Historic motorsport.

  • Historic motorsport

  • FHR racing series.

    The Historic Motor Racing Drivers’ Association (FHR) in Haiger was founded by a committed group of active racers in 1983. In the years that followed, FHR has played a crucial role in the positive development of historic motor racing and has made it increasingly popular over the years. “By drivers for drivers” – this preamble of FHR is a core principle for our work. In no other branch of motor racing is there such as direct influence of the active athletes on their sport – not least thanks to the efforts of FHR over the past two decades. The majority of active drivers who race historic automobiles are members of FHR today. More than 500 members document the significance of this drivers' association to organisers and institutions.

    Since 30 November 2000, the FHR has been organised under the umbrella of the ADAC Nordrhein. In addition, through its board members FHR is represented in important committees of the Deutscher Motorsport Bund (DMSB - the Association of German Motorsport), the ADAC (German Motorists Club), and in associations and at organisers. Racing series held in accordance with Appendix K of the international motorsport regulations of the FIA are organised under the patronage of FHR. It defines foundations that guarantee a fair race and do not turn a historic racing car into a contemporary one. This has proven successful in the past and ensures that these races will also remain a treat for the fans and that the vehicles are preserved in their original form and with their original technical features.

    ADAC Westfalen Trophy 2015 at the Nürburgring.

    Youngtimer Trophy.

    The term “Youngtimer” was coined in 1993, when Egon Meurer and Hans Schnock realised their idea of using later-model historic cars in motor racing. The vehicles of homologation years 1966 to 1976 were too new to be considered vintage cars, but they were already part of motor racing history.

    Technically and visually the vehicles must be prepared in line with their homologation at the time. There are four distinct eras:

    • 1966 – 1971
    • 1972 – 1975
    • 1976 – 1981
    • 1982 – 1988

    The objective of the YOUNGTIMER TROPHY is also supposed to be the promotion of motorsport. Under this aspect, the participants of groups 1 and 3 up to a displacement of 1300 cc, as well as all vehicles of the 1966-1971 period, receive support. They benefit from a 25% discount on the regular entry fee. Above it all is the founders' fundamental motto: Obsessive strategies for success are unwelcome! What counts is the Olympic ideal that 'the most important thing is taking part'. The social life within the Youngtimer community also plays a very important role. The Egon Meurer Challenge Cup was established in 1998 in keeping with this motto to recognise fairness and success on the track and in the paddock.

    The YOUNGTIMER TROPHY is considered a mass sport. But Egon Meurer and Hans Schnock first had to invent the term YOUNGTIMER. In 1993, the two of them and their idea won out against strong opposition – and they enjoyed success. For the inaugural YOUNGTIMER TROPHY race on the Nordschleife in 1993, a meagre 35 cars lined up at the start. Enthusiastic spectators experienced the vehicles of their youth during the course of the 24-hour race.

    The 500 km race on the Nuerburgring had been revived. Egon Meurer subsequently worked hard to win people over, developed contacts, motivated drivers and organisers. By 1994, there were already more than 70 racing cars from the late 1960s and 1970s competing in the races. And that pace continued. Since 1997, far more than 200 teams enter the YOUNGTIMER TROPHY racing series on a regular basis.

    Racing cars.

    More triumphs followed with the victory in the Wiesbaden Rally (21 to 24 June 1956), the win in the Acropolis Rally (25 April to 2 May 1956) and first place in the Adriatica Rally. Schock and Moll finished the Iberico Rally in third place, and the Geneva Rally in tenth. In addition, Schock won in his class at the Eifel race and took second place in the support race of the Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring. These results helped him to secure the 1956 European Touring Car crown and the German GT Championship for cars with a displacement of more than 2000 cc. Quote: “Very delicate snow chains on all four wheels enable us to reach uphill speeds of up to 180 km/h.”

    1950s / 1960s.

    In the late 1950s and early 1960s it was primarily the six-cylinder 220 SE and 300 SE saloons as well as the 300 SL sports car that made headlines on the roads and gravel roads of the world: these years were dominated by the aforementioned team of Walter Schock and Rolf Moll, among others. The duo, which drove for the Motorsportclub Stuttgart, could avail itself of extensive support from Mercedes-Benz in the form of vehicles and repair and maintenance services. On 15 January 1956, Walter Schock set off in the Monte Carlo Rally driving a Mercedes-Benz 220a and reached the finish line on 23 January just 1.1 seconds behind the winner in a Jaguar.

