Stuttgart – From the 2011 season Mercedes-Benz Classic will be involved as a partner in the sprint and long-distance race series Fahrergemeinschaft Historischer Rennsport e.V. (FHR). Through its involvement the brand with the three-pointed star will not only demonstrate its commitment to the active historic motor racing scene, but also revive memories of an exciting chapter in its own history. For when the world championship winning era in Formula One and sports racing cars came to an end in 1955 there then followed a period in which Mercedes-Benz achieved years of success in international long-distance racing and rallying.
This period was dominated above all by the six-cylinder “fintail” saloons (220 SE and 300 SE models) of the early 1960s. These vehicles were raced to great success in rally and touring car events by private drivers with works backing from Mercedes-Benz.
The vehicles and drivers from this era – including such famous names as Eugen Böhringer, Dieter Glemser, Eberhard Mahle and Ewy Rosqvist – continue to hold fans of motorsport in their thrall even today. And this same fascination also provides the motivation for Mercedes-Benz Classic to stand shoulder to shoulder as a partner with FHR’s GT and touring car race series.
The partnership will also entail the presence of Mercedes-Benz Classic at all race events. From the season’s curtain-raiser on 8 April 2011 in Hockenheim onwards, Mercedes-Benz Classic will be creating a meeting point for drivers and teams under the banner “Mercedes-Benz & Friends”.
Two of the most notable successes of the 1960s were the triple victory for Mercedes-Benz at the Monte Carlo Rally in 1960, which this year celebrates its 100th anniversary, and the victory of Ewy Rosqvist and Ursula Wirth at the Touring Car Grand Prix of Argentina in 1962 (in both cases in a Mercedes-Benz 220 SE, W 111 series).
Another vehicle to achieve great success in touring car races and rallies was the Mercedes-Benz 300 SE (W 112 series), the winning car of Eugen Böhringer and Klaus Kaiser at the Touring Car Grand Prix of Argentina in 1963 and 1964. Böhringer also drove this car to a class victory at the Six Hours Race at Brands Hatch in 1964.
Founded in 1983, the Fahrergemeinschaft Historischer Rennsport (FHR) has been promoting historic motorsport for almost 30 years and has made a significant contribution to boosting the popularity of the current race series with historic competition vehicles. The FHR, which has been administered since 2000 under the umbrella of ADAC Nordrhein, currently has around 600 active members.
Events taking place during the 2011 season include the “FHR HTGT for the Dunlop Trophy”, held as a series of sprint races for pre-1965 GT and touring cars, and the “Dunlop FHR Long Distance Cup”, a series of long-distance races for pre-1971 GT vehicles and touring cars built before 1976. In addition there will be two series for formula vehicles.