Mercedes-Benz Classic at Solitude Revival 2017 in Stuttgart: At the centre of the brand's racing history
At the fifth Solitude Revival, Mercedes-Benz Classic will bring the great age of motorsport back to life on the legendary Stuttgart circuit with famous racing vehicles and drivers. Among the vehicles on show are the Mercedes-Benz Model S from 1927 and the AMG 300 SEL 6.8 from 1971, which was based on a Mercedes-Benz luxury-class saloon. The drivers in attendance will be Dieter Glemser, Hans Herrmann, Jochen Mass and Jan Seyffarth. The Solitude Revival starts on the Friday (21 July 2017) with the presentation of the participating vehicles. This will be followed on the Saturday and Sunday (22/23 July 2017) by numerous races of classic automobiles and motorcycles on the 11.7-kilometre circuit.
Stuttgart. This circuit lies at the heart of the brand's racing history: the Solitude Ring in Stuttgart is a home track of Mercedes-Benz. It is where, 90 years ago, the Mercedes-Benz Model S, which had been unveiled just a few months previously at the inauguration of the Nürburgring, put on a brilliant show. At the "Around Solitude" race on 18 September 1927, Otto Merz in a Model S won the class for racing cars over three litres displacement, while Willy Walb was triumphant in the class for sports car over five litres.
History is now being repeated: to mark the anniversary, at Solitude Revival 2017 Mercedes-Benz Classic will present a Model S in three races on the Solitude Ring on both the Saturday (22 July 2017) and the Sunday (23 July 2017). On each day, there will be a warm-up from 9.00 until 9.20 am, a demonstration run from 12.55 until 1.25 pm and the "Special Cars (Sponsors)" race from 4.15 until 4.45 pm. The presence of the super sports car, built in 1928, from the Mercedes-Benz collection will revive the age of the legendary S, SS, SSK and SSKL supercharged touring cars. In their day, in the late 1920s and early 1930s, these cars dominated numerous races in Germany and other European countries. Owing to their imposing looks and loudly whining superchargers, the vehicles, which were painted in the German racing colour of white, were reverentially known to fans of motorsport as "White Elephants".
"Classic Island" and "Mercedes-Benz World"
The appearance of the Model S is part of the Stuttgart brand's extensive presence at this year's Solitude Revival, including on the track, at the Seehaus and in the paddock. Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the performance brand Mercedes-AMG will be represented by the famous AMG 300 SEL 6.8 racing car from 1971 as well as by an original DTM safety car, which will be driven round the circuit by the racing driver Jan Seyffarth. The Mercedes-AMG GT model family (fuel consumption combined: 11.4-9.3 l/100 km, combined CO2 emissions: 259-216 g/km*) will also be on view. The Stuttgart branch of Mercedes-Benz will be present with, among other things, the Intelligence Drive Parcours, which demonstrates the comprehensive capabilities of present-day assistance systems. At the Seehaus as well as in the South paddock, Mercedes-Benz Classic will also show various ALL TIME STARS vehicles from its own trading platform. ALL TIME STARS, which has been in existence since 2015, is an important contribution by Mercedes-Benz Classic to the active cultivation of the heritage of classic automobiles, from young to pre-war classics.
50 years of Mercedes-AMG
To mark the "50 years of AMG" anniversary, the Mercedes-Benz Museum is staging an extensive special exhibition from 19 October 2017 which is expected to run until April 2018. Milestones of Mercedes-AMG history, such as the AMG 300 SEL 6.8, will be on display. The show will also include some more recent vehicles, such as the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG super sports car (model series 197) from 2009, which was independently developed by Mercedes-AMG, as well as current vehicles.
Panel discussions and autograph sessions with racing drivers
The Mercedes-Benz vehicles will be presented and driven on the Solitude Ring by such Brand Ambassadors as Dieter Glemser, Hans Herrmann, Jochen Mass and Jan Seyffarth (official Mercedes-AMG test and development driver) who are also scheduled to engage with the public in panel discussions and autograph sessions organised jointly by Mercedes-Benz Classic and Porsche, which is expected to be represented by Marc Lieb. Outstanding competitors from earlier eras up until the most recent racing times, conversations about motorsport, the Solitude Ring and the cultivation of tradition – the panel discussions and autograph sessions promise to be both highly informative and entertaining.