    One month later, the team from Stuttgart lined up for the start of the Sestrière Rally in Italy in a Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing Coupé. In the mountains the Silver Arrow simply left the other vehicles in the dust. Schock recalled the superlative performance of the coupé in wintry rally conditions: “Very delicate snow chains on all four wheels allowed us to reach uphill speeds of up to 180 km/h.” On 28 February, the team crossed the finish line as the winner.

    1950s / 1960s.

    In the late 1950s and early 1960s it was primarily the six-cylinder 220 SE and 300 SE saloons as well as the 300 SL sports car that made headlines on the roads and gravel roads of the world: these years were dominated by the aforementioned team of Walter Schock and Rolf Moll, among others. The duo, which drove for the Motorsportclub Stuttgart, could avail itself of extensive support from Mercedes-Benz in the form of vehicles and repair and maintenance services. On 15 January 1956, Walter Schock set off in the Monte Carlo Rally driving a Mercedes-Benz 220a and reached the finish line on 23 January just 1.1 seconds behind the winner in a Jaguar.

    One month later, the team from Stuttgart lined up for the start of the Sestrière Rally in Italy in a Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing Coupé. In the mountains the Silver Arrow simply left the other vehicles in the dust. Schock recalled the superlative performance of the coupé in wintry rally conditions: “Very delicate snow chains on all four wheels allowed us to reach uphill speeds of up to 180 km/h.” On 28 February, the team crossed the finish line as the winner.

    More triumphs followed with the victory in the Wiesbaden Rally (21 to 24 June 1956), the win in the Acropolis Rally (25 April to 2 May 1956) and first place in the Adriatica Rally. Schock and Moll finished the Iberico Rally in third place, and the Geneva Rally in tenth. In addition, Schock won in his class at the Eifel race and took second place in the support race of the Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring. These results helped him to secure the 1956 European Touring Car crown and the German GT Championship for cars with a displacement of more than 2000 cc. Quote: “Very delicate snow chains on all four wheels enable us to reach uphill speeds of up to 180 km/h.”

    This time he chose a Mercedes-Benz 220 SE, and drove it to victory in the Algiers – Lagos – Algiers Rally. His co-driver again was Rainer Günzler. Kling was also present as the racing director when the Mercedes-Benz works teams competed in selected major races.

    1959.

    Director of Motorsport Kling as a temporary works driver. But even the director of motorsport himself occasionally took a turn at the wheel and thereby became a kind of temporary Mercedes-Benz works driver: With Rainer Günzler as his co-driver, he secured an extraordinary victory at the 14,000 kilometre Mediterranée – Le Cap Rally from the Mediterranean to South Africa in 1959: in this rally, the Stuttgart team drove a diesel-powered Mercedes-Benz 190 D whose reliability secured the victory. In 1961, Kling was back at the wheel of a saloon in Africa.

    1959.

    Director of Motorsport Kling as a temporary works driver. But even the director of motorsport himself occasionally took a turn at the wheel and thereby became a kind of temporary Mercedes-Benz works driver: With Rainer Günzler as his co-driver, he secured an extraordinary victory at the 14,000 kilometre Mediterranée – Le Cap Rally from the Mediterranean to South Africa in 1959: in this rally, the Stuttgart team drove a diesel-powered Mercedes-Benz 190 D whose reliability secured the victory. In 1961, Kling was back at the wheel of a saloon in Africa.

    This time he chose a Mercedes-Benz 220 SE, and drove it to victory in the Algiers – Lagos – Algiers Rally. His co-driver again was Rainer Günzler. Kling was also present as the racing director when the Mercedes-Benz works teams competed in selected major races.

    1960.

    Schock and Moll also took the European rally championship title in their 220 SE (“Fintail”) in 1960. Already at the legendary Monte Carlo Rally they crossed the finish line in first place. This first overall German victory in this competition was at the same time a triple success for Mercedes-Benz. The driver teams of Eugen Böhringer / Hermann Socher and Eberhard Mahle / Roland Ott took second and third place. Following this triumph in 1960, the sports media called for Mercedes-Benz to come back to the racing circuits of the world with its works cars on a continuous basis. But Sports Director Kling stated in no uncertain terms: “This success will encourage us to continue to make substantial efforts in rally racing. However, Mercedes has no intention of returning to motor racing”.

