110 years of the Austrian Alpine Rally: Laurin & Klement celebrate success

110 years of the Austrian Alpine Rally: Laurin & Klement celebrate success

22.06.2020: ....in the most challenging rally of their time › The young brand from Mladá Boleslav impressively demonstrated the advantages of its cars at the debut of the demanding Austrian Alpine Rally

....in the most challenging rally of their time


› The young brand from Mladá Boleslav impressively demonstrated the advantages of its cars at the debut of the demanding Austrian Alpine Rally

› Laurin & Klement triumphed against fierce international competition five times in a row.

› The Czech car manufacturer, which celebrates its 125th anniversary this year, has been involved in motorsports with great success since 1901

In addition to celebrating the 125 years since the company was founded, ŠKODA AUTO is also marking many other jubilees this year, including the first run of the Austrian Alpine Rally (Österreichische Alpenfahrt) in 1910, which was considered one of the toughest challenges for man and machine at that time. Laurin & Klement, the founding brand of today’s automobile manufacturer, made its mark in all five runs of the up to 2,932-kilometre-long Alpenfahrt, in part thanks to the phenomenal Count Sascha Kolowrat-Krakowsky at the wheel.

At the beginning of the 20th century, in the pioneering days of the automobile, the Alps, with their unpaved mountain passes and formidable slopes, provided the backdrop for some of the world’s most challenging racing events. These included the famous mountain stage along the arduous Semmering, which connects Lower Austria to Styria.

Laurin & Klement celebrated an outstanding success on the ten-kilometre circuit as early as 20 September 1908, barely three years after the start of car production in Mladá Boleslav; not only did the Bohemian brand win in all three categories they entered with their special racing and touring cars, they took second and third places, too.

However, the Austrian Alpine Rally, which celebrated its premiere on 26 June 1910, would soon prove to be even more challenging. Starting in Vienna, the route led through Lower Austria and Styria, Carinthia and the Salzburg region. After three days or 867 kilometres, only 14 of the 23 participants arrived back at the starting point. Along the way, they had negotiated steep mountain terrain with many ascents, including the Katschberg Pass.

The team from Mladá Boleslav sent three “Market Touring Cars Laurin & Klement à 20 hp 95 x 130” to the start line – vehicles similar to series-production models with a 20 hp (14.7 kW) engine, whose cylinder had a bore of 95 millimetres and a piston stroke of 130 millimetres.

One car was driven by Count Sascha Kolowrat-Krakowsky, a USA-born Czech who, in addition to his passion for motorcycle and car racing, went down in history as the founder of the Austrian film industry and the discoverer of Marlene Dietrich. Count Sascha managed to finish the Alpenfahrt without incurring a single penalty point.

The other two Laurin & Klements, driven by the Croatian Count Paul Drašković and L&K’s chief designer Otto Hieronimus, also reached the finish line. The young car manufacturer had thus won the coveted team classification and took the co-deciding five-kilometre special stage at the gates of Vienna with a fantastic average speed of 104.985 km/h.

The underlying reason for this stage was – based on the speed driven – the organisers could ensure that the vehicles did not have a shorter overall gear ratio, which would have given them an advantage on the many uphill stretches in the mountains.

In 1911, Laurin & Klement naturally returned to defend their title in the Alpine Rally. In the meantime, the route had been extended to over 1,421 kilometres and now included the Loibl Pass with a gradient of up to 30 per cent. The strict rules required that the car engines had to run without stopping during the individual day stages.

Penalty points were incurred, among other things, for repairs being made along the way, for driving too slowly or for deviations from the designated route.

A sports commissioner from the Austrian Automobile Club was responsible for ensuring that everything went according to plan in each car, important components and engines retained their official seals, and at the finishes of the stages, all vehicles were parked in a locked, guarded area.

During the night break neither the crews nor mechanics had access to this Parc fermé. Nevertheless, all five Laurin & Klement cars reached the end of the 1911 Alpenfahrt without penalty points. Otto Hieronimus brought home the ‘Silver Shield’.

In 1912 Hieronimus again took first place, and the factory team, which also included Kolowrat and Drašković, again did not receive a single penalty point. The 1913 Alpenfahrt comprised seven stages over 2,667 kilometres.

