Last Saturday, the 43rd annual National Automobile Slalom took place on the Saanen airfield. As the Automobile Club of Switzerland, ACS, Bern Section decided last December, it was the final slalom to be held in Saanen, until further notice.
The reasons for eliminating the Saanen slalom are varied. Undisputedly, the taxiway where the races were held no longer meets the necessary requirements. Because of the new groundwater intake and water protection concerns, the former slalom terrain of the airfield can’t be used. A shortened track was an option—one that was not suitable for the official ratings of the ACS.
Other reasons include too few participants, due to the difficulty and cost of entering. For some, the uneven, bumpy «Rüttelpiste» was a sporty challenge; for others, it was a reason to avoid the race.
This is not the first time the Saanen slalom has been refused—that happened at the very first automobile slalom back in 1976. It was snowing so much on race day that it had to be postponed until August of that year. However since then, the slaloms have taken place on the Saanen airfield without incident.