18. März – Der einzige Tipp: Nein, das ist keine Aufnahme aus den 80ern und ja, es macht Sinn dieses Aufnahme heute herzuzeigen. Das Auto kennt wohl jeder, es wird wohl schwieriger sein zu erraten, wo diese Aufnahme gemacht wurde, als den Mann hinterm Steuer zu identifizieren.
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Alex Caffi moved quickly through the Italian junior formulae scenery to make his F1 debut in the 1986 Italian Grand Prix at Monza with the Osella team, followed by a full season with the Italian outfit. A switch to BMS Scuderia Italia in 1988 allowed Alex to score an impressive 4th place at Monaco in 1989. In Phoenix he was even running 2nd when taken out by his team mate Andrea de Cesaris. Caffi moved to the Footwork/Arrows team at the start of 1990 but a single 5th place was his only points scoring result in 2 years with the British outfit. He began the 1992 season with the chaotic Andrea Moda team, but soon withdrew from the deal. After F1 he raced in Italian and Spanish touring car championships initially and progressed into sports cars and GT’s, winning the Italian GT2 title in 2006. He was also the Grand Prix Master’s safety car and series test driver and continues active in various forms of endurance racing. He also co-owns racing school Formula Guida, based at the Autodromo di Franciacorta.
Mark Donohue was a graduate of mechanical engineering who began racing in the US in the early 1960s and got an invitation to become Ford works driver in 1966 before attracting the attention of CanAm team owner Roger Penske. Donohue won the 1967 US Road Racing Championship for Penske and dominated the TransAm series in 1968, 1969 and 1971. He also won the Daytona 24 Hours race in 1969 and the Rookie of the Year award at Indianapolis, finishing seventh in the Indy 500, the Penske team’s first appearance at The Brickyard. His debut in Formula 1 came in the 1971 Canadian Grand Prix with a Penske entered McLaren, finishing a brilliant 3rd place. Despite his successful debut, it remained a one-off for some years. Donohue went on to win the 1972 Indy 500 but his season ended prematurely as he had a huge crash with a factory-supported Porsche 917/10 he was supposed to race in the CanAm series and suffered a broken leg. After winning the 1973 CanAm title with a Penske Porsche 917/30 and finishing 3rd in the Formula 5000 series, he decided that he’d stop racing and took over a job as Penske’s team manager. But as soon as Roger Penske decided to enter F1 and began looking for a driver, Donohue was back in the cockpit. The Penske PC1 appeared at the 1974 Canadian GP and was developed in the course of 1975 but in the mid-season Penske decided to switch to March chassis and Mark managed a 5th place with it right on the first outing in the British GP. During warm-up before the Austrian Grand Prix The American suffered a severe crash due to a blown tire. Mark Donohue, an American racing legend and one of the best all-rounders of his era, died three days later in a hospital in Graz from a brain hemorrhage.
Born: 18th of March 1937 in Summit, USA;
Died: 19th of August 1975 in Graz, Austria, aged 38.
Theo Fitzau was born and grew in East-Germany and became an entrepreneur in the German Democratic Republic. He raced for the official Veritas team in the domestic scene, including the new for 1951 Formula 2 championship. Once he got the permission to travel to the west to race with an AFM-BMW F2 in the 1953 German GP at the Nürburgring, the only time he appears in F1 stats, he gave his life in the east to deflect to West-Germany.
Born: 10th of February 1923 in Köthen, Germany;
Died: 18th of March 1982 in Gross Gerau, Germany, aged 59.
Timo Glock rising through the German junior formulae scene and made his first international impact in the inaugural Formula 3 Euroseries in 2003, winning three races and finishing third in the series. In 2004 he was signed up to be third driver for the Jordan F1 team and replaced Giorgio Pantano as of the Canadian Grand Prix that same year. A 7th place on his debut stunned the paddock and when Pantano left the team for good, the young German took over until the end of the year. Without a decent full time drive in F1, Timo decided to race for Rocketsports Racing in the Champ Car series in 2005. But for 2006 Glock opted to return to Europe to race in the GP2 series, especially as he had been offered a test driver deal by BMW-Sauber. Winning the title in 2007 got him a contract with the Toyota team for his first full f1 season. Scoring several points finishes, a 2nd place finish at the Hungarian GP became his career highlight for the time being.
Karl Kling started as a reception clerk in the PR department of Daimler-Benz back in 1936 and competed with Mercedes production cars in rallies and reliability trails up to the start of the Second World War. He serviced planes for the Luftwaffe during the war, then started racing again in 1946 with a BMW 328 before graduating to a Veritas. After winning the 1952 Carrera Panamericana in a Mercedes 300SL with Hans Klenk, the legendary racing manager Alfred Neubauer then invited him into the Mercedes sports car and Formula 1 teams. Qualifying on the front row for his F1 debut in the 1954 French Grand Prix and finishing the race runner-up to Fangio stunned even Neubauer. Up until he retired from racing at the end of the 1955 season, when Mercedes-Benz officially withdrew from motor sport, Kling was competitive as ever, scoring a podium finish in his penultimate F1 race, the 1955 British GP. He later became Mercedes‘ competitions manager during their rally program in the early 1960s. His last public appearance was in 2000, to celebrate his 90th birthday.
