Volker Weidler

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Volker Weidler
Born (1962-03-18) 18 March 1962 (age 52)
Heidelberg, Germany
Formula One World Championship career
Nationality Germany German
Active years 1989
Teams Rial
Races 10 (0 starts)
Championships 0
Wins 0
Podiums 0
Career points 0
Pole positions 0
Fastest laps 0
First race 1989 Brazilian Grand Prix
Last race 1989 Hungarian Grand Prix
24 Hours of Le Mans career
Participating years 1987, 1989 - 1992
Teams Porsche Kremer Racing, Mazdaspeed (Mazdaspeed/Oreca)
Best finish 1st (1991)
Class wins 1 (1991)

Volker Weidler (born March 18, 1962 in Heidelberg) is a former racing driver from Germany, best known for winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1991.

Career[edit]

Formula racing[edit]

In 1985, he became German Formula Three champion.

In the 1989 Formula One season, Weidler entered 10 Formula One Grands Prix racing for the Rial team, but failed to qualify the uncompetitive car on every occasion.

After Formula One, he moved to Japan and raced in the Japanese Formula 3000 Championship and the All Japan Sports Prototype Championship. He often fought over the title with Kazuyoshi Hoshino, Ross Cheever and others in the Japanese Formula 3000, and took popularity in Japan.

GT / Sportscars[edit]

In 1991, Weidler teamed with Johnny Herbert and Bertrand Gachot to win Le Mans behind the wheel of the Wankel engine-powered Mazda 787B, marking also the first and only win of the legendary French race by both a Japanese manufacturer and engine supplier. This Wankel engine-powered car was noted for being very loud. From 1992, 3.5L F1 engines were promoted by the FISA while rotary engines were banned, rendering the 787B ineligible after the season which saw its maiden win at Le Mans.

Possibly related to the hours spent in the noisy Mazda,[citation needed] Weidler began to suffer from an ear problem (sensorineural hearing loss) which eventually forced him to retire prematurely from the Japanese Formula 3000 Championship during the 1992 season though Weidler was leading the championship at that time.

When Weidler left the Japanese team, Nova Engineering, he recommended Heinz-Harald Frentzen as his successor.


Racing record[edit]

Complete International Formula 3000 results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap.)

Year Entrant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 DC Points
1986 Bromley Motorsport
Rial
SIL
10
VAL
7
PAU
Ret
SPA
DNQ
IMO
MUG
16
PER
DNQ
ZEL
9
BIR
BUG
JAR
NC 0
1988 Onyx Racing JER
Ret
VAL
12
PAU
DNQ
SIL
14
MNZ
9
PER
Ret
BRH
6
BIR
4
BUG
DNS
ZOL
Ret
DIJ
10
15th 5

Complete Formula One results[edit]

(key)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 WDC Points
1989 Rial Racing Rial ARC2 Ford Cosworth DFR (Mader) 3.5 V8 BRA
DNPQ
SMR
DNPQ
MON
DNPQ
MEX
DNPQ
USA
DNPQ
CAN
DNPQ
FRA
DNPQ
GBR
DNPQ
GER
DSQ
HUN
DNQ
BEL
ITA
POR
ESP
JPN
AUS
NC 0

Complete 24 Hours of Le Mans Results[edit]

Class winners in bold. Cars failing to complete 70% of the winner's distance marked as Not Classified (NC).

Year Pos Class No Team Drivers Chassis Tyre Laps
1992 4 C1 5 Japan Mazdaspeed Co. Ltd.
France Oreca
United Kingdom Johnny Herbert
Belgium Bertrand Gachot
Brazil Maurizio Sandro Sala
Mazda MXR-01 M 336
1991 1 C2 55 Japan Mazdaspeed Co. Ltd.
United Kingdom Johnny Herbert
Belgium Bertrand Gachot
Mazda 787B D 362
1990 39
DNF
GTP 201 Japan Mazdaspeed Co. Ltd. Belgium Bertrand Gachot
United Kingdom Johnny Herbert
Mazda 787 D 148
1989 12 GTP 203 Japan Mazdaspeed Co. Ltd. Japan Yojiro Terada
Belgium Marc Duez
Mazda 767 D 339
1987 45
DNF
C1 10 Germany Porsche Kremer Racing Denmark Kris Nissen
Japan Kunimitsu Takahashi
Porsche 962C Y 6

References[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Kurt Thiim
German Formula Three champion
1985
Succeeded by
Kris Nissen
Preceded by
John Nielsen
Price Cobb
Martin Brundle
Winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans
1991 with:
Johnny Herbert
Bertrand Gachot
Succeeded by
Derek Warwick
Yannick Dalmas
Mark Blundell