Happy Birthday Hans Herrmann – “Hans im Glück”

Born in Stuttgart on February 23, 1928, Hans Herrmann began his racing career in 1952 with a private Porsche 356 at the Hessian Winter Ride. In the same year, the trained confectioner won a class victory in the Deutschlandfahrt. In 1953 and 1954, Herrmann then clinched a class win at Porsche for the legendary 1,000-mile race “Mille Miglia” in Italy.

The Stuttgart proves to be participating in Grand Prix races of Formula 1 and Formula 2, in sports car races and rallies as a very versatile motorsport. Apart from the cars of Mercedes-Benz, he starts especially with racing and sports cars from Porsche. In addition, there are deployments in the cockpits of B.R.M., Cooper, Maserati and Veritas racing cars.

Herrmann achieves his greatest successes in sports car endurance races. These include in particular his overall victories in the Targa Florio (1960), the 24 Hours of Daytona (1968) and the 24 Hours of Le Mans (1970). For the eight-time participation in the Targa Florio, Hans Herrmann will be honored in October 2012 by the city of Collesano. A matter of honor: For the ceremony, the former factory driver drives in a Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR racing sports car.

After crowning his racing career in 1970 with the Le Mans victory, Herrmann retires from active motorsport at the height of his racing career in the same year. He now devotes himself above all to his trading company for car accessories. However, the jubilee is still closely linked to motorsport – even as a brand ambassador for Mercedes-Benz Classic.

1953 Hans Herrmann was considered an insider tip among junior racers. A successful motorsport season lies behind him, with front seats for example at the Mille Miglia and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Now he is allowed to take part in test drives: Mercedes-Benz prepares for 1954 the re-entry into the premier class of motorsport, the Formula 1. In the test drives on the Nürburgring with the 300 SL racing sports car (W 194) Herrmann is second fastest on the first day – In a field of much more experienced motor sports. On the second day he drives the fastest lap. Further test drives in Monza follow, and then it is clear: The young Stuttgarter is next to Juan Manuel Fangio and Karl Kling included in the factory team. Neubauer’s assessment at the time sounds like this: “Herrmann is absolutely a natural and a very persevering driver.”

At the Grand Prix of France on July 4, 1954 in Reims, the new Silver Arrows have premiere. Fangio and Kling get a sovereign double victory. Herrmann crowns his successful race debut with the fastest lap time: 2: 32.9 minutes, corresponding to an average speed of 195.463 km / h.

In the current season, Hans Herrmann wins two podium finishes in Grand Prix racing: in the Grand Prix of Switzerland in 1954 and in the Avus race in 1954, he comes in third place. Mercedes-Benz continues the commitment of the young racer in the 1955 season, now in addition to Formula 1 in international sports car racing with the 300 SLR (W 196 S). For the season 1955 comes Stirling Moss, just a little younger than Hans Herrmann, brand new in the racing team. But in a training accident in Monaco in May 1955 Herrmann bad luck: He is seriously injured and can not start this season.

After the end of his Mercedes-Benz engagement Formula 1 and sports car race remains “Hans in luck”, as he is called by friends, the brand closely connected. Among other things, he participates in 1961 with a Mercedes-Benz 220 SE (W 111) in the Grand Prix of Argentina, where he finished in 2nd place and thus together with the winner Walter Schock, also on 220 SE, the double victory completely makes.