From July 19 to 22, 2023, it’s that time again: the Schladming – Dachstein – Gröbming region, in short, the Enns Valley, belongs to classic cars and their fans, as it does every year. For the 31st edition of Austria’s most renowned classic car rally, the organizers are revolutionizing the event with some innovations.
First of all, the stars of sheet metal and gasoline: the oldest car in the field, and thus the bearer of start number 1, dates from 1924, is a Bentley 3/4.5 Litre Speed Model and is driven by Teddy and Joseph Jöbstl. A total of 35 cars are from the pre-war era, the most densely populated are, as usual, the eras from 1960 onwards with a total of 100 cars.
40 different brand emblems adorn the front folds of the participating cars, with the largest number being Porsche, as expected – after all, the Ennstal Classic will be something of a highlight in the 75th anniversary celebrations.
But not only Porsches have reason to celebrate at the Ennstal-Classic. In the run-up to the Porsche Design Grand Prix in the center of Gröbming, there will be a big “Aston Martin Tribute”, from pre-war models to Le Mans cars with the DB 3 S signet, the British noble forge will bring everything to the Ennstal that has rank, name and heritage. And the Ferrari brand presents itself with 11 participants, from the 330 America to the Dino 246 GTS, in the starting field and via the Scuderia Gohm once again as a partner of the popular participants’ evening in Schladming.
In 2023 the route leads for the first time to a special stage at the Airfield to Trieben, further over the Triebener Tauern into the Murtal and up to Taggenbrunn, where the 197 teams have a lunch break. Via the Nockalm and Mauterndorf it’s back to the Enns Valley. After a passport control in Aich, the participants will be duly welcomed at the finish line at Schladming’s main square from 06:45pm.
The marathon on Friday starts already at 07:00 am in Gröbming. Passing controls in Pürgg, at fahr(T)raum in Mattsee and at Schloss Bernau in Fischlham are on the program, as well as a special stage at the Salzburgring and, for the first time, a lunch stop in Wels before the traditional stage stop in Steyr. Further SSs await at Steyr Automotive, at the Pyhrnpass and at Niederöblarn airfield. Arrival at the finish in Gröbming from 6:45pm.
A big innovation is the timekeeping – in cooperation with the company Kart-Data from Obertrum – which will be done GPS-supported for the first time this year. The measurement in the cut tests will be done via GPS measuring points. Absolutely reliable and accurate to the tenth. In mountain classifications, on the circuit and at the Grand Prix in Gröbming, the hundredth of a second continues to apply for light barrier measurement. This increases the number of special stages to 47 over three days.
Porsche Supervisory Board Chairman Wolfgang Porsche is a regular guest in the Ennstal, as are racing legends a la Strietzel Stuck, Richard Lietz or Dieter Quester, star chef Toni Mörwald is there, ex-McLaren race director Jo Ramirez is almost a permanent guest in the Ennstal. David Brabham, ex-F1 driver and son of three-time world champion Jack Brabham drives the entire Ennstal Classic, as do actors Tobias Moretti, Sigi Wolf and Hans Peter Spak. Prince Leopold of Bavaria will be coming to Gröbming on Saturday for the Porsche Design Grand Prix, as will two-time Olympic champion Aksel Lund Svindal, a Porsche brand ambassador and enthusiastic motorist for many years.
The fact that classic car festivals like the Ennstal Classic do not only attract the older generation of car enthusiasts is proven by the “Vredestein Youngster Trophy”, which has been attracting young rally drivers for years now and is enjoying particularly lively participation this year. For example, the runners-up from 2021 Magdalena and Margarita Voglar will be at the start, as will the winners of the 2023 Planai Classic Florian Pachleitner and Christopher Wischenbart or the Instagram star “Jonnys Garage” Jonas Lach from Germany. A total of 14 teams comply with the “under-30 rule” of the Trophy, one can be curious about the performance of the “Junge Wilden”.
Official Timing Partner
Watch partner Porsche Design presents with the “CHRONOGRAPH 1 – ENNSTAL-CLASSIC 2023 EDITION an exclusive watch for the competition, the edition is limited to 23 pieces and sold out long ago.
ROADBOOK – the magazine of the Ennstal-Classic” has just been published for the third time, not in a limited edition, but in an ever increasing number of copies. The magazine has 120 pages with exciting insights and stories from the world of dedicated automobility.