Modernised Alpenrallye – Familiar Winners

The 36th Kitzbühel Alpenrallye has concluded under perfect conditions, with a well-known driving team smiling from the winner’s podium.

In Kitzbühel, Alexander Linz and Michaela Beznaus, driving a 1972 Alfa Romeo Giulia Carabinieri, excelled in the regularity tests, clinching victory in the approximately 600-kilometer-long Alpenrallye. This marks the third time Linz has steered the beautiful Alfa Romeo to first place in the Kitzbühel. Florian Kunz and Gerald Hegenbart piloted an Aston Martin DB4 to second place, while the Mercedes-Benz SL 280 driven by Jürgen and Maik Wurster rounded out the podium in the Sport Plus class, a category featuring vehicles without electronic aids.

In the Sports category, where digital timing is allowed, Stefan and Melanie Wirtgen won in their 1958 300 SL, closely followed by Burkhard Müller and Fabian Mohr in a 250 SL. Jürgen Wirtgen and Stephan Heberer secured a pure Mercedes-Benz podium with a third place in their 300 SL. The Classic Trophy, which has the same route but fewer trials, was won by Thomas Kohut and Heike Kiess in their 190 SL. Ulrich and Petra Knieling in a Triumph TR6 took second place, and Harald and Vera Hoffmann in their Corvette C3 secured third.

Perfect Weather and Scenic Backdrops

The winners of the various classes were not the only ones to enjoy the event, as all participants benefited from the great weather conditions. The first leg, the prologue to St. Johann, was highlighted by the Air Independence Airfield special trial at the airfield. Burkhard Müller and Fabian Mohr, driving their Mercedes-Benz 250 SL, came closest to the target speed and were rewarded with a jet flight hour courtesy of Air Independence.

The highlight of this year’s event was Friday’s Großglockner tour, offering participants breathtaking panoramas and massive snow walls. Coinciding with the festive reopening of the F.A.T. Mankei by Ferdinand Porsche, synergies were used to transform Austria’s highest mountain into a sports car paradise.
On Saturday, equally fantastic weather continued as the route led towards Chiemsee and back to Kitzbühel via Ellmau, where numerous fans awaited the participants. The cordoned-off city center was swiftly turned into a Concours d’Elegance, allowing for up-close views of the exclusive vehicles.
During the assembly in the city center, a distinguished jury awarded Jorge and Matias Zubillaga’s 68-year-old Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster as the most beautiful car of the 2023 Alpine Rally.

Successful Start into a New Era

In conclusion, an honorary award was presented to Markus Christ, who has led the Alpine Rally for 20 years and had handed over the reins to Florian Zinnagl before this year’s event. The introduction of the new Exceptional Cars class featuring younger vehicles was well received, and the further improvements to the event were greeted with predominantly positive feedback. The successful 36th edition lays the foundation for an innovative and high-quality future of the Kitzbühel Alpenrallye building anticipation for the next event from June 5 to June 8, 2024.

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