Rolf Stommelen

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Rolf Stommelen
Stommelen, Rolf am 1972-07-07.jpg
Stommelen in 1972
BornRolf Johann Stommelen
(1943-07-11)11 July 1943
Siegen, Germany
Died24 April 1983(1983-04-24) (aged 39)
Riverside, California, USA
Formula One World Championship career
Nationality Flag of Germany.svg German
Active years 19691976, 1978
Teams Surtees, Brabham, Eifelland, Hill, RAM, Hesketh, Arrows
Entries63 (54 starts)
Championships 0
Wins 0
Podiums1
Career points14
Pole positions 0
Fastest laps 0
First entry 1970 South African Grand Prix
Last entry 1978 Canadian Grand Prix

Rolf Johann Stommelen [1] (11 July 1943 – 24 April 1983) was a racing driver from Siegen, Germany. He participated in 63 Formula One World Championship Grands Prix, achieving one podium, and scored a total of 14 championship points. He also participated in several non-Championship Formula One races.

Siegen Place in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Siegen is a city in Germany, in the south Westphalian part of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Formula One is the highest class of single-seater auto racing sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) and owned by the Formula One Group. The FIA Formula One World Championship has been one of the premier forms of racing around the world since its inaugural season in 1950. The word "formula" in the name refers to the set of rules to which all participants' cars must conform. A Formula One season consists of a series of races, known as Grands Prix, which take place worldwide on purpose-built circuits and on public roads.

Contents

One of the best endurance sports car racing drivers of the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s, Stommelen won the 24 Hours of Daytona 4 times; in 1968, 1978, 1980 and 1982 and the Targa Florio in 1967 in a Porsche 910.

Sports car racing auto racing on circuits with two seat cars and enclosed wheels

Sports car racing is a form of motorsport road racing which utilises sports cars that have two seats and enclosed wheels. They may be purpose-built (Prototype) or related to road-going models.

24 Hours of Daytona Sports car endurance race held in Daytona, FL, US

The 24 Hours of Daytona, currently known as the Rolex 24 At Daytona for sponsorship reasons, is a 24-hour sports car endurance race held annually at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. It is run on a 3.56-mile (5.73 km) combined road course, utilizing portions of the NASCAR tri-oval and an infield road course. Since its inception, it has been held on the last weekend of January or first weekend of February as part of Speedweeks, and it is the first major automobile race of the year in the United States. It is also the first race of the season for the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

Targa Florio open road endurance automobile race

The Targa Florio was an open road endurance automobile race held in the mountains of Sicily near the island's capital of Palermo. Founded in 1906, it was the oldest sports car racing event, part of the World Sportscar Championship between 1955 and 1973. While the first races consisted of a whole tour of the island, the track length in the race's last decades was limited to the 72 kilometres (45 mi) of the Circuito Piccolo delle Madonie, which was lapped 11 times.

Career

Stommelen driving for Brabham at the 1976 German Grand Prix. Stommelen auf Brabham 1976.jpg
Stommelen driving for Brabham at the 1976 German Grand Prix.
Stommelen driving a Porsche for Georg Loos in 1977. Porsche935-Stommelen1977-05-29.jpg
Stommelen driving a Porsche for Georg Loos in 1977.

Stommelen won the pole position for the 1969 24 Hours of Le Mans in a Porsche 917 a year after finishing third in a Porsche 908. In this year, he became the first man to reach speeds exceeding 350 km/h (217 mph) on the Le Mans circuit's Mulsanne Straight in his Porsche 917 LH. In 1970, he made his Formula One debut with Brabham with sponsorship obtained from the German magazine Auto, Motor und Sport and raced both sportscars (Toj and Porsche works teams) and Formula 1 throughout the 1970s.

1969 24 Hours of Le Mans

The 1969 24 Hours of Le Mans was the 37th Grand Prix of Endurance, and took place on 14 and 15 June 1969. It was the eighth round of the 1969 World Sportscar Championship season.