    In the 1960s, Mercedes-Benz teams took part in the “Gran Premio Argentina” road race on several occasions. On 26 October 1961, Walter Schock set out in this very special rally against 206 other drivers. Awaiting the field was a relentless race covering 4600 kilometres and a difference in altitude of about 3000 metres. This torturous test of endurance ended on 5 November with a one-two victory for Mercedes-Benz.

    Walter Schock and Rolf Moll finished in first place, followed by Hans Herrmann and Rainer Günzler. 'That was perhaps the most difficult race I have ever competed in', said rally champion Schock upon his return from South America. Together with Racing Director Karl Kling, Juan Manuel Fangio personally accompanied the teams supported by the Stuttgart-based marque. As this competition was very important for the American market, Mercedes continued to be active in the years that followed. Quote: “That was perhaps the most difficult race I have ever competed in”.

    The SLS gave American Paul O’Shea his third consecutive title, following his two victories driving a 300 SL in 1955 and 1956. The powerful 300 SEL 6.3 eight-cylinder saloon raced as a works vehicle only once – when it won the six-hour touring car race in Macao in 1969 with Erich Waxenberger at the wheel.

    1962 – 1969.

    Female drivers Ewy Rosqvist and Ursula Wirth scored a sensational victory in 1962. In 1963 and 1964, Eugen Böhringer was the winner, ahead of two more Mercedes-Benz cars in each case. Böhringer, who had been driving Mercedes-Benz cars in rallies since 1957, took the European rally champion title in the 1962 season in a Mercedes-Benz 220 SE. With co-drivers Peter Lang and Hermann Eger, Böhringer scored points during this season at races which included: the Monte Carlo Rally (2nd place), the Tulip Rally (7th), the Acropolis Rally (victory), the Midnight Sun Rally (5th place), the Poland Rally (winner), the Liège – Sofia – Liège Rally (victory) and the German Rally (2nd place). One of the highlights that year was the victory in the legendary Liège – Sofia – Liège road race in a Mercedes-Benz 220 SE. In 1963, the Stuttgart driver was again victorious at this marathon race, which took drivers across Europe, but now to Bulgaria instead of Rome, this time driving a Mercedes-Benz 230 SL (“Pagoda”).He was the first driver ever to win this rally two years in a row.

    Mercedes-Benz also enjoyed success in North America: in 1957, the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLS was created specifically for the American sports car championship. It was based on the 300 SL production sports car, but the fact that its weight had been reduced to 900 kg and its output boosted from 215 hp (158 kW) to 235 hp (173 kW) made it a highly competitive car.

    1962 – 1969.

    Female drivers Ewy Rosqvist and Ursula Wirth scored a sensational victory in 1962. In 1963 and 1964, Eugen Böhringer was the winner, ahead of two more Mercedes-Benz cars in each case. Böhringer, who had been driving Mercedes-Benz cars in rallies since 1957, took the European rally champion title in the 1962 season in a Mercedes-Benz 220 SE. With co-drivers Peter Lang and Hermann Eger, Böhringer scored points during this season at races which included: the Monte Carlo Rally (2nd place), the Tulip Rally (7th), the Acropolis Rally (victory), the Midnight Sun Rally (5th place), the Poland Rally (winner), the Liège – Sofia – Liège Rally (victory) and the German Rally (2nd place). One of the highlights that year was the victory in the legendary Liège – Sofia – Liège road race in a Mercedes-Benz 220 SE. In 1963, the Stuttgart driver was again victorious at this marathon race, which took drivers across Europe, but now to Bulgaria instead of Rome, this time driving a Mercedes-Benz 230 SL (“Pagoda”).He was the first driver ever to win this rally two years in a row.

    Mercedes-Benz also enjoyed success in North America: in 1957, the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLS was created specifically for the American sports car championship. It was based on the 300 SL production sports car, but the fact that its weight had been reduced to 900 kg and its output boosted from 215 hp (158 kW) to 235 hp (173 kW) made it a highly competitive car.

    The SLS gave American Paul O’Shea his third consecutive title, following his two victories driving a 300 SL in 1955 and 1956. The powerful 300 SEL 6.3 eight-cylinder saloon raced as a works vehicle only once – when it won the six-hour touring car race in Macao in 1969 with Erich Waxenberger at the wheel.

    1970s.

