Fabled Swiss Horice Speedsters

Fabled Swiss Horice Speedsters

Special thanks to Czech Road Racing statistician Jan Vavra for putting together another fascinating stats based article, which revolves around 20th/21st Century Swiss racers circulating around the Czech Republic’s most acclaimed real roads circuit, Horice.

Jan’s recently compiled piece, reads as follows:

The first Swiss riders participating in non-yesteryear races at Horice towards the end of the 1960s, were Jean Campiche, Remy Hirschy, Ivar Sauter and Heinz W.Schmid. They were followed by former Horice lap record holder Willi Hangartner (2.34.23 in 1977) and various other Swiss speedsters during the 1970’s.

To the present times more than 35 riders in total from Switzerland have participated at Horice (not on classics machinery).

The most successful Swiss riders in terms of race wins are multiple yesteryear Classics race winners Rolf Blatter and Ruedi Gachter. Respectively they collected seven, four race victories at Horice.

Eighteen times overall the sound of ´Schweizerpsalm´ national anthem arose at Horice for winning a race.

The first major Swiss Horice success of the 1970’s, arose in 1970 when Heinz W.Schmid bested Grand Prix star Teuvo Lansivuori in the 125cc race.

Previously mentioned Swiss racing legend Blatter took 50cc race spoils during his first Horice racing venture in 1979. Point of interest is that he was overall 2nd in the 50cc World Championship behind Italian rider Eugenio Lazzarini in that same year.

Just two years ago, Blatter showed his racing skillset remained as efficient as ever, scooping unofficially the title of leading Moto 3 exponent within the 125 GP cc class, at the 300 Curves of Gustav Havel meeting.

Number of wins for Switzerland in Horice: Rolf Blatter – 7, Ruedi Gachter – 4, Bruno Luscher and Franz Kunz – 2, Lukas Mauer, Joe Genoud and Heinz W.Schmid – 1.

IRRC Superbike Champion from last year Lukas Maurer set in 2021 fastest lap time (2.13.983) by a Swiss competitor in Horice. It means third in overall Horice history behind two German speedsters: lap record holder David Datzer (2.13.141) and Didier Grams (2.13.948). Lukas Maurer is also 13th fastest newcomer (2.19.926 in 2016) of Horice and one of a select few who have lapped under the magic value of 2 minutes 20 seconds.

European Hill Climb races and IRRC specialist Mauro Poncini (2.20.366) is fastest Swiss rider in Supersport category and listed in the top 30 lap times in this category.

Factory Kramer Motorcycles rider Ivo Ladde (2.26.857) is 4th quickest Supermono rider in history. Those in front of him are only Petr Najman and Kramer teammates Shaun Anderson, outright Supermono lap record holder David Datzer.

Swiss Horice participants in modern classes across the 21st Century, not featured yet are Erwan Bannwart, Cedric Comazzi, Raphael Peclat, John Pilloud and Alex Ruggieri.

The previously mentioned Lukas Maurer is also fastest Swiss rider on the TT course with a PB lap of 123.645 mph and has achieved above average results from Northwest 200, Macau Grand Prix competition.

Horice former participants Ivar Sauter and Heinz W.Schmid have also competed at the TT Isle of Man.

Olivier Lupberger is also known for 2022 and 2023 NW200 outings and he was newcomer last November at the Macau Grand Prix. Ivo Ladde has 2019 plus 2022 Manx GP, Cookstown 100 and Tandragee 2022 experiences. John Pilloud was a Manx GP 2018 entrant.

Of course, we also know added racers from Switzerland in Classic Horice races outside this list like Stephane Brand, Peter Burkhardt, Nicole Galle, Christian Gobeli, Albert Manz, Willi Ruffenacht, Albert Zollinger or sidecar pilots Andi Rolli and Charly Sutter.

IRRC Swiss participants in recent years who did not travel to the Horice paddock were for example: Roger Bantli, Mathias Gnagi, Matthieu Pauchard and Arnaud Seydoux.

Horice participants 2015-2023

(Personal best lap time located near racers name)

Lukas Maurer – 2.13.983

Mauro Poncini – 2.20.366

Olivier Lupberger – 2.21.967

Erwan Bannwart – 2.23.793

John Pilloud – 2.25.067

Ivo Ladde – 2.26.857

Raphael Peclat – 2.31.652

Cedric Comazzi – 2.34.362

Rolf Blatter – 2.39.234

Alex Ruggieri – 2.40.736 (only practice)

Horice participants before 2015

(personal bests are not known – year of participation in top 10 finishers near racer’s name)

Jean Campiche – 1969

Heinz W. Schmid – 1969, 1970, 1971

Remy Hirschy – 1969, 1972

Peter Jaggi – 1970, 1972

Alfred Literer – 1972

Walter Rungg – 1974

Romeo De Martin – 1974

Franz Kunz – 1974, 1975, 1976

Urban Jussel – 1974, 1975

Franz Meier – 1975

Willi Hangartner – 1977

Walter Rapolani – 1977, 1978

Reiner Koster – 1979

Ernst Stammbach – 1979

Bruno Luscher – 1979, 1980

(Rolf Blatter) – 1979, 1980, 1981, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988

Peter Buhler – 1980

Joe Genoud – 1980, 1981, 1984

Hans Naef – 1980

Hans Scheidegger – 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988

Ruedi Gachter – 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990

Willi Buhler – 1988, 1989, 1990

Not to forget Rene Dunki, Ivar Sauter, Peter Sommer, Xaver Tschanen, Wolfgang Von Muralt etc.

In memory of Mathias Gnagi.

Photo credit: Nick Wheeler

Words by Jan Vavra

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