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850 cc class in ETC 1969


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#1 dmj

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Posted 07 October 2002 - 15:01

A story I would like to share, and hear a few comments if possible. Some articles and bios issued here in Croatia declare our driver Ivan “Djani” Sverko as European Touring car champion for 1969. in 850 cc class. On the other side, I heard some different opinions (Sverko champion? Don’t be silly!) from older racing fans. Also, Frank’s site, as leading Internet ETC resource, has 1000 cc class listed as the lowest one.
Now, it wouldn’t be so hard to declare him a phoney, self-promoted champion, but… I just found a race report in Auto Magazin from 1969, and 850 cc class is already separated in there. It covers two races: Budapest and Brno. In Budapest race all results are for 1000 cc class, and Sverko is listed sixth in an Abarth 850, but without points because he didn’t cover 80% of class winner’s time, after suffering gearbox problems. No 850 class anywhere, but there were two more 850 cc cars in race, both Zastava versions of Fiat 600: Srdjan Jankovic was fourth in class, Nestor Milanov retired. It intrigues me why so many racers entered with lower capacity cars if organizer didn’t separate their class? Without chance to win in 1000 cc class, I am curious why they bothered to travel at all. Maybe organized decided to unite two lowest classes at last moment, because of insufficient entries? It seems that Budapest race had only three classes, as usual in that season and stated at frank’s site.
At next race, at Brno, 850 class was definitely separated, and Sverko won ahead of Jankovic and Milanov. I have no information about other entries. My Brno book also lists 6 classes: division I had 850 and 1000 cc, division II 1300 and 1600 cc, division III 2500 and over 2500 cc. So it was up to organizers then? Lesser than 650 cc capacity appear throughout the season but it is quite possible that only Belgrade and Brno races had 850 cc class separated. By winning both (and by stretching imagination too far), Sverko became an unofficial champion in a class not recognized by FIA. It was probably stated in our period press (“a great achievement for one driver from a socialist country, blah, blah, blah…”) and by passing of time word “unofficial” somehow slipped from articles and bios…
Well, it is sad to find out I lived in an illusion for so many years. So, Niko Pulic, three times European hillclimb champion, is the only Croatian driver with continental title… Anyway, I believe I won’t tell this to Sverko when I visit him next time. He was a great driver, being a champion or not. And he has the best collection of old racing and sport cars in my country. And he promised me that I’ll be curator of his car museum when he finally opens it.

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#2 Frank de Jong

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Posted 07 October 2002 - 20:25

I'm sorry to disappoint you all, but there was no such thing as an 850 cc subdivision championship in 1969. In fact, 1969 was the last year the ETC had 3 champions for the three divisions, as far as I know. 1969 is well documented in my library. In 1965 however, there seems to have been subdivision championships, which are so complicated that I so far left out these results. Needless to say, 1965 isn't very wel covered at my library.
Why did they race anyway? Probably for prize money; a lot of the organisers had pricemoney for class wins, even to the extent that some very special classes appeared, like at the Nürburgring a wankel class for the NSU - which was duly won by the only NSU spider entered.
So, subdivisions are possible if enough entries are made; but for ETC points, only divisions counted.

Of course, I'd like to make my site as detailed as possible - so if you could post or mail your results for the 850 and 1000 cc classes in those races, I'll include subdivisions - like I've done for 1968.

#3 dmj

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Posted 09 October 2002 - 09:40

Frank,

I will send you all details you don't have at your site and I will find in my magazines or books. This winter I plan to browsw through most of them, issue by issue, cross-referencing it with TNF and some other sites, including yours...

Dino

#4 Frank de Jong

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Posted 09 October 2002 - 10:05

:clap:

#5 RobertS

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 00:33

dmj,

Please help me if you can...

There is an NSU-1000TTS with Yugoslavian reg-plate - ZG*799-49 - in the middle of this video(Budapest 1969):
http://lepoldsportvi...get_1968_70.wmv

I checked on my photos > it was a red NSU with start No.12
Can you tell me who was the driver of this car - Mladen Gluhak or Branislav Boskovic ?

Thanks!
Robert

Edited by RobertS, 18 January 2010 - 00:33.


#6 RobertS

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 11:17

1969 - Grand Prix de Belgrade

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Posted Image

#7 RobertS

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 17:37

1969 - Budapest Grand Prix

12 - Mladen Gluhak YU, NSU-1000TTS
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2 - ?
Posted Image

Edited by RobertS, 18 January 2010 - 19:33.


#8 dmj

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Posted 22 October 2011 - 21:34

Sorry, I didn't see this before. Yes, indeed it was Mladen Gluhak.

And, according to that programme I still can presume only that 850 cc class was invented to allow local competitors to win something!

#9 dmj

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Posted 12 November 2014 - 09:13

With a great sadness I have to report passing of Ivan Djani Sverko (1941. – 2014.), one of the greatest Croatian drivers ever. He won numerous races in former Yugoslavia, where he was multiple champion, foremost with Abarths, later with Formulas Super V. He was easily the most attractive driver of his generation with his „win or blow the engine“ approach. In last 30+ years he accumulated the greatest car collection in my country, estimated to 80-100 old sports and racing cars, including 15-20 Abarths or „Abarths“. He also had what surely has to be one of the best collections of orginal Abarth parts and memorabilia in Europe. Unfortunately he didn't realize his dream of opening a museum and I fear the future fate of his collection. There are several opinions who will inherit it and I'm not sure that anyone of those mentioned has the capabilities to take care about it. I'm afraid that the things might turn out like they did with collection of late Vilko Sever. That former motorcycle champion opened a museum with maybe 100 or so motorcycles, including a lot of Grand prix ones but after his death most of those were stolen and no one knows their whereabouts, even more than 10 years after it happened.

 

My thoughts are with Sverko's family. And I hate myself for not being more persisting in bothering him and writing down some of his memories, now gone forever.

 

djanisverko1000tc+72..jpg

 

 

Picture from a race in Split in 1972., courtesy of Marko Minic, who writes excellent blog http://exyuracing.blogspot.com/


Edited by dmj, 12 November 2014 - 09:15.