    The oil crisis in the early 1970s put an end to any further race starts of the saloon. Automotive historian Karl Eric Ludvigsen underlined the importance of this break in the motorsport history of the Stuttgart-based marque: “The oil crisis was the first externally prompted break in a long-running Daimler-Benz tradition. Strictly speaking, it had started around the turn of the century and, apart from the war years, only had a short hiatus in 1955. Every year there had always been one or more Benz, Mercedes or Mercedes-Benz vehicle that competed with direct or indirect works support in at least one major race”.

    However, the Mercedes-Benz racing tradition was continued by private drivers. Their vehicles were increasingly being prepared for competition by AMG, a workshop established in 1967 by former Daimler-Benz employees Hans-Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher in Burgstall near Stuttgart. One of their outstanding early products was the refined version of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL with a 6.9-litre engine, which finished second overall in the 24-hour race at Spa in 1971.

    The independent tuning company proved its competence in preparing racing cars for many years, before the then DaimlerChrysler AG acquired it outright.

    Racing drivers.

    Roland Asch.

    Born in Altingen, Germany, on 12 October 1950, Asch was a qualified car mechanic whose first love was engine technology. At first, his racing career was just a time-consuming hobby, but he enjoyed as much success as any professional driver. He became German Hillclimbing Champion in 1981 and won the German Racing Trophy in 1983. He made his debut in the German Touring Car Championships (DTM) in 1985 and was runner-up in a Mercedes 190 E 2.3-16 for the BMK team in 1988. In the late 1980s, he was overall winner of the Porsche 944 Turbo Cup and in 1991 he won the Porsche Carrera Cup. In the early 1990s, he notched up a total of five wins and secured various high rankings for Mercedes-Benz – in the Snobeck Mercedes team, for Zakspeed-Mercedes and in the AMG-Mercedes team. He was runner-up in the DTM championships for the second time in 1993 and moved to Ford in 1995 to race in the Super Touring Car Cup.

    Klaus Ludwig.

    Born on 5 October 1949 in Bonn, Germany,  he came to motor racing through slalom, orienteering and touring car racing between 1970 and 1973. He was among the leading drivers in the German Racing Championship (DRM), which he won in 1979 and 1981, and also clocked up three victories in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1979, 1984 and 1985. He won the DTM in a Ford in 1988 before switching to the AMG-Mercedes team in 1989 and achieving 19 victories for them in the following five years. High points in his career included winning the championship titles in 1992 and 1994 and coming second in the championship in 1991. Ludwig raced for Opel Team Rosberg in the DRM in 1995 and 1996. Klaus Ludwig returned to Mercedes in 1997 and 1998 – this time in the FIA GT Championships, in which he came top in the overall rankings together with Ricardo Zonta in 1998. In 2000, the first season of the new DTM, he became the oldest ever winner of a DTM race and he retired from professional motorsport at the end of that season.

    Jochen Mass.

    Born in Dorfen, near Munich, on 30 September 1946, he began his varied motorsport career in 1968 racing touring cars for Alfa-Romeo and was then a works team driver for Ford between 1970 and 1975. At the same time, he drove in Formula Two (1973) and in Formula One (1973/4 for Surtees; 1975–1977 for McLaren; 1978 for ATS; 1979/80 for Arrows; 1982 for March). With the 1985 German Sportscar Championships and his experience as a Porsche works team driver under his belt, he became a works driver for the Sauber Mercedes team in 1988. His victory in his first race for the team at the Circuito del Jarama, Spain, was followed by ten more wins in the period up to 1991 – including the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1989. Following Sauber-Mercedes’ withdrawal from the World Sports Car Championships, Mass switched over to management in 1992 and took charge of a Mercedes-Benz touring car team.

    Dieter Glemser.

    Born on 28 June 1938 in Kirchheim unter Teck, Germany, Glemser started his career at the Schorndorfer Hillclimb in 1960, which was succeeded by numerous class victories in various hill races and circuits at the Nürburgring. He joined Daimler-Benz AG in 1963 and made his debut as the overall winner at the Poland Rally in a Mercedes-Benz 220 SE before coming second in both the Germany Rally (including a class victory) and the Touring Car Championship in Argentina. The following year, he repeated his success  in Argentina, coming in second behind Böhringer and Kaiser in this gruelling 4,500 – kilometre road race. Dieter Glemser twice drove Fords to victory in the German Racing Championships (DRM), once  in 1973 and once in 1974. He won the European Touring Car Championship in 1971 and came second in 1972.

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