Fastest lap by Hans Herrmann
The former Silver Arrows racing driver Hans Herrmann has a special association with the Stuttgart track: on 12 October 1953, the youngest of all participating drivers, he set the fastest lap of the day over the 11.7-kilometre circuit in a time of 4 minutes and 52 seconds, the best time at Mercedes-Benz practice and training sessions for the 1954 racing season. Following this exceptional performance in the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL racing car (W 194) for the 1953 season, known by fans as the "Wood Plane" on account of its distinctive front-end design, racing director Alfred Neubauer promoted him to the racing team for the 1954 season. Hans Herrmann is still today closely associated with vehicles with the star on their bonnet. As a Brand Ambassador of Mercedes-Benz Classic, he regularly appears at famous historical motorsport events.
Mercedes-Benz and the Solitude Ring
The Solitude racing track in Stuttgart not only has strong associations with Mercedes-Benz racing history: this shared past dates back even further than the brand, which came into being in 1926. Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft (DMG) competed on the triangular circuit with its Mercedes racing cars from as early as 1922. The hill climb, which was inaugurated in 1903 for motorcycles, was opened to automobiles in 1922. In the years that followed, the racing cars of Benz as well as the Mercedes vehicles of DMG played a dominant role in many classes.
Already in 1923, a young Mercedes driver won his class in the Solitude hill climb as part of the ADAC Reichs Rally. The world of motorsport was to hear a lot more of this young man, who, in only his second race for the brand with the star, was victorious in three individual categories in his Mercedes 1.5-litre racing car while winning the overall classification for touring cars up to 6 tax hp: his name was Rudolf Caracciola. Benz and DMG vehicles also celebrated other victories. In the following year, for example, Mercedes factory driver Adolf Rosenberger was triumphant in the hill climb.
The first "Around Solitude" race was held in 1925. Otto Merz won the inaugural competition in the class for racing cars up to two litres in a Mercedes two-litre four-cylinder supercharged racing car. This time, Adolf Rosenberger won the class up to 8 tax hp in a Benz two-litre "teardrop" car – the world's first mid-engined racing car, which was unveiled by the Mannheim-based company in 1923.
One class victory each for Mercedes and Benz in the first "Around Solitude" race over the challenging 22.3-kilometre circuit: from a present-day perspective, this seemed like a taste of things to come. For the merger between DMG and Benz & Cie. in 1926 was to give rise to the Mercedes-Benz brand,
Whose first success at Solitude was not long in coming: on 12 September 1926, Willy Walb was victorious in the class for sports cars over five litres in a Mercedes-Benz Model K. The same race marked Alfred Neubauer's debut as racing director. In the decades that followed up until 1955, he was to play a leading part in this role in the racing triumphs of Mercedes-Benz.
The Solitude races of that era were true festivals of motorsport. Yet it was not just public interest that was growing steadily, but also the power of the racing cars. For safety reasons, therefore, 1927 – the success year of the Model S – was the last year in which automobiles were allowed onto the 1925 circuit. Mercedes-Benz said goodbye in style, the Model S winning the classes for sports cars over five litres (Willy Walb) and over three litres (Otto Merz).
From 1928, Solitude was to be reserved for motorcycle racing. Even so, at the Solitude Race of 1937 Mercedes-Benz racing driver Hermann Lang was able to demonstrate the Silver Arrow W 125 at full speed to the enthusiastic spectators. A press release from the company at the time stated: "Tripoli winner Hermann Lang, at the wheel of the victorious Mercedes-Benz racing car, will start the International Solitude Race of 1937 by completing several laps of the familiar Solitude track at racing speed. The citizens of Stuttgart will have their first opportunity to admire the thrilling skill of their local driver following his first victory in a major international race as he negotiates this difficult circuit."
After the Second World War, the Solitude Ring experienced a new heyday. Now, it was not just racing cars that competed over the 11.7-kilometre triangular circuit, which, still in existence today, features numerous curves and differences in height. The Solitude Rally was added in the mid-1950s. It, too, is associated with the names of Mercedes-Benz racing drivers such as Eugen Böhringer and Eberhard Mahle. The Solitude Ring was additionally used by Mercedes-Benz in the 1950s for testing its racing cars as well as for selecting and training its racing drivers. Car racing was reinstated on the circuit in 1949. In the 1960s, even Formula 1 and Formula 2 races were held on the Stuttgart track, adding international sparkle with a star-studded field of competitors. The last race on the Solitude Ring was in 1965. Since 2008, the history of the circuit has been brought back to life by the Solitude Revival.
