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Grand Prix Master has racing in his blood
MICHAEL VAUGHAN
From Thursday's Globe and Mail
Hans Stuck is a member of a famous German racing family. His father, Hans Stuck Sr. (1900-1978), had a 40-year career that included seven Grand Prix victories [including victories in the mid-engined Auto Union V16].
Hans Jr. was a Formula One driver in the 1970s with March, Brabham, Shadow and ATS. He switched his focus to sports cars and became FIA World Sports Car champion in 1985 and won Le Mans two years in a row (1986 and 1987). [Stuck also won the 1989 IMSA-GTO series in the 700hp Audi 90 quattro and the 1990 DTM Championship in the Audi V8 quattro].
Since 1995, he has worked for a German television channel as an F1 commentator and also driven sporadically for BMW. Last year, he became a driver in the GP Masters series, which is for retired F1 drivers 45 years or older. Considerably more strenuous than the Senior PGA golf tour, Stuck competes against the likes of Nigel Mansell, Emerson Fittipaldi, Alan Jones, Andrea de Cesaris, Patrick Tambay, Riccardo Patrese and Derek Warwick who all drive identical 650-horsepower Reynards.
His home is in Austria, but like many Germans, Hans and his wife have felt the allure of the Canadian North and live part of each year in Whitehorse [in the Yukon territotory], where they operate an air charter business.
Vaughan: You have driven every type of race car. Is Formula One the ultimate test of man and machine? Isn't it a greater accomplishment to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans than a two-hour-long Grand Prix?
Stuck: Because of the competition in Formula One, having the best drivers in the world competing in the best cars in the world, it is hard to compare with Le Mans.
Le Mans is a race where you have to rely on at least two different teammates. You have to rely on a multi-pit-stop situation. Also, you have many problems you can encounter as you have to drive at night and in the daytime.
So those things are hard to compare, especially in Formula One where, during a Grand Prix, you are having to perform as a driver at between 95 and 100 per cent for the whole race. At Le Mans, you have to be able to react to circumstances and perhaps only be at 70 or 80 per cent. Of course, I am happy to have won Le Mans.
Vaughan: You won't stop. As well as finishing in second place last year in the 24-hour race at Nürburgring and first place this year in Dubai, you're into the GP Masters. Is this as relaxing as the seniors golf or is this real racing?
Stuck: I must say I am very happy we have this GP Masters series. I thought at first we were going to have a nice and cozy weekend, but, believe me, when the flag has dropped, the BS stops.
No matter how old my fellow drivers are — even with Jacques Laffitte at 63 and Nigel, who is about my age — we are still racing pretty hard. It is really great because all the cars are the same so it comes down to the person who is the best.
As for Nigel, I am totally astonished about his performance. He was whining and groaning all day long and yet, when he closes his visor, he is still the best.
Vaughan: Nigel Mansell won the first race, so I presume he's still in good racing shape. But I understand some of the other drivers had difficulty squeezing into the cockpit.
Stuck: Squeezing in the cockpit is an issue as we are all getting older and a little bit bigger, which is normal, but the good thing is that GP Masters equals the weight of the driver by putting more fuel in the car.
At Silverstone, it is a combination of fuel and also lead in the car, and I think to give the drivers an equal chance is really great.
I don't think the age matters a lot as all those drivers in the GP Masters still have the racing infection in their blood, and they will not stop before they go to their coffins.
Vaughan: What is it about Germans and the North? I've seen Germans camping and hiking and paddling on rivers in the remotest northern parts of Canada. And now, you too in Yukon.
Stuck: Yukon is an area that has taught me a lot in my life because I have learnt to respect nature.
This is something we are losing here in well-organized Europe and the rest of the world. In the Yukon territory you respect nature because you are aware of the wild animals, what they are doing and why they are doing it.
Yukon is a place I can recommend to everybody who just wants to be their true selves. It is a place where you are not surrounded by aircraft or a lot of traffic.
Vaughan: What is the business you are involved in and why do you think it can be successful?
Stuck: Our company is called Yukon River Wings. We have three aircraft, a Beaver, a Cessna 185 and a Cessna 170. We fly hunters and tourists to the lodges where they can go hunting or sightseeing. They fly over the glaciers and the lakes and stuff like this.
We also have a boat that is called MV Schwatka and it tours the Yukon river. It goes up the famous one-mile canyon where all the former gold diggers came with their boats and goes to Dawson City, which is pretty spectacular.
We also have a little lodge on the Teslin River, close to Carcross, which is a village about an hour south of Whitehorse. The lodge is in a very remote location on the river and is very nice. You can relax and do tours from there in the winter with snowmobiles.



Modified by MEIN_VW at 10:35 AM 8-17-2006
 

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Re: Interview with Hans Stuck (MEIN_VW)

Wouldn't it have been easier to just send him a PM on Vortex?

He's got an interesting business now -- just like in the Yukon, many German tourists seem to visit Death Valley in CA as well...
 

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Re: Interview with Hans Stuck (SpeedRicer)

Anyone see the Speed Channel Test Drive segment on the M Cars? Hans Stuck was driving the M6 on the autobahn at ludicrous speeds. He was quite personable during the interview with Tommy Kendall as well.
I imagine him and Niki Lauda would make very entertaining commentators if they were in the same commentating booths.
 

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Re: Interview with Hans Stuck (mAdD INDIAN)

Quote, originally posted by mAdD INDIAN »
Anyone see the Speed Channel Test Drive segment on the M Cars? Hans Stuck was driving the M6 on the autobahn at ludicrous speeds. He was quite personable during the interview with Tommy Kendall as well.
I imagine him and Niki Lauda would make very entertaining commentators if they were in the same commentating booths.

I saw that. 192mph or something like that on Autobahn in traffic.
 

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Re: Interview with Hans Stuck (GTIfreak)

Quote, originally posted by GTIfreak »
I saw that. 192mph or something like that on Autobahn in traffic.

there's also the vid of him in the M3 GTR at the nurburgring, also in traffic...
 
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