Racing comeback

World champion takes his place in the Porsche at the Weiz Rally

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09.07.2024 09:00

Motorsport ace Günther Knobloch kept an old promise before the Rally Weiz. Now the former PWRC world champion Andi Aigner has to take a seat in his Porsche. But in an unfamiliar role.

Andi Aigner is not really used to the co-driver's seat. And yet that is exactly where he will be sitting from Friday at the Rally Weiz, making the announcements for Günther Knobloch as co-pilot.

"Many years ago, when we were both still on the road more often and longer in the evenings, Andi once promised late at night that if I ever drove a rally, he would be there as co-driver if necessary. Now the time had come," explained Knobloch, who, in addition to his standard co-driver Jürgen Rausch for Weiz, also had several alternatives cancel.

Knobloch (left) and Aigner (right) were once honored together by Sir Stirling Moss (middle) at the Ennstal Classic (Bild: Dr. Peter Meierhofer)
Knobloch (left) and Aigner (right) were once honored together by Sir Stirling Moss (middle) at the Ennstal Classic

"When we made our bet back then, I actually assumed that I would be driving a Group N Swift," laughed the Styrian, who will take his place in the powerful and roaringly loud Porsche RGT from Friday. "Let's see if that works with the speed of reading the script."

Aigner's successes were infectious
Aigner has no experience as a co-pilot. He generally prefers to be in the driver's seat, where he even became world champion in the production-based PWRC class of the World Rally Championship in 2008. At that time, he also infected wheelchair racer Reini Sampl and the then motorcycle ace Knobloch with the rally virus. Most recently, Aigner was only rarely to be found on race tracks; he has been running the ÖAMTC driving technology center in Kalwang for five years.

Timetable for the Rally Weiz

Friday, July 12:
1.45 p.m. - Anger Sprint 1 (5.56 km)
14.45 - Strallegg 1 (10.50 km)
15.45 - Anger Sprint 2 (5.56 km)
18.10 - Strallegg 2 (10.50 km)
19.10 - SSS Anger (19.32 km)
Saturday, July 13:
07.50 am - Thannhausen 1 (12.54 km)
08.55 am - Gollersattel 1 (12.84 km)
10.30 a.m. - Thannhausen 2 (12.54 km)
11.35 a.m. - Gollersattel 2 (12.84 km)
14.50 - RK Naas 1 (10.76 km)
15.35 - Koglhof 1 (14.18 km)
17.20 - RK Naas 2 (10.76 km)
18.05 - Power Stage Koglhof 2 (14.18 km)
19.00 - Finish podium

"I think we'll definitely have a fun weekend," says Knobloch confidently. In sporting terms, the young dad is cutting back a little this year anyway, leaving the sporting doggedness to others.

State championship to be decided
For example Hermann Neubauer, who has already won four times in Weiz, and Simon Wagner, who won last year in Eastern Styria and could wrap up the new national championship title on Saturday. The two eternal rivals recently got into a verbal spat at the Murtal Rally. Will they bury the hatchet in Weiz?

As the ARC and the historic European Championship are also taking place alongside the ORM, a total of 80 vehicles with drivers from 18 nations will be competing in Weiz. It all kicks off with the "Opening Party" on Thursday from 7 pm in Weiz town center.

This article has been automatically translated,
read the original article here.

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