Solitude Revival 2017:
Mercedes-Benz Classic vehicles
Mercedes-Benz Model S (W 06, 1927)
The Mercedes-Benz Model S of 1927 was the first in a series of supercharged sports cars that were nicknamed "White Elephants" and which dominated motorsport in the late 1920s, achieving world fame. The "S" stood for Sport, which says it all: their first racing appearance, the inaugural race at the Nürburgring on 19 June 1927, ended with a triple victory for Mercedes-Benz. The winner was Rudolf Caracciola, who went on to become the most successful racing driver of the pre-war era. That year, Caracciola won eleven overall victories and class wins. Other triumphs for the brand included a triple victory at the German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring on 17 July 1927, when Otto Merz, Christian Werner and Willy Walb all dominated the race in the Mercedes-Benz Model S. Although the racing version of the Model S was reserved for works drivers, it was also available as an exclusive road-going sports car that numerous private drivers successfully drove in competitions. A total of 146 units were built up until 1928. Two models based on the Model S (for "Sport") came out in 1928 – the SS ("Super Sport") and the SSK ("Super Sport Kurz" - "Kurz" meaning "short"), with the SSKL ("Super-Sport Kurz Leicht" - "Leicht" meaning "light") being added in 1931.
Technical data of the Mercedes-Benz Model S
Production period: 1927 to 1928
Displacement: 6789 cc
Output: 88 kW (120 hp), supercharged 132 kW (180 hp) at 3000 rpm
Top speed: 170 km/h
AMG 300 SEL 6.8 (W 109), 1971
At the wheel of the AMG 300 SEL 6.8 racing tourer, Hans Heyer and Clemens Schickentanz posted a totally surprising class victory on the very first outing in the 24-Hour Race at Spa–F rancorchamps in Belgium on 24 July 1971 and took second place in the overall classification. The winning car was developed by the then virtually unknown AMG, founded in 1967 by Hans Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher in Grossaspach. The modified vehicle was based on the Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3, which, with an output of 184 kW (250 hp), was absolutely unrivalled in its day. Yet AMG made what was at that time Germany's fastest standard-production automobile even more powerful, the displacement being increased from 6330 to 6835 cc, while the output from the revised V8 engine rose to 315 kW (428 hp). The triumph in the race at Spa marked the breakthrough for AMG and was to be followed by further victories. Although the original vehicle from 1971 is no longer in existence, this faithful replica, produced in 2006, impressively illustrates the start of a success story that has endured for 50 years.
Technical data of AMG 300 SEL 6.8
Displacement: 6835 cc
Output: 315 kW (428 hp)
Top speed: 265 km/h
Solitude Revival 2017:
Mercedes-Benz Classic Brand Ambassadors
Born on 28 June 1938 in Kirchheim/Teck
Glemser began his career in motorsport in the 1960 Schorndorf Hill Climb. Numerous class victories in various hill climbs and circuit races at the Nürburgring followed. From 1963, he drove for Mercedes-Benz in a Mercedes-Benz 220 SE, achieving overall victory in the Poland Rally and finishing second in both the Germany Rally (including a class victory) and the Argentine Touring Car Grand Prix. In 1964, Glemser played his part in a triple victory of the Eugen Böhringer/Klaus Kaiser, Dieter Glemser/Martin Braungart and Ewy Rosqvist/Eva-Maria Falk teams in the Argentine Touring Car Grand Prix. With Ford, he celebrated a European Championship title for touring cars in 1971, a win in the 24-Hour Race at Spa-Francorchamps and the German Motor Racing Championship in 1973 and 1974. He ended his active motor racing career in November 1974 following a serious crash caused by tyre damage in the touring car race in Macao, south-east China. From 1990, Dieter Glemser was a member of the Mercedes-Benz motorsport team for ten years, responsible for organisational matters as a department manager. From 2001 until 2008, he worked as a freelancer for Mercedes-AMG and Mercedes-Benz in the area of sports and driver safety training. He is still active as a Brand Ambassador for Mercedes-Benz Classic.