Born: 16th of September 1910 in Giessen, Germany;
Died: 18th of March 2003 in Gaienhofen, Germany, aged 93.
Michel-Pierre Charles Leclère was the 1973 French Formula 3 Champion and a regular in Formula 2, showing some strong performances before getting the chance to debut in Formula 1. Driving a 3rd Tyrrell in the 1975 US Grand Prix at Watkins Glen came as courtesy of a sponsor. The Frenchman got an offer from Frank Williams for a full-time F1 drive with Walter Wolf Racing for 1976, beginning with the Spanish GP. But after his home GP at Paul Ricard the team was in bad shape and Michel lost his seat. He tried to restart his career with the Kauhsen F2 team in 1978, only to find further disappointments. After retiring from racing he worked for a while as an instructor at a driving school and ran a garage in Paris. More recently been involved with the Renault H&C Classic Team and has raced in some historic racing events around Europe.
Carlos Pace was a multiple Brazilian champion when he headed for Europe to race in the British Formula 3 Championship and won the 1970 Forward Trust Championship in a Lotus. He also finished third in the more prestigious Lombard Trophy series. His 1971 season was disrupted by problems at home but he signed up to drive for Frank Williams in Formula 2 and ended his year with a victory in a race at Imola. His Formula 1 debut came in the 1972 South African Grand Prix with Frank’s March 711 and scored his first world Championship point in his only 2nd GP. In 1973 he moved to Surtees and scored an excellent 4th place at the daunting Nürburgring, followed by his first podium in the Austrian GP. He’d also been racing for the Scuderia Ferrari in World Championship of Makes and finished 2nd at the Le Mans 24 Hours race. After a further season with Surtees the Brazilian happily accepted Bernie Ecclestone’s invitation to join the Brabham team. In 1975 Pace became a national hero in Brazil taking his first GP win in front of his home crowd at Interlagos after a stirring battle with Emerson Fittipaldi. As a driver he proved his worth throughout the year. But the 1976 season was a frustrating one due to the team switching to Alfa Romeo engines. The Brabham-Alfa partnership develop nicely and the first 4 races in 1977 were promising. But a airplane crash with a private aircraft at Mairipora, near Sao Paulo, killed “Moco”, as he was nicknamed back in Brazil, along with his friend and fellow racer Marivaldo Fernandes. Carlos Pace surely would’ve won more races but for his untimely death.
Born: 6th of October 1944 in Sao Paulo, Brazil;
Died: 18th of March 1977 in Mairipora, Brazil, aged 32.
Larry Perkins made his name in European Formula 3 machinery before debuting Formula 1 with a privately entered Ensign in the 1976 Spanish Grand Prix. Larry then got a seat with the Brabham team for the end of season overseas races but didn’t convince. The Australian then struck a deal with the Stanley-BRM outfit for 1977 but got involved in a row between drivers and management abandoning the troubled team of Sir Louis Stanley after only 2 GPs. He seemed to have found a new home with John Surtees‘ team in 1977 but hardly managed to ever qualify for the races. He then returned home, winning the 1979 Australian Formula 5000 Championship before starting a long and distinguished career in the national V8 Supercars series, also winning the epic Bathurst classic on no fewer than six occasions. Larry retired from driving at the end of the 2003 season and nowadays runs his Perkins Engineering team in the series.
Charles Frederick William Grover-Williams was very successful Bugatti driver during the late 20s and early 30’s, entering races under his alias “Williams”. The French born driver of British origin entered motor sport history books as the winner of the first ever Monaco GP in the year 1929. He also won the prestigious Grand Prix de l’ACF, the predecessor of the French GP, twice. During WW2 Williams was arrested in Paris by the Gestapo and executed at Sachsenhausen camp.
Born: 16th of January 1903 in Montrouge, France;
Died: 18th of March 1945 in Sachsenhausen, Germany, aged 42.
Volker Weidler rose succesfully through German junior formulae to try Formula 1 for size in 1989. Driving for the German Rial team he struggled to qualify for any of the 10 Grands Prix he was entered in, contrary to his team-mate Christian Danner who scored the teams best ever result, finishing 4th at he US Grand Prix. Unsurprisingly team owner Günter Schmid replaced Weidler with Pierre-Henri Raphanel after the Hungarian GP. He then moved to Japanese Formula Nippon and the All Japan Sports Prototype Championship but is mainly remembered for taking the only win of a rotary engine-powered in the Le Mans 24 Hours race at the wheel of a Mazda 787B with Johnny Herbert and Bertrand Gachot. During the 1992 season Weidler was forced to abandon his career as he was suffering from Tinnitus and needed treatment. Volker then took over the running of the family’s building cleaning business and has little involvement in motor sport nowadays.