Bosch Hockenheim Historic – The Jim Clark Revival - Pure motorsport>
At the “Bosch Hockenheim Historic - The Jim Clark Revival” from 11 to 13 April 2014, about 20 000 spectators were treated to a firework of attractions: action-packed motorsport featuring 14 races, the Lotus world record attempt, an exciting social programme of events with dragster presentations and slot car racing, the awarding of design prizes in three categories, as well as Jim Clark special exhibitions. Indeed, autograph seekers certainly got their money’s worth! Guests to the weekend event included Dr Mario Theissen, design legend Luigi Colani, former Formula 1 drivers Jochen Mass, Christian Danner (at the invitation of partner Allianz), Martin Donnelly and Jo Vonlanthen. Two other motorsport greats, Helmut Bross and Mario Ketterer, were also in attendance.
Unfortunately, the occasion was overshadowed on the Friday evening when a driver suffered a fatal accident and the Revival event was immediately cancelled by the organisers. The 69-year-old British driver, Dr Albert Fleming, who had over 50 years of racing experience, crashed without third-party negligence and probably caused by a technical defect, on the Parabolika stretch of the racetrack. It was only at the express request of his family that the event resumed on the Saturday.
Following the conclusion of the event on the Sunday evening, chief organiser Wolfgang Huter expressed a sense of satisfaction tinged with sadness: “Blessed with glorious sunshine, we have successfully kicked off another season this year. The race series impressed with the very best in motor racing, while the presence of Formula racing cars and various sport and GT vehicles has to be unparalleled in all of Europe. For me, the most emotional moment had to be the minute’s silence for our departed motorsport comrades ahead of the race for the Triumph Competition and British GTs when all of the approximately 40 drivers stood beside their racing cars and the entire Motordrom fell completely silent.”
Thrilling motorsport was provided by racing drivers in all classes, especially considering that championship points were often at stake. Once again, it was hard to beat the sheer excitement surrounding the race for the FIA Lurani Trophy. As in the previous year, five drivers in the field of the small Formula Junior Monoposti with their cylinder capacity of only 1100 cc, recorded lap times within a single second of each other. This year saw the two Brabham BT6s dominate ahead of the Lotus 27 and both Lola MK 5s.
In terms of lap times, the BOSS GP Formula racing cars drove in a league of their own. Leading the way was Dutchman, Klaas Zwart, whose 2004 model Jaguar R5 Monoposto whipped around the course in only 1:27.040 minutes and was thus roughly two seconds per lap faster than the second-place Dallara DP 2. Among the greats in the starting fields, 60 racing cars from Formula V and Super V delighted the crowd.
The races involving SuperSports and CanAm racing cars were also eagerly awaited because, for many spectators, this fascinating vehicle category brought back memories of the Interseries of the early 1970s. This field saw Michele Ligouri, in a Lola, and John Grant and Peter Hoffmann, both in McLarens, battling it out for positions. After a major engine failure on the Saturday, the Hoffmann team decided to switch to the powerful 8.3-litre engine on the Sunday, prompting one spectator at the final race to acknowledge with approval: “This is not the first time we’ve travelled through all of Europe to see Hoffmann in the McLaren M8F.”
The Youngtimer Touring Car Challenge field was dominated by racing cars from the 1970s, most notably Michael and Daniel Schrey with the Porsche 935 K1 and K3 in addition to the BMW M1 Procars. In particular, this race offered an incredible variety of racing vehicles. VW Beetles, Trabants, BMW M3s, Porsche 964 RSs and even a Porsche 904 battled it out for positions in a number of different classes. The Triumph Competition and British GTs presented a more homogenous picture. In this field, the race between Rainer Vorkötter’s Jaguar Low Drag and Paul Conway’s Morgan + 8 made for a truly spectacular duel.
In the fading light of a beautifully mild, 17-degree Saturday evening, the Bosch Hockenheim Historic hosted the eagerly anticipated Lotus world record attempt. 304 of the most varied racing cars of traditional makes completed laps around the 4.574- kilometre-long Hockenheimring Grand Prix course, led by the former Lotus Formula 1 driver, Martin Donnelly and the Lotus Ladies Cup driver, Adrienne Bende. Unfortunately, there were too few cars to break the record, as a successful attempt would have required at least 437 Lotus racing cars. “All the same, the mood among the participants and spectators was fantastic”, enthused Georg Prisner, Territory Manager Central Europe of Lotus Cars Limited.
To commemorate the life of Jim Clark, a wreath was laid at the Jim Clark Memorial on the Saturday afternoon. Many spectators and guests took the opportunity to pay their respects to the Scottish world champion. Among them were Graham White, the founder of the memorial, and the former Formula 1 drivers, Jochen Mass, Martin Donnelly and Christian Danner.
Friday’s surprise guest was none other than design legend, Luigi Colani, who now mostly lives in China after moving there many years ago. The 86-year-old made a short visit to Germany to be reunited with the Eifelland Formula 1 racing car, which he designed on behalf of the caravan manufacturer, Günther Hennerici, and with which he aimed to revolutionise aerodynamics in Formula 1. Exuding confidence, Colani reminisced, recalling how Rolf Stommelen in only the first race in Kyalami/South Africa was the fastest to complete the “flying kilometre” - a fixed kilometre which was driven after a defined acceleration section. In those days, Jochen Mass was a companion of the Eifelland driver, Stommelen, and summed up the caravan manufacturer’s Formula 1 adventure in a nutshell: “it was a successful PR stunt back then”.
Prof. James Kelly, along with 20 of his Master’s students from the Pforzheim University of Applied Sciences, presided over the selection of the finest exhibits in the categories “Formula 1 Racing Cars”, “GT and Touring Cars” and “Sport Prototypes”. The awards went to Werner Pirchner for the Lotus 41 Formula 3 car, Yannik Trautwein for the Aston Martin DBR 9 and Rainer Ott for the Lola Sport Prototype. The Hockenheim Historic is the only event that acknowledges and pays tribute to the aesthetics and design of such racing cars.