It’s not only motor racing fans who are getting excited about the Red Bull Ring Classics; the legends of the sport are also looking forward to the occasion. When this classic car spectacular gets underway at Spielberg (9th ‑ 11th June), Porsche legend Hans-Joachim Stuck will be also at the Red Bull Ring. The 70-year-old is still a fan favourite.
He will be found on Friday at a symposium on the topic “Quo vadis – historic motorsport. Historic racing vehicles between cultural assets and modern times.” If you haven’t got your ticket for the Red Bull Ring Classics yet, then hurry up before they are all sold out!
You’ll be following all the action live at the Red Bull Ring. What are you looking forward to the most?
Hans-Joachim Stuck: The Red Bull Ring Classics gives me the opportunity to meet up with old friends and see the cars from back then. For me, it will be like Christmas has come early, and I’m sure the fans feel the same way.
The Red Bull Ring Classics is going to be spectacular of different race series – ten of them in three days – including Group C, the series you drove in.
Hans-Joachim Stuck: That was a great era, and mega challenging as a driver. The cars back then had neither telemetry nor an automatic gearbox. In addition to concentrating on the driving, we also had to pay attention to the fuel, water and oil pressure. That was an extreme challenge. We didn’t have a steering wheel with a computer that displayed the maximum settings, as is the case today. In addition, the whole issue of safety was seen in a completely different way. We didn’t have the standards of today. Unsurprisingly, there were some terrible accidents, such as the ones involving Jo Gartner at Le Mans and Stefan Bellof at Spa. We knew the risk we were exposing ourselves to, but of course, this thought was always at the back of our minds.
You made history in the Porsche 962…
Hans-Joachim Stuck: That was the most formative car of my career. To this day, it remains the perfect one for me. It is the ideal combination of power, downforce, driveability and speed. You get in and immediately take it to the limit. The car makes you go fast – it’s just brilliant.
The Red Bull Ring Classics also features the Touring Car Golden Era. You competed in the Audi V8 Quattro. Were those days really as wild as they were made out to be?
Hans-Joachim Stuck (laughs): That was really a crazy time. The battles we fought back then were brilliant. I can still remember the telephone call telling me that I was going to contest the DTM in the Audi V8. At the time, I just thought: “How is that going to work with this heavy car?” Fortunately, the Quattro engine was able to compensate for the weight and we were successful.
You’ll be at Spielberg for the Red Bull Ring Classics on the weekend of 9th to 11th June. What memories do you associate with the race track?
Hans-Joachim Stuck: I have only fond memories of Spielberg. In Formula 1, I used to compete on the old track layout, but the Red Bull Ring is still one of my favourite race tracks in the world – along with Watkins Glen and the Nürburgring.