Many big things have their smaller copies scattered somewhere in the World. Be it museums or events. For example, the 24-hour Le Mans race has a counterpart in the US, where Petit Le Mans (Little Le Mans) takes place in Atlanta. And on the first weekend of January, fans focus their attention on the neighborhood of Freistadt, northern Austria, where the “little” Monte Carlo rally is held. Jännerrallye
Jännerrallye translation is very simple – January rally. There is not much action in the first days of the new year – just a few sprint-type competitions in Scandinavia. So this first round of the Austrian Championship gets quite a lot of attention. This event has been going on since 1969, with a variety of longer or shorter breaks. At the moment, it is only a round of the Austrian Championship, but earlier this rally used to be included in the European and Czech Championships. Due to its date and geographical location, Jannerrallye very often resembles the legendary Monte Carlo. The action takes place in mountainous areas on asphalt roads, but often snow and ice can be encountered on the same stage. So choosing tires and calculating where to go at maximum and where to drive more carefully determines the winners and losers of this rally. The legendary stages of Pierbach and Liebenau are already trapped, in the memory of both participants and viewers, for unforgettable adventures and spectacle.
The man who best mastered the special conditions of the Jannerrally is Austrian rally legend Francz Wittman sen. Multi-time Austrian champion, a regular winner of the European Rally Championship rounds, and winner of the 1987 WRC New Zealand. Even 11 times, the Austrian was the fastest at this event. Following Francz’s reign, famous Austrian, Czech and Polish riders like J.Kopecky, V.Pech Jun., R.Baumschlager, R.Kubica and K.Kajetanowicz picked up the trophy.
And this year, three rivals competed for the title of rally winner, which would be their first win at Jannerrally. Just like last year, a fight for victory was between 2019 champion Neubauer and J. Wagner which leaned on his heels all season. Julian Wagner brother Simon, who also compete in few ERC events also joined the fight. The most common thing in this rally is that the results change dramatically with each turn. Neubauer, who lost about two minutes at the start of the rally, was probably bursting with the hope of victory, but things went very well for him. Julian Wagner suffered a crash, while Simon Wagner chose the wrong car settings for snow-covered roads and lost a bunch of time. So, after 163 kilometers in the mountains, Neubauer started the season with a victory.
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Photo – Ondra Beneda