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Wacharing’s Golden Jubilee –

Wacharing’s Golden Jubilee –

Franz Würz and Herbert Grunstedl – these two names were mainly responsible for the luxury Austrian flights in the European Rallycross Championship in the 1970s. They are still among the favorites of local motorsports fans today. In the 50th anniversary of the Wachauring competition, which can also be described as “midwives”, they took the opportunity to race around the current track with their legends on four wheels. Wurz, a three-time European champion, was already at the start in 1973 and celebrated with great success in the Wachau. The duels with Grünsteidl, himself also European Champion in 1977, have cult status in rallycross.

“We’ve always been friends, but it never worked out on the racetrack. Herbert always claims it was mostly my fault. But I can live with that,” laughs Franz Wurz when asked about his rival.

Photo series with 4 photos


Franz Wurz and Lancia Stratos HF were often an unbeatable team in Wachauring.


However, Herbert Grunstedl in his yellow Renault Alpine A310 was also happy to contend with him, sometimes resulting in body damage.
Anniversary celebration

Harold Lindtner

Among others, the Central European Championships were held in Wachauring to celebrate the anniversary.
Anniversary celebration

Walter Vogler

The current first category of rallycross is the “supercar” category with vehicles up to 600 hp.

“When you get away from the front, you quickly find people who don’t like to see it and then there’s a buzz,” Herbert Grunstedl recalled. “Franz and I always wanted to win and our duels made rallycross popular. There was no mercy on the road.”

From “Leru-Ring” to the Driving Safety Center

Not forgotten were the times when Wurz, Grünsteidl and, for example, five-time national rally champion Herbert Breitender from Amstetten in Melk, competed for European Championship victories on a track that was completed in 1973 after only ten weeks of construction and was initially named Leru-Bell. The motorsport club involved in building the neighboring communities St. Leonard am Forest and Ruprechtshofen (both in the Melk district) named it after him.

According to track expert and author of “50 Years of Wachauring” Walter Handel, who has been part of the circuit’s inventory since its opening, the fact that the initial dissenting voices from residents and citizens’ initiatives against the racetrack were due to noise and barely heard exhaust emissions was ultimately due to the popularity of Melk’s management. Abbey at that time. Abbot Reginald Zupancic made the land for the building available by leasing the Stiftswiese and endorsed the racetrack as an economic factor.

View from Wacharing towards Deir Melk


In the early days Milk Abbey leased the Abbey Meadow to build Leroux Ring for 100,000 shillings a year.

“At that time 20 per cent of the revenue had to be delivered to the city in the form of merry-go-rounds – with six races a year averaging 10,000 spectators, that was a lot of money.” Although he studied mathematics, said the abbot, he learned arithmetic Only as abbot in the sense of the area,” Handel said from the history of the rink, which has been redesigned since 2003 and also used as abbot of the ÖAMTC. Center for Driving Safety, and this year celebrates a double one-anniversary.

Record state champion Holler missed the podium

In the current racing events, the Austrians had to admit defeat in international competition at the start of the season. State Champion Alois Höller finished fourth in his Ford Fiesta after slipping in a super rainy finale. “I didn’t get off very well at first and then I went off the track with the aquaplaning,” said the Austrian top annoyed.

The best local rallycrosser was Gerald Eder from Hoofmet-Briel (District Melk) in 3rd place, a local champion. “I didn’t expect it, it was like jet skiing in this weather. Not quite easy with less than 600 hp,” said the Skoda Fabia driver, delighted with the success in the rain thriller. The victory and the lead in the Central European Championship went to the Czech Alice Vucek in a Volkswagen Polo Oskar Wurz puts a talent test The 15-year-old grandson of Franz and son of former Formula 1 driver Alexander Wurz started in the Peugeot 206 RX Cup and finished seventh A new generation of Wurz is already at the beginning of the road in rallying Crossover in Wachauring.

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