Hans Herrmann Celebrates 85th Birthday – Page Two
In the very first race of the Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrows at the French Grand Prix of 1954 in Reims, Herrmann drove the fastest lap time, 2:32.9 minutes – corresponding to an average speed of 195.463 km/h. Over the course of the season he took two Grand Prix podium places, in the 1954 Swiss Grand Prix and the 1954 Avus race, in each case coming 3rd.
When in 1955 the Daimler-Benz works withdrew from motor sport, Hans Herrmann was at the start again for Porsche. There followed the wandering years with Maserati, B.R.M and Borgward and, in 1959, the next homecoming to Herrmann’s ‘own brand’, Porsche. Together with Olivier Gendebien in a Porsche 718 RS 60 Spyder, he won the 1960 12 Hours of Sebring, achieving Porsche’s first overall victory in a manufacturers’ world championship endurance race. Shortly afterwards, the combination Hans Herrmann/Porsche RS 60 Spyder, together with Joakim Bonnier, also won the round Sicily ‘Targa Florio’. In 1960, Herrmann also became Formula 2 European Champion with the Porsche 718/2.
In 1962 he changed to Carlo Abarth and was active as works driver for the Vienna design engineer from 1963. Three years later, in 1966, he returned to the Porsche works team once again. Not only did Herrmann take part in all the great endurance races, besides driving European hill climb championship courses; he also carried out countless test drives in the – then newly-opened – Weissach Development Center.
In 1969 the Porsche works team, with pilots Hans Herrmann, Jo Siffert, Vic Elford, Rolf Stommelen, Udo Schütz and Gerhard Mitter, gained the manufacturers’ world championship title for Porsche for the first time. Previously, Hans Herrmann had finally had to hand the victory to Jacky Ickx in a Ford GT 40 after 24 hours of fierce fighting, owning himself beaten by 120 meters in one of the most thrilling Le Mans races of all time. One year later, things went better for him: in his eleventh Le Mans he was able to gain Porsche’s first overall victory.
After capping his success in motor racing with the Le Mans victory of 1970, Herrmann withdrew from active motor racing that same year, at the height of his career. From then on he would devote himself above all to his automotive accessories business. But the “birthday boy” has retained close links with the world of motorsport to this day – above all as a brand ambassador for Mercedes-Benz Classic.
These days Hans Herrmann is regularly to be found behind the wheel of historical Mercedes-Benz competition vehicles, as a guest at any one of a variety of classic events, where he is able to convey to visitors the fascination of an important period in motor racing.
“Our congratulations to our brand ambassador Hans Herrmann, who has been a good friend of Mercedes-Benz for almost 60 years now,” commented Michael Bock, Head of Mercedes-Benz Classic, expressing his thanks to Herrmann for his contribution to keeping the brand’s heritage alive.
[Source: Daimler AG; Porsche AG]