Descendant of Braga Hillclimb, which in two editions (1927 and 1931) took the pulse to the taste of braga inhabitants by the automobiles, Falperra Hillclimb was born truly in 1950, already covering four generations of test. The first one had only three editions – 1950, 1951 and 1960 -, the first two of which took place under the aegis of the ACP and the last one met the efforts of five clubs (EVS, Art and Sport, Académico do Porto, Sport Comércio and Salgueiros and FCP). Then it was necessary to wait 16 years, until the time when Clube Automóvel do Minho (CAM) became the organizer and that Clemente Ribeiro da Silva (Opel Commodore) inaugurated a list of important names that compose the gold book of the race. Since 1976, the hillclimb competition has taken the same route, but only in 1978 it enjoyed international status, when it began to concentrate major names in national motorsport such as António Barros, Joaquim Moutinho, Rufino Fontes, Jorge Petiz and the Spanish Driver Alberto Gonzalez , who won it three times. 1981 is the first gray year in the history of the hillclimb, which due to organizational failures (lack of regulation in French that conditioned the participation of foreign pilots and made unviable the rise of single-seaters, besides the caricature of a pilot – the charismatic Rui Lages – also being a probation officer) prompted a suspension of the 60-day organizing club.
But by then no one could stop Falperra’s success. In the following years, big names like António Rodrigues, Manuel Fernandes, Pêquêpê, Mário Silva or Artur Mendes helped to elevate the proof of the CAM with luxury installments. It is then that, in 1984, Falperra Hillclimb has for the only time two editions in the same year, the second of which to apply for the competition to the European Hillclimb Championship. With the integration in the EHC, the foreign pilots came to take the leading role – Andres Vilariño (five victories), Mauro Nesti (four triumphs), Rudiger Faustman and Franz Tschager (both with three victories) – as a result of their best performances at the outset, left the Portuguese in an internal competition. The quality of the hillclimb competition, which by this time was already in its third generation, also opened important promotional opportunities with the arrival of direct broadcasts on state television, to the point that organizers were forced to decline sponsorship due to lack of space! Ironically, it was his absence from RTP – which in 2001 interrupted the direct emissions of the race – which precipitated the end of his third and penultimate chapter. Hillclimb fans also raised about 100 contos (€ 500) to give to the organization in 2001, so that the proof could have continuity. But only in 2010 CAM was able to revive an icon that made Falperra Hillclimb a popular business card for the region and the country. It is that even Ferrari included the route of Falperra Hillclimb in the script that suggests to its Italian clients, along with other emblematic roads of Europe.
In AutoSport , May 5th, 2017
By José Luis Abreu
Braga is a city of enormous beauty and wealth of heritage, which combines tradition with innovation, memory with youth, creativity with conservatism. With more than 2000 years of a rich history, it has one of the oldest Holy Hills of all Europe and standard bearer of the Minho region, Bom Jesus. It is in Braga that there is the oldest Cathedral of Portugal and the Mother House of the Benedictines, Tibães Monastery.
Braga presents places that, due to their intrinsic devotion and beauty, impose themselves as landmarks of obligatory reference and visit. The Sanctuary of Sameiro, Bom Jesus and Falperra, based on an appealing religious base, are surrounded by ecstatic green spaces and paradisiacal landscapes.
The Roman legacy is another of the attractive factors of Braga, often dubbed ‘Roma Portuguesa’, fruit of its origin in the Roman city of Bracara Augusta. Known for its distinctive churches, splendid 18th century houses, gardens, parks and leisure spaces. The long history of Braga is visible in all the splendor of its monuments, museums and churches.
To visit Braga is to make a trip in time within the modernity. Old town and traditional religiosity – always imposing on its wealth and majesty – lives hand in hand with entrepreneurship and young spirit in such vital areas as culture, commerce, gastronomy, industry and services.
Enjoy Braga! From here start the discovery Gerês Natural Park, Northern Portugal and Galicia, but come back … Come back because here it is close to everything.
In Braga, feel good, in this land so welcoming, close, distinct and complete!
We hope to see you here and talk about us!
Falperra Hillclimb is one of the most iconic hillclimb events in Europe and is recognized as the ex-libris of Clube Automóvel do Minho.
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