9th August 1980
The sixth race for the Procar series in Germany in 1980 was staged over 14 laps at 6.789 km each. The winner mastered the race distance of 95.046 km at an average speed of 186.313 km/h. The race was cut short in the penultimate lap due to rain.
Start preparation from the second row
Procar sensation, Pironi: in Hockenheim sparks were flying once again. Didier Pironi developed himself into a Procar sensation. The French Formula 1 driver was complicit in two collisions at Hockenheim and nevertheless managed to produce the most exciting race in the two-year history of the Procar series.
Manfred Schurti was in pole position, after the fastest practice time changed 6 time within 12 minutes. A time of 2:20.54 minutes he placed Sauber M1 in pole position. 22 year old Christian Danner – forth fastest during practice – ran into some trouble. Checks revealed that the His M1 was 1.5 kg too light. A 3.000 $ fine for the Cassani team.
As expected, the race was exciting. “They were only separated from each other by the length of a tie”, claimed track spokesman, Kalli Hufstadt, as the Schurti-Pironi-Stuck-Surer-express took the lead. In his first appearance of the year, Jean-Pierre Jarier already had to withdraw after 500 m. He over-steered at the first turn and landed in the crash barrier with his M1. Sepp Manhalter too skidded onto the grass briefly, but was able to continue. In the lap 5 a serious incident occurred. Stuck attempted to overtake Frenchman, Pironi, before the first chicane out of the slipstream. Both got caught up in each other and Strietzel’s BASF M1 trundled through the grass. He fell back to 8th place. Pironi was able to use the “emergency exit” and merged back in behind Schurti in second place. Later protests against the Frenchman driving straight ahead were dismissed, since he did not gain any obvious advantage. One lap later, at the same section with Stuck previously, Marc Surer attempted to trick Pironi. Scramble – Surer had to brake hard – Pironi remain ahead of Surer’s Pooh M1. Lap 14: Surer makes a new attempt. This time Marc attempted to overtake the Ligier driver from the outside, in the east section – with serious consequences: Once both car had collided, the Pooh M1 flew off at the point, where only one week prior Patrick Depailler was killed in an accident. Thankfully, since then the crash barrier had been reinforced with tyre walls. This slowed down the M1. Marc emerged from the wreckage uninjured and later in the drivers’ paddock explained that Pironi had hit him from behind!
Shortly afterwards, in the Sachs turn, Stuck received his next strike: Full of anger, he had fought his way forward to 4th place, turned into the motodrome and continued on the inside next to his team colleague Heyer, who took the Sachs turn at an angle – light collision. Heyer spun into the grass and had to make do with 7th place. “A normal racing accident” – this was Stuck’s opinion on the incident. “Strietzel has also driven fairer”, commented Wegberger after crossing the finish line.
Oh yes – crossing the finish line – the race was terminated one lap early – after the 14th lap – due to rain. As a result of the occurrences in lap 5, Strietzel Stuck was still angry after the race. In front of rolling television cameras he referred to Pironi as a “murderer”! Pironi complained and did not feel guilty. The sports tribunal were supposed to step in. Pironi did not appear at the awards ceremony.