Fritz Huschke von Hanstein

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Fritz Huschke von Hanstein
Huschke von Hanstein, 1963.jpg
Huschke von Hanstein, 1963
Nationality German
Born Fritz Sittig Enno Werner von Hanstein
(1911-01-03)3 January 1911
Halle
Died 5 January 1996(1996-01-05) (aged 85)
Stuttgart
Years active Circa 1935–65
Teams Porsche, BMW
Championship titles
Winner; 1940 Mille Miglia
Winner; 1956 Targa Florio
BMW 328 "Mille Miglia", driven by Adolf Brudes at Nürburgring, 1976
The 1940 Mille Miglia winning BMW, with streamlined top
Huschke von Hanstein in 1981, demonstrating a Porsche 804 at Nürburgring

Fritz Sittig Enno Werner von Hanstein (3 January 1911 – 5 January 1996), nicknamed "Huschke von Hanstein",[1] was a German racing driver who from the 1950s served both as Porsche's public relations manager and chief of their racing department.[2]

Biography[edit]

Hanstein was born in Halle, German Empire, to a Prussian noble family which originated in the Eichsfeld. His father, Carlo von Hanstein (1875–1936) was a Prussian Army officer and Junker.

In the late 1930s, "Huschke" drove a BMW 328 sports car. As he had joined the SS, his car was fitted with SS rune number plates (SS-333).[3] In 1940, he, together with Walter Bäumer, won the Mille Miglia in a BMW 328 coupe.[4] He was one of the only three non-Italians to have won the Mille Miglia, along with fellow German and 1931 winner Rudolf Caracciola and 1955 winner Stirling Moss.

As a result of World War II, Hanstein's family's possessions were lost in socialist East Germany. In June 1950, he married Ursula von Kaufmann (1916-2005) on the Nürburgring race track. After the war Hanstein acted again with seeds. In 1950 he first went to Volkswagen in the press department. In 1951 he moved to Porsche, where he was head of public relations and race director from 1952 to 1968. Hanstein joined Porsche, then a small sports car manufacturer, serving as a kind of ambassador especially to foreign markets like France, which were rather difficult for Germans at the time. He became the face of Porsche to the motorsports world and press, a perfect partner for Ferry Porsche's more quiet leadership. Due to his aristocratic background and diplomatic skills, he succeeded both in selling cars as well as passing technical inspections before races, like at the 24 Hours of Le Mans where he led Porsche 356 to class wins.

In 1956 Hanstein drove a Porsche 550 Spyder all the way to Sicily to enter in the Targa Florio, for which he hired Umberto Maglioli. The experienced Italian did most of the driving in the long distance race across the mountains, scoring Porsche's first major win. Hanstein led the Porsche racing teams until the middle of the 1960s, when Porsche decided to let young engineers like Ferdinand Piëch take over. Without Hanstein's aristocratic skills, the Porsche team promptly ran into trouble at 1968 24 Hours of Le Mans due to misunderstandings with the French.

Huschke von Hanstein, the so-called "racing baron", continued to serve as representative in German and international automobile organizations. During the mid-1970s, he was the German representative for the Commission Sportive Internationale (CSI), the organization responsible for all racing regulations for Formula One. He died in 1996 in Stuttgart.

Michael Schumacher, describing one of the most prominent figures of international motor sports, says: "For decades and generations, Huschke von Hanstein was one of the most scintillating personalities to be found on and near race tracks." Dedicated to motor sports in all its forms, he was at home on all the world's motor sports venues, equally successful in off-road events, circuit racing, and long-distance trials, on two wheels or four. Huschke von Hanstein, driving a BMW 328, won the 1940 Mille Miglia. And it was the "Racing Baron" whose efforts as a public relations officer, race car driver and racing team manager catapulted Porsche to worldwide fame in the 1950s and 1960s. In one person, he combined the skills of racing driver, racing director, chief PR officer, photographer, film cameraman, inventor and innovator. He was responsible for the appearance of advertising on race cars. Safety features as diverse as helmets for driver head protection as early as 1938, later fireproof driving suits, and striped pedestrian cross-walks all owe their existence to his efforts. His expertise and his ever-masterful, professional demeanor, molded by an aristocrat's cosmopolitan familiarity with the world, captivated his racing contemporaries, colleagues and rivals alike. [5]

— Tobias Aichele, Huschke von Hanstein: The Racing Baron

Racing Statistics[edit]

Le Mans Results[edit]

Year Entrant Car Co-driver(s) Position
1937 France Mme Anne-Cecile Rose-Itier Adler Trumpf Rennlimousine France Anne-Cecile Rose-Itier DNF
1952 Germany Porsche KG Porsche 356 SL Germany Petermax Müller DNF

Sebring Results[edit]

Year Entrant Car Co-drivers Position
1955 Germany Porsche K.G. and B. S. Cunningham Porsche 550 Spyder Germany Herbert Linge 8
1956 Germany Porsche K.G. Porsche 550 United StatesMike Marshall
United States Jan Brundage
14
1957 Germany Porsche K.G. Porsche 550 RS Germany Herbert Linge 31
1958 Germany Porsche K.G. Porsche 356A Carrera Germany Herbert Linge
United StatesJohn Cuevas
10 (Class victory)
1959 Germany Porsche K.G. Porsche 356A Carrera GT Netherlands Carel Godin de Beaufort 11 (Class victory)

References[edit]

  1. ^ According to a document of Stuttgart's police dated 24 October 1956, he officially adopted "Fritz-Huschke" as first name
  2. ^ The Racing Baron Huschke von Hanstein - Under the patronage of his wife, Ursula von Hanstein, the Auto & Technik MUSEUM SINSHEIM dedicated a special exhibition to their late honorary member Huschke von Hanstein. Von Hanstein won worldwide recognition and respect as a racing driver, PR-manager, and chief of the racing department of Porsche as well as a functionary in German and international organizations. On exhibit are cars and motorbikes with a special relation to Huschke von Hanstein. Furthermore, show cases showing plaques and badges, posters, cups and other memorabilia commemorating the racing baron – among them e.g. also his first crash helmet. [1]
  3. ^ "BMW 328 of SS member Huschke von Hanstein". Img32.imageshack.us. Retrieved 2011-12-03. 
  4. ^ Traum-Duo im BMW 328 - Huschke von Hanstein und Walter Bäumer [2] (in German)
  5. ^ Tobias Aichele. Huschke von Hanstein: The Racing Baron. ISBN 978-3829029001. 

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]