Giving everything for this one dream
Motor racing has always been a matter of passion for everyone involved. Many have given the shirts off their backs just to have a go, just for the chance to be successful. Some have even paid with their lives for the privilege of indulging in their passion. The thrill of speed, wrestling a car to the limits of physics, the man-to-man fight for the best lap time; since decades it's making our pulses race, and we'll keep taking it all in with every one of our senses for as long as we crave that adrenalin. That same passion is shared by everyone whose stories and ways of life we've looked back on in this issue of AUTOMOBILSPORT. Back in the 1950s, it was the same enthusiasm that drove a small team from Stuttgart into action at the end of the Second World War. Herbert Linge, a Porsche employee since 1943, looks back fondly on a tumultuous time, when nobody dared to keep count of how many hours they worked. “We were at it 24 hours a day,” Linge recalls. “That was completely normal for us. That was Porsche's spirit.”
Herbert Linge was a mechanic, a racing driver, a visionary, a customer service man and a Porsche representative in a worldwide sense all rolled in to one... and sometimes it was exhausting. “The Liege-Rome-Liege, for example, went for three nights and four days – non-stop!” he remembers with a smile. “Only on the transport stages could one maybe take a half-hour break to get something to eat or just relax before the start of the next stage.” That usually didn't happen for Herbert Linge; in the breaks he was either working on his own car, or helping out his colleagues.
Back then then, they all competed knowing the risks. And the drivers were the last to know when they had lost a friend forever. “We were aware of the risks,” recalls Hans Herrmann. “But what kept us driving was that we always thought 'it will never happen to us'. When you were waiting for the start, sitting in the car, counting down the fi nal minutes, you might have a brief thought about who might not make it back. 'I'll be fi ne, for sure' – that much was always clear. Once the flag fell, all the attention was on driving the car. One ear on the transmission, one eye focussed on the dials... the race masked everything else out.” Years later, and despite increased safety precautions, the danger caught out two young drivers living the big dream. In the tragic summer of 1985 we lost Manfred Winkelhock and Stefan Bellof. They were great ambassadors of our sport who unfortunately had to pay the ultimate price for their passion. Both drivers are rememberd in a special feature from page 26 of this issue.
We've given it our all to gather this collection of stories for you to enjoy. Starting on Page 62, Porsche factory mechanic Egon Alber, as well as the aforementioned Hans Hermann and Herbert Linge, talk about their time with the legendary Porsche 550 Spyder. And of course, issue #06 of AUTOMOBILSPORT has plenty more than just that. Have fun with it!
Publishing house: Sportfahrer Verlag
Format: 210 x 297 Millimeter
More information: www.automobilsport-magazine.com