Georg Meier

Georg Meier

9/11/1910 - 19/2/1999

'Iron Man Meier' was a champion motorcycle rider who won the European Championship in 1938 and the German Championship in 1937, 1938, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950 and 1953. He raced for Auto Union and took second place in the French GP in 1939. He was one of the founders of the Veritas company and won the F2 and Formula Libre Champinship in Germany in a Veritas RS in 1948.

Georg "Schorsch" Meier was born in Mühldorf am Inn, Bavaria. Former an off-road rider Meier, made the supercharged BMW almost unbeatable before WWII.

In 1938 he won both the European and German Motorcycle Championships. He rode in the TT races on the Isle of Mann but retired on the first lap with plug trouble.

The following year, 1939, he became the first non-British rider to win the 500 cc Senior TT on the Isle of Man at an average speed of 89.38mph. His British teammate Jock West finished second.He was also signed by Auto Union to be part of their 'junior' team. His first appearance came at the Eifel GP where Stuck managed to sprain his ankle while playing skittles after a practice session. Meier stepped in but something went wrong with the car and he was a non-starter. Next up came the Belgian GP. Stuck was racing in Bucharest so once again Meier call the call. He had raced at the track before on his 500cc BMW so knew the circuit.

He qualified with a time of 10m16s compared to Nuvolari's 10m05s, both times set in the wet. In the race Meier, running in sixth place, was forced into a ditch on lap 14 as he was trying to lap Mandirola's Maserati at Blanchemont. The car was undamaged but he couldn't get it back onto the track so started to walk back to the pits. The rain had stopped for some time but the track was still slippery. On lap 21, Seaman led by half a minute over Lang, followed by Nuvolari, Hasse and von Brauchitsch. Coming to Club Corner just before the La Source hairpin Seaman came in too fast, missed the entry point and left the track sideways. The back of his Mercedes hit one tree and then wrapped itself around another one. The fuel line split 250 litres of fuel leaked into the cockpit and over the exhaust. It ignited and was trapped behind the steering wheel. After a minute of futile rescuing efforts a Belgian soldier walked right into the fire and released the driver.

Meier witnessed the crash 300 yards in front of him as he walked back. He ran to help but by the time he arrived Seaman was already on the grass being attended to by the Red Cross. He was taken to hospital but died later that night from his burns.

At the French GP in July, the Auto Union mechanics were not working well and while making a pit stop they spilled fuel, which ignited, burning Meiers arm quite badly. However the fire was put out and Meier, who was often referred to in the press as 'the cast iron man', jumped back into the car and continued, holding his arm up in the wind too cool it down.

Müller took the chequered flag as further rain fell, behind him came Meier bringing his Auto Union home to a second place, literally single handed.

With war looming, racing was abandoned and it was not until 1947 that Meier returned to racing. He went back to ride for BWW winning his second German Championship, a feat he repeated again in 1948, 1949 (the year he also won the German Sportsman of the Year award), 1950, and 1953.

He returned to car racing with Veritas in 1948. In 1947 Ernst Loof had got together with Lorenz Dietrich, a former BMW director, and Meier to build racing cars. In post war Germany it was hard find suitable parts so they had hunt hard to find components to get started. They began by converting pre-war BMW 328 'Brescia' sports cars into racing machines - a common practice at the time, as the BMWs were streets ahead of anyone else in the aerodynamics department. but in 1948 they produced the Veritas RS. This was a light combined tube section/space frame chassis covered by streamlined bodywork and BMW 328 engines.

Meier entered the racing car class as a test in advance of their entry into single seater production. His car was fitted with a special 3-cam BWM motor. The race was not only run to the new Formula 2 rules, but open to Formula Libre cars, so it caused quite a sensation when Meier beat more powerful supercharged cars. He went on to win both the German F2 and Formula Libre Championship.

Meier died in Munich in 1999.

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