28th July 1979
The fifth race in the Procar series took place in Hockenheim and was staged over 15 laps at 6.789km each. The winner mastered the race distance of 101.835 km at an average speed of 185.090 km/h.
It was a sensational Procar race with Formula 1 drivers Lauda, Stuck , Pironi, Lafitte and Regazzoni. Up-and-coming talent, Hans-Georg Bürger, provided great astonishment, achieving the fastest time in practice and surprisingly finished the race in third place.
After achieving the fastest practice time by a non-F1 driver of 2,09.34 minutes, he was able to start the race from the 6th grid position. However this was only possible because Niki Lauda competed in his Marlboro M1 and, in Bürger’s favour, passed on a team car.
Already at the first turn, Jochen Mass skidded onto the grass in his Warsteiner M1. Directly after that thing got serious. It was rather inexplicable, but de Angelis, Schütz and Quester collided, allegedly due to Dutchman, Hezemanns jumping the start. In all, 4 vehicles were now out of the race. Thankfully, there were no serious injuries – indicating just how safe the cars are. After the 5th lap, Niki Lauda led, followed by Stuck and Bürger, who in a duel, overtook Pironi. Behind them, Regazzoni, Kelleners and Mass. The order remained so, with no changes until the waving of the chequered flag. Lauda won his 3rd “Procar race” in 33 minutes and led the overall ranking with a sovereign 63 point. Niki Lauda was rumoured to have had a better car. That evening in an interview on “Aktuelle Sportstudio” he claimed: “Nonsense, after the race at Silverstone my car windows were cleaned and the car was brought to Hockenheim. The cars are all equally fast.” He did however, reveal one trick: “If at all, you can only make a difference with the tyres. Although they are all the same, there are small differences and if you are lucky enough to find a set of tyres that are a bit faster, because they are simply made that way, then you can drive faster!” Direct quote, Lauda.