Laurin & Klement sent production cars to the race as usual, while Rolls-Royce, for example, put their faith in the six-cylinder Silver Ghost, which had a special fourspeed gearbox with a shorter overall ratio: the year before the English team was forced to skip the steep climbs. Hieronimus once again won the silver shield; he and Count Sascha made it through without penalty points.

As the last great automobile race of its era before the First World War, the 1914 Alpenfahrt was once again a great spectacle. From 14 to 23 June, 2,932 kilometres and 30 Alpine passes were on the programme. Out of 75 starters, only 50 participants reached the finish line, 19 of whom did not receive penalty points – including Count Sascha.

This made him one of only five racers who had managed this for the third time in a row, qualifying him for the Alpine Challenge Cup. The organisers had to rush to obtain four more trophies in an identical style. Kolowrat-Krakowsky’s trophy can be seen on display today at the ŠKODA Museum in Mladá Boleslav. The Bohemian factory team had succeeded in getting at least one car through all five years of the Alpenfahrt without penalty points – a record unmatched by any other manufacturer.

Five days after the end of the fifth Alpine Rally, the shots that triggered the First World War were fired at the Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife in Sarajevo. This also marked the end of an era for the Alpenfahrt. It wasn’t until four decades later that ŠKODA could celebrate further successes at this event.

On 17 June 1955, the sports version of the new 440 ‘Spartak’ took the silver and bronze medals in the up to 1300cc class at its international racing debut. Four years later, three ŠKODA vehicles crossed the finish line without a single penalty point. Another class victory followed in 1968, this time by a new-generation model with rear engine and rear-wheel drive.

ŠKODA impressively demonstrated the performance of its cars with these and similar results, achieved in front of an international audience on the most demanding tracks. This further strengthened the position of the Mladá Boleslav brand on the Austrian market and far beyond.

Vítězslav Kodym- photos copyright Skoda

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/austrian-alpine-rally-110-years-laurin-klement-skoda-auto---208011.html

