Gallery: The Hockenheim Historic
The 2014 edition of the Bosch Hockenheim Historic attracted 20,000 fans to the track, featured no fewer than 14 races, a Lotus world record attempt, a spectacular dragster demo programme and slotcar racing. Besides this, several prominent VIPs attended the event, such as Luigi Colani, Dr. Mario Theissen, former grand prix drivers Jochen Mass, Christian Danner and Martin Donnelly.
A great, three-day festival of motorsport, accompanied by perfect spring weather conditions, was overshadowd by a fatal crash. Sixty-nine year old Briton Alex Fleming tragically lost his life after crashing his Lotus Elan. Fleming had over 50 years of experience in motorsport.
The festival featured a great variety of machinery, from Formula Vee, historic touring cars and GTs, to GP2 and Formula 1 cars. The fastest cars on track were the Big Open Single Seaters (BOSS), a series catering for F1, Champcars, Indycars, GP2 and World Series by Renault/Nissan as well as Formula 3000 cars. The cars are divided into different classes, such as the ‘OPEN’ class, meant for F1 cars from 1997. In the ‘FORMULA’ class, Champcars and Indycars from 1992 compete against F1 cars from 1992-1996 and GP2 single-seaters. In the ‘MASTERS’ class, Formula 1 and Indycars built up to and including 1991 battle it out with cars from World Series by Renault and Nissan. In race one, Polish driver Jakub Smiechowski took victory in a Dallara GP2. In the second race, however, it was Dutchman Klaas Zwart who scored a crushing victory in his Jaguar R5 F1 car from 2004.
Much slower but no less exciting were the close battles in the FIA Lurani Trophy. This historic racing series is for original Formula Junior cars, built between 1958-60 and 1961-63. No fewer than nine different categories are represented in the FIA Lurani Trophy. The battle in race one on Saturday was between Jonathan Hughes from the UK and Pier-Enrico Tonetti from Italy. The two battled hard in the early running, but Hughes eventually created a gap and claimed victory. In race two, spectators were treated to a similar early scrap, but in the end it was again Hughes took a second consecutive win in his Brabham BT6.
Still very popular open-wheel, single-seater racing series are Formula Vee and Formula Super Vee. The relatively low-cost categories are based on a pre-1963 Volkswagen Beetle using stock or modified stock parts. In Formula Super Vee, the 1.6 water-cooled VW engines are used in higher-tech single-seaters that are faster. Over the weekend two different regularity tests were held. Thomas Kessler in a Beach Mk5B 1300 took victory in race one, with Robert Washak triumphing in his Austro V 1300 in the second race. In Formula Super Vee it was Karl Eugen Maag in a Mega LCR who lapped the Hockenheim Grand Prix track quickest. Franz Kapeller did the same in race two aboard his DRM PRT.
To commemorate the life of Scot Jim Clark, who died at Hockenheim in April 1968, a wreath was laid at the Jim Clark Memorial on Saturday afternoon. Among the many spectators who paid their respects to the double F1 world champion were Historic Sports Car Club boss Grahame White, Jochen Mass, Martin Donnelly and Christian Danner. Briton Martin Stretton (March 742) and Philip Harper (Ralt RT1) fought closely for victory in the Historic F2 race. During race two on Sunday, Stretton was again the man to beat. Swiss Hans Peter couldn’t match Stretton’s pace and had to settle for a second in his Ralt RT1.
Fans of big V8 Can-Am monsters were treated to the deafening sound of these legendary cars from the late 1960s and early ’70s. The Canadian-American Challenge Cup (Can-Am) was an SCCA/CASC sports car racing series originally ran from 1966 to 1974. It started out as a championship for Group 7 cars, featuring minimal regulations and permitting the use of unlimited engine sizes. During race one on Saturday the CanAm machines were eclipsed by the smaller, more nimble sports-racers that shared the track. Italian Michele Liguori took victory in his Lola T292, after polesitter and fellow Italian Matteo Tullio was forced to retire with a broken wheel nut. On Sunday, however, Briton John Grant made a winning return to racing after two years on the sidelines with victory in his beautiful McLaren M8D.
The largest grid of the weekend came from the Dutch Youngtimer Touring Car Challenge, with nearly 50 cars on track. The series, abbreviated YTTC is open to cars built between 1971 and 1989. Cars such as the Ford Escort, BMW M1, BMW M3, Alfa Romeo GTV, Porsche 904, 911 and 935 treated the crowd to some exciting races. In the opening race a very close battle was fought between the Porsche 935 of German Michael Schrey and countrymen Michael Kammermann (BMW M1) and Daniel Schrey (Porsche 935). In the end it was Michael Schrey who prevailed – and he repeated the feat on Sunday.
Fans of historic Triumphs and other British-build GTs enjoyed the antics of a 30-car field, including Triumph TR3, 4, 6 and 7 racers, as well as Jaguar, TVR, Marcos and Morgan classics. The battle for victory in race one was a close call between the Morgan 8+ of Paul Morgan and the Jaguar E-Type of Georg Nolte. Ultimately, it was Morgan who crossed the line first, just four tenths of a second in front of Nolte. In race two on Sunday it was Rainer Vorköper who took victory in his Jaguar E-Type low-drag coupé over the Marcos of Rainer Bastuck.
Last but not least was the DRM Klassik, a revival of the German Racing Championship from the 1970s and ’80s, famous for their breathtaking Group 5 predators. The DRM started way back in 1972 and featured Group 2 touring cars and Group 4 GTs. From 1977 the spectacular Group 5 cars entered the championship including the Porsche 935, Ford Capri Zakspeed Turbo and BMW M1 Turbo.
The 2014 edition of the Bosch Hockenheim Historic had everything race fans could ask for: a great variety of cars, exciting races and perfect spring weather conditions. We’ll certainly be back in 2015!
This story and its photos were provided by Marcel Hundscheid of Speed-O-Graphica. Marcel has recently released an amazing book: Keep the Spirit Alive – Historic Grand Prix Cars 1968-1976. It features 69 stunning pages of full-colour photos and accompanying text, about the journey of former Formula 1 machines. It’s priced at €39,95, and can be ordered by emailing Marcel at email@example.com.