Born on 23 February 1928 in Stuttgart, Germany
The Solitude Ring was responsible for bringing Hans Herrmann into the Mercedes-Benz racing team. For, in 1953, the circuit played host to practice and training sessions for the 1954 racing season. It was Herrmann, the youngest of all the drivers, who set the fastest lap of the day. After that, racing director Alfred Neubauer promoted him to the racing team for the 1954 season. When the new Mercedes-Benz W 196 made its debut at the French Grand Prix in Rheims in 1954, the young driver immediately made his mark by setting the fastest lap time. In 1955, however, bad luck was to plague the young man from Stuttgart. In an accident during practice for the Monte Carlo Grand Prix in Monaco, Herrmann was injured so seriously that he was unable to compete for the rest of the season. A trained confectioner, he began his motor racing career in 1952, driving a private Porsche 356 in the Hesse Winter Rally. In the same year, he won a class victory in the Germany Rally. In 1953 and 1954, driving a Porsche, Herrmann won class victories in the Mille Miglia. This brought him to the attention of Mercedes-Benz racing manager Alfred Neubauer, who signed him as a young driver for the new Formula 1 team in 1954. In the course of his career, Hans Herrmann proved an extremely versatile driver in Formula 1 and 2 Grand Prix races, sports car races and rallies. Apart from Mercedes-Benz, he particularly competed in racing and sports cars from Porsche. He also raced at the wheel of B.R.M., Cooper, Maserati and Veritas racing cars. Herrmann achieved his greatest successes in long-distance races, e.g. with overall victories in the Targa Florio (1960), the Daytona 24-Hour Race (1968) and the Le Mans 24-Hour Race (1970). His second place at the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz 220 SE (W 111) in the 1961 Argentine Road Grand Prix was also a major achievement. In 2012, Herrmann was honoured by the town of Collesano for taking part in the Targa Florio eight times. The former works driver arrived for the ceremony at the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR. Hans Herrmann crowned his career with victory at Le Mans in 1970, and retired from active motor racing in the same year. As a Brand Ambassador for Mercedes-Benz Classic, he remains closely associated with the company – and motorsport – to this day.
Born on 30 September 1946 in Dorfen near Starnberg, Germany
Jochen Mass, originally a trained seaman, began his varied career in motorsport in 1968 in touring car races for Alfa-Romeo and as a works driver for Ford from 1970 to 1975. During this period, he won the 24-Hour Race at Spa-Francorchamps in 1972. At the same time, he also took part in Formula 2 racing (1973) and competed in 105 Formula 1 Grands Prix (1973/74 with Surtees; 1975 to 1977 with McLaren; 1978 with ATS; 1979/80 with Arrows; 1982 with March). In 1984, Mass drove a Mercedes-Benz 500 SLC (C 107) in the Paris–Dakar Rally. After winning the German Sports Car Championship in 1985 and a stint as a works driver with Porsche until 1987, he joined the Sauber-Mercedes team as a works driver in 1988. He competed in Group C for the same team until 1991. In the new Silver Arrow, the Sauber-Mercedes C 9, Jochen Mass triumphed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1989 in the same team as Manuel Reuter and Stanley Dickens, going on to finish runner-up in the world championship in the same year. Three years later, Mass joined the team management of the DTM. Sir Stirling Moss once described him as a "soul mate", and as "a driver with an enormous feeling for racing cars and a great deal of expertise who is familiar with the racing history of every era". It is therefore not by chance that Jochen Mass can nowadays be seen at the wheel for Mercedes-Benz Classic at historical events. From the W 125 Silver Arrow to the Mercedes-Benz SSK – Jochen Mass knows and drives them all.
Born on 12 July 1986 in Querfurt, Germany
The racing driver Jan Seyffarth is an official Mercedes-AMG test and development driver and an instructor at the AMG Driving Academy. Since 2015, Seyffarth has been involved in developing the Mercedes-AMG GT3, which celebrated its customer sports premiere in the same year. The racing driver brings the requisite experience through numerous successes in motorsport: back in 2003, at the age of 17, he entered the world of professional motorsport after finishing second in Formula König. This was followed by wins in Formula 3 and second place in the 2008 Porsche Carrera Cup. Since Mercedes-AMG entered customer sports in 2011, Seyffarth has been committed to this exciting world. His major successes include two third places in the 24-Hour Race at the Nürburgring (2013 and 2016), a victory in the VLN Nürburgring long-distance championship (2013) and second place in qualifying for the 24-Hour Race at the Nürburgring in 2016.
* Further information on the official fuel consumption and the official, specific CO₂ emissions for new passenger cars can be found in the publication "Leitfaden über den Kraftstoffverbrauch, die CO₂-Emissionen und den Stromverbrauch neuer Personenkraftwagen" ["Guidelines on the fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and electricity consumption of new passenger cars"], available free of charge from all showrooms and from the Deutsche Automobil Treuhand GmbH (www.dat.de).