22.06.2020 / MaP

More News

Tourenwagen Classics season opener at the Salzburgring -entry list, regulations
TWC season opener Salzburgring - July 10-12th, 2020The Tourenwagen Classics are entering their 5th season. 90! drivers, including 21 ex DTM professionals, have registered for the TWC Championship at the beginning of the year. Thi more >>
FIA Historic Formula One revised calendars 2020
FIA Masters Historic Formula One Championship18‐19 July 2020United KingdomDonington04‐06 September 2020NetherlandsZandvoort25‐27 September 2020BelgiumS more >>
FIA Masters Historic Sportscar Championship revised calendar 2020
FIA Masters Historic Sportscar Championship 18‐19 July 2020United KingdomDonington04‐06 September 2020NetherlandsZandvoort25‐27 September 2020Belgium more >>
FIA Historic Racing revised calendars 2020
FIA Historic Formula 3 European Cup04‐06 September 2020NetherlandsZandvoort FIA European Historic Sporting Rally Championship05‐06 September 2020AustriaRally Weiz17‐19 September 2020ItalyXXX more >>
FIA Historic Hill Climb Championship revised calendar 2020
FIA Historic Hill Climb Championship   31 July ‐ 02 August 2020Czech RepublicEcce Homo Sternberk    28‐30 August 2020 more >>
Donington Historic Festival reschedulded to 2021
It is with great regret that Historic Promotions and MotorSport Vision announce that the Donington Historic Festival will not now be taking place in 2020. The next Donington Historic Festival will be held in 2021 - the Festival’s 10th anniversary. more >>
Concours of Elegance on track for a great event in September at Hampton Court Palace
The Concours of Elegance will go ahead in the spectacular gardens of Hampton Court Palace this September, it has been announced today.  The rare car show will grace the palace gardens in late Summer, following their re-opening this week.  Th more >>
Festival of Speed & Goodwood Revival update
Summer is normally an exciting time at Goodwood, as we welcome hundreds of thousands of guests to our headline events. Sadly that’s not to be this year, as we have had to take the decision not to hold the Festival of Speed and Revival in 2020.While ticket holders will be given more >>
Balkan Classic Rallye new dates in September 2020
After taking the difficult decision for the postponement of the Balkan Classic Rally due to the global pandemic situation, we can now announce the final new dates of this year’s edition.The rally for historic cars and young timers more >>
Circuit des Remparts - The Poster
CIRCUIT DES REMPARTS 18th-20th SEPTEMBER 2020 Its creator, David Gayon, is delighted to be back!David Gayon, the creator of the 2020 Circuit des Remparts poster, is more >>
Bespoke Rallies full calendar through to the end of 2021
  2020Highland 1000: September 23-272021   Cuba Classic Rally: January 18 - February 4Pyrenees 1000: May 6-9Imperial Rally: June 2 more >>
Bespoke Rallies with rescheduled events and past rally films
Global travel restrictions have inevitably inflicted changes on Bespoke Rallies’ ongoing calendar of international classic car events. However, encouraged by a pent-up demand for some automotive adventure and a degree of easing in many parts of the world, the company has now amended its schedule of upcoming rallies, starting with The Highland 1000.   more >>
A car fit for a star - Restoring Kevin Keegan's once loved Jaguar E-Type
•    E-Type UK has completed a complete restoration of a 1972 Series 3 V12 Roadster Jaguar E-Type •    Once owned by former Liverpool and England legend, Kevin Keegan OBE, the car resides in Middlesex, South East England more >>
Maserati commemorates the American victories of the 8CTF at the Indianapolis 500
The Maserati brand has achieved international fame for the design, style and performance of its unique cars.   With a tradition and history of successes on the roads and circuits all over the world, Maserati’s victori more >>
"Storie Alfa Romeo" Episode six: Duetto, the Italian Spider conquers Hollywood
•    The Giulietta Spider's starring role in Italian films at the beginning of the 1960s were the dress rehearsals for the Duetto to comement Italian charm in Hollywood movies.     • &n more >>
Bell Sport and Classic brings Lamborghini's original super SUV, the LM002 - back to life
•    Arriving as a failed restoration, this 1987 example, no 40 of 301, is now better than when it left the factory thanks to Bell Sport & Classic’s expert technicians   • &nbs more >>
Balkan Classic Rallye moves to September 2020
After almost 3 months of lockdown the European countries begin to consider the emerging from it. Governments are trying to find ways to reopen shuttered economies and return to relative normality.We ca more >>
London Concours 2020 to celebrate "Lost Marques"
 •    The London Concours has announced the ‘Lost Marques’ display – an homage to those marques we have loved and lost •    Models from the likes of Facel Vega, Bizzarrini, Austin Healey, Alvis, Jensen and many more will grace the lawn as part of the display•    H more >>
Chubb Insurance 2nd episode ‘The Chubb Interviews’ Classic Car Podcast with Derek Bell
Chubb Insurance has released the second episode of ‘The Chubb Interviews’ classic car podcast, featuring five-time Le Mans 24 Hours-winning racing driver, Derek Bell MBE.In episode two, available now, Jodie Kidd hears Bell ta more >>
Chubb Launches New ‘The Chubb Interviews’ Classic Car Podcast, Hosted by Jodie Kidd
Chubb has today launched ‘The Chubb Interviews’ podcast - a classic car-focused monthly show hosted by model, presenter and racing driver, Jodie Kidd. Co-hosted each month by a motoring expert, The Chubb Interviews more >>
