Hermann zu Leiningen

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Hermann zu Leiningen in a Bugatti 1931 in training for the AVUS race
An Auto Union Type A as driven by Hermann zu Leiningen in 1934

Hermann Viktor Maximilian Prinz zu Leiningen (born January 4, 1901 in Amorbach , † March 29, 1971 there ) was a German automobile racing driver .


Hermann zu Leiningen, who came from Amorbach, was the son of Emich Eduard Carl Fürst zu Leiningen (1866-1939) and Princess Feodore Viktoria Alberta zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg (1866-1932). In 1938 he married Countess Irene von Schönborn-Wiesentheid . The marriage remained childless.

Zu Leiningen began car racing in 1927 and started out as a wealthy gentleman driver in a Bugatti . At that time he mostly competed mountain races . He later competed with Amilcar and in 1928/29 with Mercedes-Benz SSK .

In the 1930 season , Hermann zu Leiningen intervened in Grand Prix racing for the first time . He was accompanied by Heinrich Joachim tomorrow hired as the second driver and the duo won on Bugatti Type 35 B the inaugural Grand Prix of Czechoslovakia in the Masaryk circuit near Brno . As a result, he formed a racing community with von Morgen and Ernst Günther Burggaller . In 1932 , zu Leiningen started with a Type 35 C at the AVUS race in Berlin and the Eifel race on the Nürburgring , but did not see the checkered flag in either race.

For the 1934 season zu Leiningen was hired by the Chemnitz Auto Union as a works driver under the leadership of race director Willy Walb for their newly started Grand Prix engagement in the 750 kg formula of the AIACR . He contested a total of eight races, of which he finished three. After technical problems at the beginning of the season, his results improved over the course of the season. The highlight of the season was second place in the Italian Grand Prix at the Autodromo di Monza . At this race, Hermann zu Leiningen with his Auto Union Type A retired after a few laps due to technical problems. When his team-mate Hans Stuck , who was the number 1 driver at Auto Union at the time, had to head for the pits after 59 laps to be treated because a hot radiator had burned his feet, zu Leiningen took over the car, which was allowed and quite common at the time. Hermann zu Leiningen drove the approximately 295 hp Type A over the remaining 56 laps and after 500 kilometers and five and three quarters of an hour of racing was 1: 38.2 minutes behind Rudolf Caracciola / Luigi Fagioli ( Mercedes-Benz W 25 ). At the following Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuito Lasarte near San Sebastián , zu Leiningen had to make his car available to the unusual Stuck, which moved up from tenth to fourth. A week later, zu Leiningen single-handedly came fourth in the Czechoslovak Grand Prix behind Stuck, Fagioli and Tazio Nuvolari .

In 1935 Hermann zu Leiningen competed at the AVUS, the Eifel race and in Montlhéry, France . His best result was ninth place at the Nürburgring together with Achille Varzi . He then parted ways with Auto Union, zu Leiningen entered the Swiss Grand Prix on a works ERA in the Voiturette class and then ended his active racing career.

After the Second World War , Hermann zu Leiningen competed in a number of rallies in the early 1950s . He died on March 29, 1971 at the age of 70.


Pre-war Grand Prix results

season team dare 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th
1934 Auto Union AG Auto Union Type A Flag of Monaco.svg Flag of France.svg Flag of Germany (1933–1935) .svg Flag of Belgium (civil) .svg Flag of Italy (1861-1946) .svg Flag of the Second Spanish Republic.svg
DNS 2. 1 4. 2
1935 Auto Union AG Auto Union Type B Flag of Monaco.svg Flag of France.svg Flag of Belgium (civil) .svg Flag of Germany (1933–1935) .svg Flag of Switzerland within 2to3.svg Flag of Italy (1861-1946) .svg Flag of the Second Spanish Republic.svg
colour meaning EM points
gold victory 1
silver 2nd place 2
bronze 3rd place 3
green Classified, covered more than 75% of the race distance 4th
blue not entitled to points, covered between 50% and 75% of the race distance 5
violet not eligible for points, covered between 25% and 50% of the race distance 6th
red not eligible for points, covered less than 25% of the race distance 7th
colour abbreviation meaning EM points
black DSQ disqualified 8th
White DNS did not start
DNA did not arrive
other P / bold Pole position
SR / italic Fastest race lap
DNF Race not finished (did not finish)
1After 59 laps in Leiningen, Stuck took over the car , which had burned his feet from a defective radiator, and drove it to second place.
2 The unusual piece took over to Leiningen's car and drove him up from tenth place to fourth place.

Web links

Commons : Hermann zu Leiningen  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Leif Snellman, Felix Muelas: XII ° GRAN PREMIO D'ITALIA. www.kolumbus.fi, February 16, 2013, accessed on February 22, 2013 .
  2. Leif Snellman, Felix Muelas: IX ° GRAN PREMIO DE ESPAÑA. www.kolumbus.fi, February 16, 2013, accessed on February 22, 2013 .
  3. Leif Snellman, Felix Muelas: V Masarykův Okruh. www.kolumbus.fi, February 16, 2013, accessed on February 22, 2013 .