16th August 1980
The seventh race for the Procar series in Austria in 1980 was staged over 17 laps at 5.942 km each. The winner mastered the race distance of 101.014 km at an average speed of 183.524 km/h.
The Procar race at the Österreichring took place without Procar sensation Didier Pironi and – lo and behold – without a collision. Nelson Piquet won and Hans-Joachim Stuck took over the lead in the Championship with his 2nd place win.
Hans-Joachim Stuck personally apologised at the Zeltweg practice to Didier Pironi with regards to the incidents at Hockenheim. He accepted the apology – shake hands -. Just like that the tedious matter was sorted. One more annotation regarding this that I only read in a book later: I approach him and tell him “I apologise, but you are an idiot anyway”. Direct quote Stuck! But that’s not all: The tall Grainauer still had to survive a “big moment”. Just as he was completing a fast lap the left rear tyre went flat in the Rindt turn. In 4th gear he slid over the grass straight into the crash barrier. “Fortunately, the M1 is like a tank” , Stuck said! 4th position on the starting grid nevertheless! Even before the warm up lap Didier Pironi had to be pushed from the starting grid into the pit due to a faulty spark plug. His spot remained empty, which Stuck probably observed with a smirk.
26 Jacques Laffite spins in lap 6
Laffite took the lead easily ahead of Stuck, Piquet and Reutemann at the start. In the following, elongated uphill-right passage, Jo Gartner nudged his fellow countryman Willi Siller in his M1 rented from the Schnitzer family. The M1 moved crossways directly in front of Alan Jones. Smoking tyres, but both were quite luckily able to continue the race. The Australian, who was leader at the F1 Championship, said he did not drive with complete risk in the Procar championship. This certainly saved him from trouble in this situation. In lap 6 Laffite had a spectacular spin in the first chicane. As it turned out, a driving error was not the reason for dropping out, but rather a faulty clutch. Thus, Stuck took the lead ahead of Piquet, Reutemann, Cheever, Surer and Quester. Shortly after, another change of leadership in the Rindt turn. Stuck had to make space for the fiercely attacking Brazilian, Piquet. Already in lap 7 another drop-out for the unfortunate Austrian, Jo Gartner with his Marlboro racing car. Edy Cheever, who took the Denim M1 from 6th on the starting grid all the way to 4th place, only made it one lap further – a severe burst tyre on the left front. Pierre Chauvet a.k.a. James Bald parked the Winnebago racer at the side of the racing track in lap 9. In lap 10 Piquet was in the lead ahead of Stuck, Reutemann, Surer, Quester and Danner – all within a space of only 14 seconds. Stuck developed gear box problems with the ongoing race duration. Hence he was not able to attack Piquet anymore. The race order should not change until the end of the race. Nevertheless, it was not boring. Marc Surer was fastest and measured with a speed of 240.750 km/h at the finish line. Hard fights not only at the front: Dieter Quester with the Gösser Beer M1 had to defend himself against the attacks of the young Christian Danner in the His M1 up until crossing the finish line. Jan Lammers, who lead the Procar overall ranking until Zeltweg, had to deal with handling problems throughout the race and had to let Surer, Quester, Danner and Schurti – amongst others – pass. “Ever since the dropping out in Monaco the car does not work anymore“, Lammers said. He crossed the finish line in 7th place. Stuck took over the leadership in the overall ranking with his 2nd place win.