2022 Mitropa Rally Cup season opener with the Rebenland Rally in Austria
- 25 teams of the Mitropa Rally Cup will fight for points at the season opener in Southern Styria.
- The participants from 5 nations drive on 16 special stages with a length of 165 kilometers for the victory in the classification groups.
- At the first round of the Austrian National Championship, selective special stages await the teams and spectators.
On 18.3. the Mitropa Rally Cup (MRC) will start its 57th season at the Rebenland Rallye in Southern Styria. After the pandemic-related cancellations and postponements in the last two years, this year 25 registered teams will take the season opener of the Mitropa Rally Cup under their wheels at the first classification round in 2022.
In the classification for vehicles according to the current FIA regulations, 12 participants will start, including the runner-up from 2019, Kristóf Klaus from Hungary, who will take to the tracks with start number 3 on a Skoda Fabia Rally2 Evo in the middle of the phalanx of the Austrian rally elite. Also veteran Herrmann Gaßner sen. from Germany, 6-time winner of the Mitropa Rally Cup, is in the Rebenland with the Mitsubishi Evo X R4 with start number 6 also one of the first teams at the start to the hunt for the best time. Youngster René Noller (DEU) is at the start for the first time in Rebenland with his fast Opel Corsa Rally4. The fast and fluid tracks should suit his clean driving style.
In the MRC classification for historic vehicles according to FIA Anh. K, 7 teams of the Mitropa Rally Cup will fight for the points. Last year's winner in this category, the Italian Rino Muradore, as well as the fast Tyrolean Alfons Nothdurfter will be at the start again this year. After a break of a few years the Czech Aleš Jirátko sen. returns to the Mitropa Rally Cup family and should provide one or the other surprise in the fight against the clock.
Also in the Club Campionship classification the reigning champion Martin Kainz from Germany will be hunting for points again. A total of 6 registered teams will take on the 16 special stages in the vineyards in the category for vehicles that are no longer homologated.
This year, the Mitropa Rally Cup is offering young people born in 1997 or later with FIA homologated two-wheel drive vehicles of the RC4 and RC5 groups the chance to compete for a prize money pot of over 12,000 euros as part of a special promotion of young talent with the "Future RallyStar".
At this run, which also counts as the prelude to the Austrian National Rally Championship, organization manager and mayor Erich Plasch from Leutschach is looking forward to a total of 69 teams. The start of the season opener is on Friday at 13.30. On a total of 16 special stages on 165 special stage kilometers the winner is expected on Saturday evening at 19.00 o'clock in the finish of the wine village Leutschach in direct proximity to the Slovenian border.
The Mitropa Rally Cup is one of the oldest rally series in Europe. It was founded in 1965. Famous names such as Sandro Munari, Franz Wittmann, "Lucky" Luigi Battistolli, Armin Schwarz and Hermann Gaßner have already entered the series' winners' lists. Fans affectionately refer to the Mitropa Rally Cup as the "unofficial European Rally Championship for private drivers". The series is a championship recognized by the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile). Participants can enroll in the categories FIA homologated vehicles and historical vehicles according to FIA Appendix K.