A pre and post war motorcycle racer, Kurt moved into car racing and rose through Formula 3, Formula Junior and Formula 2 before finally having a go at Formula 1. After lacking success with Wolfgang Seidel’s Lotus 18 at some non-Championship rounds, he bought a 2nd hand Lotus in mid 1962, lightly modified it fitting a Borgward engine in its back and rebadged it BKL, the initials standing for Borgward Kuhnke Lotus. But again Kurt struggled with engine problems. His single World Championship Formula 1 entry was at the 1963 German Grand Prix where he failed to qualify by a considerable margin. He retired from driving and subsequently entered two BKL Lotus cars in the 1964 Solitude Grand Prix for Maring and German helicopter pilot Joachim Diel, the latter getting involved in a seven car pile-up in wet-weather. Maring, however, managed to finish 10th and last, four laps down on the leader – the only occasion on which one of Kuhnke’s cars finished a Formula 1 race.
Born: 30th of April 1910 in Stettin, then Germany, now Poland;
Died: 8th of February 1969 in Braunschweig, Germany, aged 58.