(Above) Canio Marchione in Osella-BMW Pa21 JRB 1.0; (below) Monique Becker in Alfa Romeo 147 GTA; Credit: ACL / Henri Schwirtz

The Automobile Club du Luxembourg (ACL) has announced that nine racing drivers are representing the Grand Duchy at this year's FIA Hill Climb Masters, which is taking place in Braga, Portugal from 7 to 10 October, 

In 2014, the ACL organised, in collaboration with the Union des Pilotes and the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), the first edition of the Hill Climb Masters in Eschdorf. This year, the 4th edition of this event will bring together some of the best specialists in the discipline of hill climbing on the course of the "Rampa da Falperra" in Braga in Portugal.

Nine Luxembourg drivers (three women and six men) have been selected by the FIA ​​to represent the Grand Duchy and the ACL. A total of 158 participants from nineteen different countries will be at the start to compete for victory in the general classification and, above all, for the gold, silver and bronze medals in the four different car categories. There is also the Nations Cup (Coupe des Nations), where consistency rather than speed will make the difference.

To be able to participate in the FIA ​​Hill Climb Masters, the drivers had to excel in the FIA European Hill Climb Championship, the FIA International Hill Climb Cup or in their respective national championships.

Eight Luxembourg drivers qualified as a result of their ranking in the Luxembourg championship: new champion Sandra Donkels-Becker in production cars with her Renault Clio II, runner-up François Flammang in Peugeot 205 RC, Tania Flammang with her VW Funcup, Sam Prickaerts in Ford Fiesta ST and Monique Becker in Alfa Romeo 147 GTA. In competition cars, the five-time champion Canio Marchione in Osella-BMW Pa21 JRB 1.0, vice-champion Daniel Donkels with his Ligier-Honda JS49 2.0 and Chris Klein in NormaSuzuki M20 M 1.0 will also compete.

The seven-time Luxembourg hill climb champion Guy Demuth (Norma-Judd M20 FC 3.0) has obtained an FIA Wild Card. He has already placed four times in the Top 5 of the European Championship round on the Portuguese course: 5th in 2011, 2013 and 2019 and 4th in 2018.

This time, the Luxembourg delegation features three female drivers. They will compete against eleven other women, but also against the lap times of their male counterparts. Meanwhile, Sam Prickaerts will aim to rank well in the “Best Young Driver” (Meilleur Jeune) category.

In 2018, during the last edition of the FIA ​​Hill Climb Masters in Gubbio, Italy, the Luxembourg team won the Nations Cup. To defend this title, the new team captain Patrick Weber will trust a mixed quartet made up of Guy Demuth, Canio Marchione, Sandra Donkels-Becker and Tania Flammang.

Regarding the programme, the administrative and technical checks will take place on Thursday and Friday. In the evening, the parade of participants and their presentation will be held in the centre of Braga. Saturday will see three test climbs on the 2.9 km course. The three climbs of the race are scheduled for Sunday, with only the best time achieved being taken into account for the individual classification.

The race climbs will be broadcast live (with commentaries in English) on the FIA ​​YouTube channel.