Salon Privé tickets go back on sale
    Tickets on sale from 19th May    Dates confirmed as Wednesday 23rd – Saturday 26th September 2020    ‘COVID-19 Secure’ a priority    Social distancing programme finalised more >>
The FCA Heritage Officine Classiche workshops reopen their doors
    In total security, the activities of FCA Heritage resume in the Mirafiori complex in Turin: everything from certification of historic vintage cars to services of technical assistance and maintenance to total restoration. more >>
The 21st Richard Mille Princesses’ Rally postponed from May 29th till June 3rd, 2021!
After checking with all the teams and main sponsors, the organizers of the Richard Mille Princesses’ Rally have decided to postpone the event until end of May and beginning of June 2021.The global pandemic brought on by the Covid-19 continues to ravage the w more >>
“Storie Alfa Romeo” Episode 4: Alfa Romeo wins the first Formula 1 World Championship
The bond between Alfa Romeo and Formula 1 is inscribed in the history of GP racing: Alfa Romeo won the inaugural Grand Prix Championship in 1950, with Nino Farina on board an Alfa Romeo Tipo 158 "Alfetta", a success repeated in 1951 by Juan Manuel Fangio in the Alfetta 159 more >>
70 years of Porsche factory collection in Stuttgart Zuffenhausen
On 26 May 1950, the first 356 was handed over to a customer An unprecedented success story started seven decades ago on 26 May 1950 when the first new Porsche car was collected from the factory in Zuffenhausen by its new owner. To this day, customers come as close as more >>
Livestream from Historic Goodwood Speed Weekend now
Sunday (May 10th) will bring the weekend to a high-speed climax with a day of “Goodwood’s Fastest” – a selection of our greatest high-mph moments. more >>
“Storie Alfa Romeo” Episode Three: The 6C 2500 Villa d’Este – a masterpiece of 20th century motorcar art
    Alfa Romeo remained a benchmark during the years before and after the Second World War, while industrialisation began moving the motor car away from the artisan approach towards modern manufacturing    The 6C Villa d’Este was a trailblazer in terms of elegance, technical novelties, performance and prestige  more >>
"Storie Alfa Romeo" Episode Two: Iconic 6C 1750 foretells future and dominates its era
•    In the 1930s, the 6C 1750 possessed the unique ability to win races and design awards•    With outstanding power-to-weight ratio and perfect balance, the 6C 1750 launched technical traditions that continue today more >>
Watch stream Goodwood 2015 Festival of Speed now
Livestrea more >>
Unique Alfa Romeos join Concours of Elegance 2020
•    The Concours of Elegance will welcome two one-off Alfa Romeos to its 2020 event, displayed among a curated collection of nearly 1,000 rare cars of all ages •    A 1938 Alfa Romeo 6C 2300B on more >>
Edelweiss - Roßfeld Hillclimb to 2021
It is with a heavy heart that I took a decision about the Edelweiss Hillclimb event 2020.  I know very well how much people long for normality and also for events in this difficult time.  Thanks to our biennial rhythm, participants, spectators an more >>
Government bans major events in summer: This means that the Ennstal Classic is also cancelled!
Now the Corona crisis has unfortunately also hit our event. Since the government announced a few days ago that all major events where spectators or fans cannot be excluded are banned until 31 August, the Ennstal-Classic of th more >>
The 21st Richard Mille Princesses’ Rally postponed until 2021
We sincerely hope that during this extraordinary period of confinement, you and your loved ones are well. Sadly, we have bad news to share with you today. Just one month after opting to postpone our exciting event until September of this year, we find ourselves now forced to postpone the 21st RICHARD MILLE PRINCESSES’ RALLY until June 2021. The Coronavirus-19 more >>
Luxembourg Youngsters keep WWII Dodge rolling
Photo caption:   At the Luxembourg Autojumble in 2019 and 2020, LOF welcomed the youth section of ‘CVM – Collectionneurs de Véhicules Militaires Steinsel’.  http://www.cvmsteesel.luA military vehicle club i more >>
Cancellation of the Spa Summer Classic 2020
As getting out of the sanitary situation that surrounds us is our first priority, Roadbook Organization prefers to cancel the 2020 edition of the Spa Summer Classic. With its international scope, the event initially planned for June 25 to 28 is can more >>
Restoring possibly the most famous Lancia in the World, with Thornley Kelham
Classic and vintage restoration specialist, Thornley Kelham, has revealed the full story behind its restoration of possibly the most famous Lancia in the world. •    Classic and vintage restoration specialist Th more >>
ADAC Eifel Rallye Festival 2020 - Preparations continue
ADAC Eifel Rally Festival (23 - 25 July 2020)- Preparations continue despite Corona pandemic- RallySafe - More safety for all involved- Two examples of the many special helpersFrom 23 - 25 July 2020, more >>
Quadrifoglio: Lucky for some / Alfa Romeo's lucky performance stamp
•    Four-leaf clover in a white triangle: the legendary Alfa Romeo stamp of performance•    Adorns flagship Giulia QV and Stelvio Q•    Superstitious history becomes legendary h more >>
The SKODA SAGITTA - Lesser-known models from SKODA AUTO’s 125-year history
› New series: Review of oft-forgotten special models from the company’s history› ŠKODA SAGITTA prototypes with air-cooled two-cylinder engine paved the way for the series-production model 995 POPULAR ‘Liduška’ between 1936 and 1938 more >>


2001-2023 automobilsport.com full copyright