway up a steep climb that AC ‘Bluebird’ had to take in first gear.
At the start on day two.
Water and refreshments were supplied at every stop; the locals were enthralled to see so many cars and visitors, and nothing was too much trouble. Unlike the Mille Miglia the rules of the road were strictly followed by all competitors, especially on day two, which involved several long marathon sections through twisting narrow country roads. On day two we almost collected a cow on a downhill section as cattle roamed freely on the mountainsides.
Approaching a checkpoint and refreshments.
One of many marathon drives, with no room to overtake.
Day three began with a vicious hill-climb of over four miles; on one corner I lost control of the car and in a brief moment we looked to be tumbling several thousand feet back to Grobming. With a few feet to spare I brought the car round, kept the revs up, and we continued to the top of the mountain. Later on the last day we had a Grand Prix event around Grobming. We never quite understood what was expected of us in the GP. I simply drove as fast as I could round the route lined with straw bales, which resulted in a high number of penalty points. We later discovered that we should have driven the route at an optimum speed of 28mph. (I was doing 78mph.)
Ready for the last hill-climb, with the ‘hill’ in the distance.
At the top, after a four-mile climb. Some didn’t make it.
Stopping off a mountain climb to race round a motor circuit.
We had started day two lying 5th overall and second in our class, but by the end of day three we finished 175th and 39th in our class of 83. Never mind, we had a lot of fun, made friends and came away smiling. You can’t ask for much more than that!
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