Hubert Hahne

Hubert Hahne

28/3/1935

With only a very few exceptions Hahnes racing career was spent racing cars made or powered by BMW. He built his reputation in 1964-66, racing the works BMW 1800Ti touring cars in the European championship. In 1966, he was the first to lap the Nürburgring in under 10 minutes in a touring car, a BMW New Class. A fine second place in the F2 class in the 1966 German GP in a Matra then pointed Hahne in the direction of single-seaters and he became the non-graded works driver in the Lola-BMW for 1967 and a couple of races in 1968, when he returned to BMW tourers and also had the occasional Ford ride. BMW had started their Formula 2 operation back in 1967 with the 267 type. This car had got a 230 hp 1.6 litre 4 cylinder engine installed in a chassis made by British racing car manufacturer Lola. The engine had been designed by Austrian engineer Apfelbeck still on a production based block as demanded by the technical regulations of that time. In spite the car had got an excellent top speed on the straights, the acceleration from the middle sector revs was a real problem. So it was no wonder, that BMW was in the need for a pretty long time, to sort the engine problems out. It was September 1968, shortly before the end of that year´s international motorsport season, when BMW brought their 268 type to the front. The cars, again with a Lola built chassis, were driven by Swiss Grand Prix ace Jo Siffert and Hahne. The 268 was quick, but not very reliable. And the Lola constructed chassis was not able to cope with the meanwhile 240 horse powers of the Munich made engine. For 1969, Hubert was back with BMW's own F2 car, taking two second places at Hockenheim and a fourth in the Eifelrennen, although the season was marred by the death of Gerhard Mitter in practice for the German Grand Prix. He continued in F2 with BMW in 1970, winning the Rhine Cup for the 100% BMW Formula 2 car. It was BMW´s maiden F2 victory in front of their home crowd on the high speed track of Hockenheim. Taking delivery of a March 701 for the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim, he naturally expected to do well at his favourite circuit and there was much consternation when he failed to qualify the car. A disgruntled Hahne threatened legal action, contending that the car was delivered in an unraceworthy condition, but after this had been disproved by Ronnie Peterson in a subsequent test Hahne announced his retirement from racing.

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