Porsche 917

The Porsche 917 is a sports prototype race car developed by German manufacturer Porsche. The 917 gave Porsche its first overall wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1970 and 1971. Powered by the Type 912 flat-12 engine of 4.5, 4.9, or 5 litres, the 917/30 Can-Am variant was capable of a 0-62 mph (100 km/h) time of 2.3 seconds, 0–124 mph (200 km/h) in 5.3 seconds, and a test track top speed of up to 240 mph (390 km/h).

Porsche 908 car model

The Porsche 908 was a racing car from Porsche, introduced in 1968 to continue the Porsche 906/Porsche 910/Porsche 907 series of models designed under Ferdinand Piech.

Unfortunately, he inadvertently played a role in the end of the Spanish Grand Prix's tenure at Montjuich Park in Barcelona when he crashed there in the 1975 race after the rear wing of his Hill-GH1 failed which caused his car to fly into the crowd, resulting in the deaths of five spectators and him being seriously injured.

Spanish Grand Prix Formula 1 Grand Prix

The Spanish Grand Prix is a Formula One race currently held at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. The race is one of the oldest in the world still contested, celebrating its centenary in 2013. The race had modest beginnings as a production car race. Interrupted by the First World War, the race waited a decade for its second running before becoming a staple of the European calendar. In 1927 it was part of the World Manufacturers' Championship; it was promoted to the European Championship in 1935 before the Spanish Civil War brought an end to racing. The race was successfully revived in 1967 and has been a regular part of the Formula One World Championship since 1968 at a variety of venues.

Montjuïc circuit former street circuit located on the Montjuïc mountain in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

The Montjuïc circuit is a former street circuit located on the Montjuïc mountain in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. The circuit was also the venue for the Spanish motorcycle Grand Prix from 1950 to 1968, and then hosted the event on even-numbered years until 1976. The last Formula One Grand Prix held there in 1975, is notable for both a fatal crash that led to Formula One abandoning the venue and the only occasion to date that a female driver has scored World Championship points.

Barcelona City and municipality in Catalonia

Barcelona is a city in Spain. It is the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of Catalonia, as well as the second most populous municipality of Spain. With a population of 1.6 million within city limits, its urban area extends to numerous neighbouring municipalities within the Province of Barcelona and is home to around 4.8 million people, making it the sixth most populous urban area in the European Union after Paris, London, Madrid, the Ruhr area and Milan. It is one of the largest metropolises on the Mediterranean Sea, located on the coast between the mouths of the rivers Llobregat and Besòs, and bounded to the west by the Serra de Collserola mountain range, the tallest peak of which is 512 metres high.

After his recovery, Stommelen returned to sports car racing, winning races for Alfa Romeo and also winning the 24 Hours of Daytona a further three times.

Alfa Romeo in motorsport motorsport activities of Alfa Romeo

During its history, Alfa Romeo has competed successfully in many different categories of motorsport, including Grand Prix motor racing, Formula One, sportscar racing, touring car racing and rallies. They have competed both as a constructor and an engine supplier, via works entries and private entries. The first racing car was made in 1913, three years after the foundation of A.L.F.A., the 40-60HP had 6 liter straight-4 engine. Alfa Romeo quickly gained a good name in motorsport and gave a sporty image to the whole marque.

In 1976 Stommelen had the honour to drive the maiden race of the Porsche 936 at the 300 km Nürburgring race. With a black body and without the air-intake, the 936 of this race became known as the black widow. He qualified second, between the factory Renault Alpine A442 of Patrick Depailler and Jean-Pierre Jabouille in first and third. The Renault team was eager to win at Porsche's home soil. On race-day in heavy rain, Stommelen managed to overtake the Renault in front right after the start. Now in the lead, he rushed towards the Nordkehre, braked and deliberately left room for the Renaults in pursuit to overtake. The Renaults, wanting to take back the lead after 2 of 300 km, rushed past Stommelen into the water puddles and crashed into the catch-fences in tandem, with Stommelen taking back the lead again. This led to the saying "On the Nordschleife, you can never brake later than Rolf Stommelen!". After the sixth lap, the throttle cable of the 936 stuck in the "open" position. But instead of giving up, Stommelen continued the race by turning off the master switch at the bends to brake, and turning on the master switch again after the bends to accelerate throughout the rest of the race, taking second place at the end of the race. [2]

