2016 Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance Honors
Double Le Mans 24 Hour winner and 1985 World Sports Car Champion Hans-Joachim Stuck will succeed Sir Stirling Moss as the honoree for the international award winning Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance’s 21st edition on March 11-13, 2016.
Stuck, a second generation racer is the son of Hans Stuck Sr. who raced for the vaunted Auto-Union team in the 1930s earning the title bergmeister for his hill-climbing skills. The father taught the son well. Young Stuck took his first driving lessons on the storied Nordschleife, Germany’s mighty 14-mile Nurburgring where he also started the first race of his long career. Stuck set his career path early, winning his first 24 hour race at the age of 19 in a BMW 2002 Ti.
With his father’s guidance, Stuck junior became one of the most successful and popular international road racing stars of the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s. The triple Sebring 12 Hour-winner also raced in Formula 1 and Formula 2, grand touring cars, Trans-Am and IMSA’s GTO championship becoming a favorite with generations of American racing fans.
In 1986 Stuck’s second Sebring 12 Hour victory preceded his first Le Mans win by three months earning him membership in that rare fraternity of racers who have won the 12 Hours of Sebring and the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the same year. Stuck is also one of just 14 racers in the nine-decade history of Le Mans to win the 24 Hours in consecutive years.
When it rained Stuck was simply untouchable. Like his father, Stuck’s considerable, and sometimes uncanny, wet racing skills earned him an unofficial title -- regenmeistre -- rain-master.
In 1977 Stuck electrified the crowd at the 1977 Grand Prix of the United States on a relentlessly soggy Watkins Glen weekend. Qualifying on the outside of the front row next to reigning World Champion James Hunt, Stuck blasted away from the 26-car field in soaking conditions. His clutch cable snapped on the fourth lap but Stuck continued to increase his lead, shifting without a clutch and putting on a master class of wet weather racing. On lap 15 his Brabham-Alfa jumped out of gear at the Glen’s turn seven and the red Brabham hit the Armco, ending one of the greatest drives in the 17 year history of F1 world championship racing at “The Glen”.
“It was heroic,” said Bill Warner, founder and Chairman of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance who was working at Watkins Glen that October day as a staff photographer for Road & Track magazine.
“Stuck put on a show at Watkins Glen in ‘77,” said Warner. “He humbled a few Grand Prix superstars that day, including three World Champions and an Indy 500 winner. Those of us who had seen him at Daytona and, especially Sebring in 1975, were not surprised by his speed in the wet and his extraordinary car control.”
Sam Posey, Amelia’s 2013 honoree and Stuck’s Sebring-winning teammate in 1975 explained Stuck’s characteristic driving style best.
“BMW put our names on the doors of our cars, and Hans would get so sideways I could read his name – and this would be at 140 MPH,” said Sam Posey, Amelia’s 2013 Honoree, Stuck’s BMW teammate and co-winner of the 1975 Sebring 12 Hours. “Where others saw risk, Hans saw fun. Flinging those CSLs around was play time, and I swear I could hear yodeling coming from his car.”