14th of October – 99 years ago to the day Bernd Rosemeyer, one of the most prominent drivers of the 1930s and Rudolf Caracciola’s rival on the Grands Prix scene was born in the German town of Lingen. Earlier this year, on 27th of January, the 70th year of the German driver’s passing was remembered. He’d been competing for the world speed record on the occasion with Caracciola on the Autobahn between the German cities of Frankfurt and Darmstadt. Trying to beat the Mercedes driver’s new record of 432 km/h (268 mph), Rosemeyer’s Auto Union Streamliner veered of the road, probably due to a gust of wind, on his third and final attempt. Rosemeyer was thrown out of the cockpit at high speed and killed instantly.
Mainly know for saloon car and sports car racing, Karl made one attempt at Formula One in 1976. Along with Otto Stuppacher they attempted to enter the Austrian Grand Prix but were refused an entry. A couple of years the Austrian had been an Interseries regular in Europe before trying his hand at the Ferrari Challenge and retiring thereafter.
14/10/1909, Bernd Rosemeyer is born in Lingen, Germany.
Motorcycle racer Bernd Rosemeyer didn’t hesitate upon the invitation to become a member of the Auto Union team in 1935, winning his first major car race right away at the Masarykring. In 1936 he became European champion by winning the German, Swiss, and Italian Grands Prix. The following season he won the German Grand Prix again, plus the Vanderbilt Cup in the US, the Acerbo Cup in Italy and the British Grand Prix at Donington Park. Already a record holder at the German Avus circuit of 171.75 mph (= 276.38 km/h), he attempted a land speed record on the autobahn between the cities of Frankfurt and Darmstadt when his car went out of control and hit a bridge, killing the German ace instantly.
Born: 14th of October 1909 in Lingen, Germany;
Died: 28th of January 1938, near Mörfelden, Germany, aged 28.
Son of famous racer Fritz von Opel and Emita Herrán Olozaga, “Rikky” von Opel is the only Formula 1 driver from the small principality of Liechtenstein. He won the Lombard North British Formula 3 Championship in 1972. For the 1973 season he funded Mo Nunn’s first Ensign Formula 1 race car. The debut came at the French Grand Prix but proved to be uncompetitive. For the 1974 season Rikky bought a seat with Bernie Ecclestone’s Brabham team. After four Grands Prix and two 9th places as best results, the heir to the Opel concern quit racing after the Dutch GP for good. Rumors suggest he became a monk thereafter.