The Alpenfahrt (also called Rallye Österreich , English Austrian Alpine Rally ) was one of the earliest automobile competitions. Organized by the KK Austrian Automobile Club, the first Alpine trip took place in 1910 . The rally was only held once under World Rally Championship (WRC) conditions, namely as part of the 1973 World Rally Championship .
The alpine tour is older than the much more famous Monte Carlo Rally . It has been described as one of the toughest rallies in Europe that took place before the First World War. The automotive engineer and historian Freiherr von Löw stated in 1924:
- “The Alpine Rides [...] in 1911, 1912, 1913 and 1914 were the most important touring car competitions that have ever been held because the vehicles were subject to demands under the strictest supervision that had not occurred in previous competitions . Approximately 3000 km were covered in about 8 days of driving. The engine was not allowed to be switched off from morning to evening, not even if tires were damaged or rims were changed. The cars had to spend the night outside and turn on within a minute in the morning. The roads were the steepest and the passes the highest that could be put together in the eastern Alps: Katschberg, Kreuzberg, Turracher Höhe, Loibelpass, Wurzenpass, Pordoijoch, Rollepass, Broconnepass, Felzaregopass, Mendelpass, Jaufenpass, etc. Often there were particularly bad routes with hundreds was chosen from deep transverse grids, which at the considerable driving speeds (around 400 km had to be covered every day) created enormous stresses on the springs and rear axle drive. "
All five races from 1910 to 1915 were won by the Iron Team : Heinrich Schönfeldt , Ferdinand Porsche and Eduard Fischer . After the First World War , the event could no longer be financed. In 1921 and 1922 Heinrich Schönfeldt also won again. An "International Alpine Tour" was organized from 1928 to 1936 with the participation of various automobile clubs. The rally went through Austria , Switzerland , France , Italy and Germany . The first "Austrian Alpine Tour" after the Second World War was held in 1949 and until 1965 it was mainly motorcycles that drove the rally (for economic reasons). In 1961, 1962 and 1966 Werner Salevsky succeeded in bringing the Alpine Cup to the GDR on MZ ; in these years MZ machines generally played a victorious role. From 1965 to 1973, cars again made up the majority in the entry list.
1973 World Championship run
In 1973 the “Austrian Alpine Tour” was part of the World Rally Championship . The route was newly created. The name Alpenfahrt suggests that the rally took place in the mountains. It is not so. The rally was driven 26 kilometers south of Vienna near Baden (Lower Austria) . The rally comprised 31 special stages with a distance of 324.5 kilometers. Special stages 2 and 22 were canceled. Achim Warmbold won with a BMW 2002 Tii ahead of Bernard Darniche ( Renault Alpine A110 1800) and Per Eklund ( Saab 96 V4).
|1964 1||35th Int. Austrian alpine tour||Paddy Hopkirk||Henry Liddon||Austin-Healey 3000|
|1965 1||36th Int. Austrian alpine tour||Arnulf Pilhatsch||Peter Lederer||BMW 1800|
|1966 1||37th Int. Austrian alpine tour||Paddy Hopkirk||Ron Crellin||BMC Mini Cooper S.|
|1967 1||38th Int. Austrian alpine tour||Sobieslaw Zasada||Jerzy Dobrzański||Porsche 911 S 2.0|
|1968 1||39th Int. Austrian alpine tour||Bengt Söderström||Gunnar Palm||Ford Escort Twin Cam|
|1969 1||40th Int. Austrian alpine tour||Hannu Mikkola||Mike Wood||Ford Escort Twin Cam|
|1970 1||41st Int. Austrian alpine tour||Björn Waldegård||Lars Nyström||Porsche 911 S.|
|1971 1||42nd Int. Austrian alpine tour||Ove Andersson||Arne Hertz||Alpine-Renault A110 1600|
|1972 1||43rd Int. Austrian alpine tour||Håkan Lindberg||Helmut Eisendle||Fiat 124 Spider|
|1973||44th Int. Austrian alpine tour||Achim Warmbold||Jean Todt||BMW 2002 tii|
1 no World Cup status
- Quoted from von Löw's classic Das Automobil , CW Kreidel's Verlag 1924, 5th edition, p. 181. Von Löw mainly refers to Austrian, German and European automobile magazines and newspapers.
- Great MZ success at the international Austrian Alpine Tour . In: Motor vehicle technology 8/1962, p. 347.
- juwra.com: Rally of Austria , September 28, 2014
- alpenfahrt.com/: Alpenfahrt Classic , September 28, 2014