Manfred Winkelhock

Date of birth : October 6 1951
Deceased : Augustus 12 1985

Biography Manfred Winkelhock

His passion for racing started rather late, as he only began racing at the age of 24 when he competed in the VW Junior Cup, a series for VW Scirocco GTI’s. By winning this series he attracted the attention of BMW and joined their Junior Team with Marc Surer and Eddie Cheever, to race the BMW 320 Group 5 silhouette cars, powered by 2-litre Formula 2 engines. Finishing 3rd overall, he won the 1979 Deutsche Rennsport Meistershaft in his class. That same year he started racing in Formula 2 cars.

F1 and F2 career.

Despite several podium spots in F2 races, he never manages to win a race. During his F2 career he survived a massive crash when when he took off over the jump at Flugplatz on the Nordschleife. He ended his F2 career driving for Maurer. In 1980 he replaced the injured Jochen Mass in an Arrows in a F1 race. Later, in 1982 with the support of BMW he manages to drive in an ATS.  Unfortunately for Manfred Winkelhock, the car was  not reliable enough to assure him good results, despite several good qualification runs. Few results and quite some crashes where his part in his F1 career.

Footage of Winkelhocks crash at Flugplatz (Nürburgring – Nordschleife)

Racing sportscars and touring cars

At the same time he was a regular sports car and touring car driver, winning the Monza 1000 in 1985 with Marc Surer in a Kremer Racing Porsche 962C. He was killed in the summer when he crashed heavily at turn 2 at Mosport Park near Toronto, Ontario, Canada, during the Budweiser 1000 km World Sportscar Championship event, driving a customer Porsche 956. So far the true cause of the accident has never been determined. Some say Manfred Winkelhock blacked out because of the G-forces while cornering. Other state there might have been a steering failure or a tyre puncture.

Pictures courtesy unknown