The Grossglockner Grand Prix 2012 was held 20 to 22 September on the unique Grossglockner High Alpine Road in Austria. The Grossglockner mountain race was one of the most prestigious motor sports events of the 1930s. This year it was revived and held as a classic car event.
The 2012 Grossglockner Grand Prix was a homage to the legendary “Mountain Grand Prix” races held there in the 1930s. With 92 bends, 14 hairpins, almost 15 kilometres and an altitude difference of almost 1300 metres, the event presented a challenge for man and machine now as they did then. As in the original race, the route was from Ferleiten to Fuscher Torl in Austria.
Mercedes-Benz, who took part in the race for the first time in 1938, shipped over several cars for the revival, including a SSK, a model that was successful in mountain races from 1928 to 1935, and with a W 125 Silver Arrow Grand Prix car from the 1930s. W 125 racing cars took part in the original events in 1938 and 1939, and in 1939 Hermann Lang drove one to victory.
In the 2012 Grossglockner Grand Prix the driver’s paddock was established at the Ferleiten toll station in line with historical precedent. The field was limited to 50 pre-war cars, 5 Veritas cars and 20 racing cars from the 1950s. The post-war cars participated as an homage to other famous mountain races.
After a practice run, the drivers set their own time target in a “timed run” that had to be confirmed twice. They therefore covered the route four times. The road was understandably closed to normal traffic for the duration of the event.
After the mountain prize, competed for on the Thursday and Friday (20 and 21 September), there was also the option of booking an additional Rally Day for Saturday 22 September 2012. The rally route, known as the “Alpine Challenge” covered 160 kilometres of mountains and valleys in the national park of Hohe Tauern, and also included the Grossglockner High Alpine Road. Speed was never the primary consideration in this event, but rather driving pleasure and an appreciation of the scenery.
The spectacular views from these photos say it all. Seeing these breathtaking cars blitzing through an equally breathtaking location was destined to be nothing short of an unforgettable experience. Since many important old Mercedes like these don’t get used very much, it’s a blessing to get to see them in action, especially on their old stomping grounds.