Porsche 936 racing car

The Porsche 936 is a Group 6 sports prototype racing car introduced in 1976 by Porsche as a delayed successor to the 917, a five litre Group 5 Sports Car, and the 908, a three litre Group 6 Prototype-Sports Car, both of which were retired by the factory after 1971. Its name came from using a variant of the Porsche 930's turbocharged engine, as well as competing in Group 6 racing.

Renault Alpine A442

The Renault Alpine A442 is a sports prototype racing car, designed and built by Alpine, but funded and powered by Alpine's owners Renault, specifically to contest the 24 Hours of Le Mans race. Variants were entered for the event in 1976, 1977 and 1978. An A442B finally won the race on the third occasion, in the hands of Didier Pironi and Jean-Pierre Jaussaud. Also entered in 1978 was the updated Renault Alpine A443 model; essentially an A442 chassis, but powered by a new 2138 cc engine. Following this all-French victory in the premier French motorsport event, Renault withdrew from sports car racing to concentrate their efforts in Formula One.

In 1978 he was given the task by the Porsche factory to drive the Porsche 935 "Moby Dick" in Martini Colors. The 78 "Moby Dick" had a 3.2-litre Turbo Engine that produced 845 HP and Stommelen was, with 235 mph, (365 km/h) the fastest man on the Mulsanne Straight, faster than the prototypes like the Porsche 936 and the Renault Alpine A442B which won the race. Due to high fuel-consumption of the engine, Stommelen had to pit too often to battle for the win. [3]

He continued at Le Mans with the Porsche 935, nearly winning the 24 hours of Le Mans with Dick Barbour and actor Paul Newman as co-drivers in 1979, only to be set back by a 23-minute-long pit stop caused by a stuck wheel nut. The team would not have come so far, if Stommelen had not been constantly seconds faster than his team mates each lap.

He also drove Toj SC320 prototype sportscars with some success against the works Alfa team (Toj was a small German manufacturer). [4]

He also competed in one NASCAR Grand National series event in 1971 at Talladega Superspeedway in a former Holman-Moody Ford which Mario Andretti used to win the 1967 Daytona 500, which was rebuilt by Robert Gee (Dale Earnhardt, Jr.'s grandfather) as a Mercury Cyclone, with Jake Elder as crew chief. That car eventually was sold to independent driver Darrell Waltrip to use a year later in his Cup Series debut in 1972, which is how it stands today in the latter's museum.

He was also active in the German GT Championship Deutsche Rennsport Meisterschaft, winning the championship in 1977 for the Gelo Racing Team in a Porsche 935. A master at the Nürburgring, he was a constant winner of races held there.

In the 1980s he was still a sought after prototype pilot and achieved success driving the Kremer CK5, Lancia LC1 and Porsche 956 cars.

Death

Stommelen was killed in a crash during the Los Angeles Times Grand Prix 6 hour International Motor Sports Association GT Championship event at Riverside International Raceway on 24 April 1983. He was competing in a John Fitzpatrick entered Porsche 935 with co-driver Derek Bell. Stommelen had just taken over the car from Bell and was running in second place when the rear wing broke due to mechanical failure at 190 mph. The car became uncontrollable, slammed against a concrete wall, somersaulted and caught fire. Stommelen died of head injuries. [5]

