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Hans Heyer
HansHeyerLate1970s.jpg
Nationality Germany German
Formula One World Championship career
Active years 1977
Teams ATS
Races 1
Championships 0
Wins 0
Podiums 0
Career points 0
Pole positions 0
Fastest laps 0
First race 1977 German Grand Prix
Last race 1977 German Grand Prix
Heyer drives the Ford Escort in 1974

Hans Heyer (born March 16, 1943 in Mönchengladbach, Germany) is a racing driver from Wegberg, the site of the Grenzlandring, a former high speed race track oval. He mainly raced touring cars, being popular with the fans for his rather funny style.

Hans Heyer driving Ford Capri at the Nürburgring in 1973

Very unusual for his Western German origin, Heyer's sign is his so-called Tirolerhut, a hat from Tyrol or Bavaria which would fit better to drivers from these Alpine regions, like Hans-Joachim Stuck or Niki Lauda.

Living close to the Netherlands and not yet allowed to race in Germany at the age of 16, he started his career there in 1959 with Karts and won the 1962 Dutch Championship.

For many years, Heyer was associated with Zakspeed, racing their Group 2 Ford Escorts in the European Touring Car Championship (champion 1974) and the Deutsche Rennsport Meisterschaft (champion 1975 and 1976). Heyer attempted two European F2 races in 1976, finishing sixth at Hockenheim, but non-qualifying the race after.

In 1980 he won the DRM again, this time for Lancia in a Group 5 Lancia Monte Carlo Turbo, a car he also helped developing. He crashed his 480hp car badly at the Norisring in Nuremberg, rolling several times. He escaped unhurt, but returned immediately to the wreck to recover his famous hat. In the following medical exam, the doctor was said to have been more nervous than him.

Heyer was also successful in sportscar racing, winning the 1984 12 Hours of Sebring in a Porsche 935.

In his single attempt at Formula One, he entered the 1977 German Grand Prix on July 31, 1977 with the second Penske car of the new German team ATS. With little experience in single seaters and a bad car, he did not qualify. This did not stop him from racing, however; as he was well known with the marshals at Hockenheim, they looked the other way when he put his car at the end of the starting grid and joined the race anyway, to the surprise of everyone. His Formula One career didn't last long, though, for after 10 laps the car's gearbox broke down, and he was disqualified from this race, as well as disqualified from starting the next. But Heyer had his 15 minutes of fame – as well as one more story to tell.

Heyer retired in 1989 after 999 races in 30 years.

In 2004, Volkswagen director Kris Nissen found out about the number and invited Hans Heyer (and his hat) to drive his 1000th race in the ADAC Volkswagen Polo Cup at the Norisring against youngsters.

His son Kenneth Heyer is also a racing driver, currently involved in the ADAC GT Masters series driving a Ford GT for the Swiss Matech team.

Complete Formula One results

(key)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 WDC Points
1977 ATS Racing Team Penske PC4 Cosworth V8 ARG
BRA
RSA
USW
ESP
MON
BEL
SWE
FRA
GBR
GER
Ret*
AUT
NED
ITA
USA
CAN
JPN
NC 0
  • *Started illegally

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Toine Hezemans
European Touring Car Championship champion
1974
Succeeded by
Alain Peltier
and Siegfried Müller Sr.
Preceded by
Dieter Glemser
Deutsche Rennsport Meisterschaft Champion
1975-1976
Succeeded by
Rolf Stommelen
Preceded by
Klaus Ludwig
Deutsche Rennsport Meisterschaft Champion
1980
Succeeded by
Klaus Ludwig
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