Quick Look at Czech’s ‘Most Beautful’ Circuit

Hundreds of hillclimbers head for the Czech Republic this weekend for the historic Ecce Homo.

Also, no end in sight for vehicles stuck on the A10 at Orleans. Appeal for info on new cross-border Switzerland hire car ban. Norovirus crops up on Nordic ferry.

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The classic hill climb 'Ecce Homo - 'Behold the man' on the streets of Sternberk in the east Czech Republic is coming up this weekend. More later.

The Audi R8 LMS Ultra of Spaniard Jose Lopez-Fombona at Sternberk. Photo @FIA.

Hill Climbs have been held continuously at Sternberk in the eastern Czech Republic since 1905.

Clubs from equidistant Vienna and Wroclaw – about 225km – held events in fits and starts until the 1950s.

The modern history begins in 1981 when it became part of the Championship of Europe, a position it has held since.

More than 200 drivers roll in this weekend for ‘traditionally one of the most exciting rounds’ of the FIA European Hill Climb Championship.

At the last weather-hit race in Portugal, the Audi R8 LMS Ultra of Spaniard Jose Lopez-Fombona, above, challenged a pair of Mitsubishi Lancers for the honours in the slower Category 1.

Czech is the most popular nationality in the EHCC. In Latin Ecce Homo means ‘Behold the Man’.

Many courses claim to be ‘the most beautiful circuit in the world’ and Sternberk is one of them.

The course starts in the centre, beside the Sitka river – a tributary of the Morava, further south in Olomouc – before heading north through the town on the twisty 44423 Opavska then three long hairpins and a short run up main road 46 to the finish after 7.5km.

Sternberk also hosts a major historic hill climb event in the autumn. More at EcceHomo.cz.

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a10 oreeens

Still no sign of the when the flooded A10 (and A71) at Orleans will reopen. The situation remains essentially unchanged says the latest update from VINCI Autoroutes. Drivers with stranded vehicles have spent another night in hotels, or been taken home says VINCI. Fans heading for Sunday’s Le Mans 24 Hour test day are advised to give the area a wide berth. Official diversions are in place via the A28, A11 and A85. Exits are barred to HGVs at A10 J16 Mer and J17 Blois, A71 J3 Lamotte Beuvron and J4 Salbris and A85 J14 Romorantin and J13 Selles-sur-Cher, Saint Aignan. Peage Romorantin (A85) and Lamotte Beuvron (A71) are closed in both directions for cars. Update: great detail in VINCI’s latest update. The A10 at Orleans is flooded in four places over 7km to a maximum depth of 1.3 metres. 100 trucks and 200 cars are stranded on a 3km dry section. VINCI is deploying 200 people this afternoon to pump out the water – at 4000 m3 per hour – and build temporary dikes with 6000t of rubble to create a ‘dry corridor’.

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roundup: SWITZERLAND. State broadcaster Swiss.info wants to hear from anyone who has had problems hiring cars in Switzerland. A new EU customs law apparently bans EU citizens from driving Swiss-registered vehicles in the EU (as reported in the Guardian). The situation seems exceptionally confused with some hire firms carrying on as usual while others insisting drivers do not take vehicles into surrounding countries. Some firms now have EU-registered cars specifically for this purpose. Geneva airport, sandwiched on the French border, seems particularly affected. Until the situation is clarified the advice is to make it very clear on booking that the hire car is to be taken into the EU. Meanwhile, AutoEurope has published a handy, very detailed fact sheet for drivers hiring cars in the EU (compiled before the cross-border issue surfaced). FERRIES. Sickness bug Norovirus is a staple on cruise ships but this is the first time we have heard of an incidence aboard a cruise ferry. This week, 150 passengers aboard Silja Symphony – which sails between Helsinki and Stockholm – have become ill in a confirmed outbreak reports YLE News. The source has not been identified but the ship and the passenger terminals are being thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.

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