Racing record

24 Hours of Le Mans results

YearTeamCo-DriversCarClassLapsPos.Class
Pos.
1965 Flag of France.svg Christian Poirot Flag of France.svg Christian Poirot Porsche 904 GT
2.0
13DNFDNF
1966 Flag of Germany.svg Porsche System Engineering Flag of Germany.svg Günter Klass Porsche 906/6L Carrera 6 S
2.0
3307th1st
1967 Flag of Germany.svg Porsche System Engineering Flag of Germany.svg Jochen Neerpasch Porsche 910/6KP
2.0
3516th2nd
1968 Flag of Germany.svg Porsche System Engineering Flag of Germany.svg Jochen Neerpasch Porsche 908 P
3.0
3253rd2nd
1969 Flag of Germany.svg Porsche System Engineering Flag of Germany.svg Kurt Ahrens, Jr. Porsche 917 S
5.0
148DNFDNF
1970 Flag of Italy.svg Autodelta S.P.A. Flag of Italy.svg Nanni Galli Alfa Romeo T33/3 P
3.0
213DSQDSQ
1972 Flag of Italy.svg Autodelta S.P.A. Flag of Italy.svg Nanni Galli Alfa Romeo T33/TT/3 S
3.0
263DNFDNF
1976 Flag of Germany.svg Martini Racing Porsche System Flag of Liechtenstein.svg Manfred Schurti Porsche 935 Gr.53314th1st
1977 Flag of Germany.svg Martini Racing Porsche System Flag of Liechtenstein.svg Manfred Schurti Porsche 935 Gr.552DNFDNF
1978 Flag of Germany.svg Martini Racing Porsche System Flag of Liechtenstein.svg Manfred Schurti Porsche 935 Gr.5
+2.0
3268th3rd
1979 Flag of the United States.svg Dick Barbour Racing Flag of the United States.svg Paul Newman
Flag of the United States.svg Dick Barbour
Porsche 935 IMSA
+2.5
2992nd1st
1980 Flag of Germany.svg Gozzy Kremer Racing Flag of Japan.svg Tetsu Ikuzawa
Flag of Germany.svg Axel Plankenhorn
Porsche 935 Gr.5167DNFDNF
1982 Flag of Italy.svg Martini Racing Flag of Italy.svg Michele Alboreto
Flag of Italy.svg Teo Fabi
Lancia LC1 Gr.692DNFDNF
Source: [6]

Complete Formula One World Championship results

(key)

YearEntrantChassisEngine12345678910111213141516WDC Pts.
1969 Roy Winkelmann Racing Lotus 59B F2 Ford Cosworth FVA 1.6 L4 RSA ESP MON NED FRA GBR GER
8
ITA CAN USA MEX NC0
1970 Auto Motor und Sport Brabham BT33 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 RSA
Ret
ESP
Ret
MON
DNQ
BEL
5
NED
DNQ
FRA
7
GBR
DNS
GER
5
AUT
3
ITA
5
CAN
Ret
USA
12
MEX
Ret
11th10
1971 Auto Motor und Sport Team Surtees Surtees TS7 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 RSA
12
20th3
Surtees TS9 ESP
Ret
MON
6
NED
DSQ
FRA
11
GBR
5
GER
10
AUT
7
ITA
DNS
CAN
Ret
USA
1972 Team Eifelland Caravans Eifelland E21 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 ARG RSA
13
ESP
Ret
MON
10
BEL
11
FRA
16
GBR
10
GER
Ret
AUT
15
ITA CAN USA NC0
1973 Ceramica Pagnossin Team MRD Brabham BT42 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 ARG BRA RSA ESP BEL MON SWE FRA GBR NED GER
11
AUT
Ret
ITA
12
CAN
12
USA NC0
1974 Embassy Racing with Graham Hill Lola T370 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 ARG BRA RSA ESP BEL MON SWE NED FRA GBR GER AUT
Ret
ITA
Ret
CAN
11
USA
12
NC0
1975 Embassy Racing with Graham Hill Lola T370 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 ARG
13
BRA
14
NC0
Lola T371 RSA
7
Hill GH1 ESP
Ret
MON BEL SWE NED FRA GBR GER AUT
16
ITA
Ret
USA
1976 RAM Racing Brabham BT44B Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 BRA RSA USW ESP BEL MON SWE FRA GBR GER
DNS
20th1
Martini Racing Brabham BT45 Alfa Romeo 115-12 3.0 F12 GER
6
AUT ITA
Ret
CAN USA JPN
Hesketh Racing Hesketh 308D Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 NED
12
1978 Arrows Racing Team Arrows FA1 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 ARG BRA RSA
9
USW
9
MON
Ret
BEL
Ret
ESP
14
SWE
14
FRA
15
GBR
DNQ
GER
DSQ
NC0
Arrows A1 AUT
DNPQ
NED
DNPQ
ITA
DNPQ
USA
16
CAN
DNQ

