Born on this day (30th - April)

1864 - 1922

1893 - 1928

Leon Duray

1894 - 1956

Willi Seibel

1896 - 1977

1910 - 1969

1912 - 1946

Duncan Hamilton

1920 - 1994

1930 - 1966

Gil Nickel

1939 - 2003

Darren Manning


Died on this day (30th - April)

Roland Ratzenberger

1962 - 1994

Peter Bourne

1956 - 2003

Theo Fitzau

10 / 2 / 1923
18 / 3 / 1982

Before he turned up with the ARO-Veritas Fitzau had already appeared in a few races in another special the BMW 328 Weber-Eigenbau (EMW) with this he took 4th at the Stadtparkrennen Leipzig and second at Halle-Saale Schleife in 1950, both in his native East Germany. When the rivalry between East and West German moved onto the tracks in 1951 with the Rennkollektiv, the DDR state racing team competing with the West on European circuits. Fitzau joined the Rennkollektiv as team mate to Rosenhammer. Early in the season at Halle in a combined Formula 2 and sports cars race, Fitzau drove a DRS-Veritas into third place. Apparently these three letters stood for Der rasende Seifensieder (The Speeding Soap Box) due to Fitzau being a soap manufacturer from Köthen. At the first big race of '51 at the Nürburgring Rosenhammer managed to qualify for the front row of the grid in the 2-litre sports car race. But neither Rosenhammer nor Fitzau appear in the results. The first round had ended in favour of Veritas and West Germany. At Avus the East-West battle entered its second stage. The huge entry list contained nearly all of the German top drivers and quite a number of streamlined cars had been developed especially for this high-speed track. Rudi Fischer from Switzerland had brought his V12 Ferrari, Stirling Moss and Lance Macklin represented Great Britain in the HWM team, and there were three neat little Gordinis, which would of course suffer a little on this fast circuit due to their engine lacking 500cc in capacity. Also the Rennkollektiv had developed a streamlined version of the car, which was given to Rosenhammer, while Fitzau and Ortschitt had to be content with standard models. The race however was surprisingly won by the East German privateer Paul Greifzu. Fitzau crossed the finish line four laps down on the winner in 11th place. Fitzau was an entrepreneur and never came to terms with the idea of communism. As a result he did not return from a trip to Rastatt in West Germany at the end of 1952, one of a number of East German drivers committing the crime of Republikflucht (escaping from the GDR). The East German press made jokes about Fitzau starving in the West as he seemingly had expected to get a Mercedes works drive the following year. In 1952 he drove in the German F3 (500cc)Chamionship in WGW and later in the year a Cooper. In 1953 he raced an old AFM-BMW (50-3), entered by Helmut Niedermayr, as a DDR citizen even though he was then living in the West, in the German Grand Prix. He did not finish. Fitzau died in 1982 in Gross-Gerau, West Germany of natural causes.

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