Formula One non-championship results

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

YearEntrantChassisEngine12345678
1971 Auto Motor und Sport Team Surtees Surtees TS7 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 ARG
Ret
ROC QUE SPR INT
Surtees TS9 RIN
7
OUL VIC
1972 Team Eifelland Caravans Eifelland E21 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 ROC
12
BRA INT OUL REP VIC
1975 Embassy Racing with Graham Hill Hill GH1 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 ROC
9
INT SUI
12

Complete European Formula Two Championship results

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap)

YearEntrantChassisEngine1234567891011121314151617Pos.Pts
1970 Eifelland Wohnwagenbau March 702 Ford THR
Ret
HOC
6
BAR
12
ROU NC0
Brabham BT30 PER
6
TUL
Ret
IMO
5
HOC
1971 Team Eifelland Caravans Brabham BT36 Ford HOC THR NÜR
Ret
JAR PAL
DNQ
ROU MAN
Ret
TUL ALB VAL VAL NC0
1973 Fina Brabham BT40 Ford MAL HOC THR NÜR PAU KIN NIV HOC ROU MNZ MAN KAR PER SAL NOR ALB VAL
Ret
NC0
1974 Team Ecuador Surtees TS15A BMW BAR HOC PAU SAL HOC
DNS
MUG KAR PER HOC VAL NC0
1976 Rolf Stommelen Chevron B35 BMW HOC THR VAL SAL PAU HOC
Ret
ROU MUG PER EST NC0
March Engineering March 762 BMW NOG
7
Fred Opert Racing Chevron B35 Hart HOC
16

Graded drivers not eligible for European Formula Two Championship points

NASCAR

(key) (Bold – Pole position awarded by qualifying time. Italics – Pole position earned by points standings or practice time. * – Most laps led.)

Winston Cup Series

NASCAR Winston Cup Series results
YearTeamNo.Make123456789101112131415161718192021222324252627282930313233343536373839404142434445464748NWCCPtsRef
1971 Holman-Moody 52 Mercury RSD DAY DAY DAY ONT RCH CAR HCY BRI ATL CLB GPS SMR NWS MAR DAR SBO TAL ASH KPT CLT DOV MCH RSD HOU GPS DAY BRI AST ISP TRN NSV ATL BGS ONA MCH TAL
39
CLB HCY DAR MAR CLT DOV CAR MGR RCH NWS TWS NA0 [7]

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References

  1. FIA Year Book of Automobile Sport 1979. Patrick Stephens Ltd. white p. 43. ISBN   0-85059-320-4.
  2. Motorsport-info.de 300km Nuerburgring 1976
  3. Motorsport-info.de Le Mans 1978
  4. http://www.peter-auto-racing.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=12%3Afordgt40&catid=14&lang=dpx_uk
  5. IMSA Blog: A very sad Sunday
  6. "Rolf Stommelen, Germany". racingsportscars.com. Retrieved July 6, 2017.
  7. "Rolf Stommelem – 1971 NASCAR Winston Cup Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved July 6, 2017.