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Volker Weidler (born 18 March 1962 in Heidelberg) is a former racing driver from Germany, best known for winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1991.

Volker Weidler
Born (1962-03-18) 18 March 1962 (age 57)
Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, West Germany
Formula One World Championship career
NationalityGermany German
Active years1989
TeamsRial
Entries10 (0 starts)
Championships0
Wins0
Podiums0
Career points0
Pole positions0
Fastest laps0
First entry1989 Brazilian Grand Prix
Last entry1989 Hungarian Grand Prix
24 Hours of Le Mans career
Years1987, 1989–1992
TeamsPorsche Kremer Racing, Mazdaspeed (Mazdaspeed/Oreca)
Best finish1st (1991)
Class wins1 (1991)

CareerEdit

Formula racingEdit

In 1985, he became German Formula Three champion.

In the 1989 Formula One season, Weidler entered 10 Formula One Grands Prix, racing for the Rial team, but failed to qualify the uncompetitive car on every occasion.

After Formula One, he moved to Japan and raced in the Japanese Formula 3000 Championship and the All Japan Sports Prototype Championship. He often fought over the title with Kazuyoshi Hoshino, Ross Cheever and others in the Japanese Formula 3000, and became popular in Japan.

GT / SportscarsEdit

In 1991, Weidler teamed with Johnny Herbert and Bertrand Gachot to win Le Mans behind the wheel of the Wankel engine-powered Mazda 787B, marking also the first win of the legendary French race by both a Japanese manufacturer and engine supplier. This Wankel engine-powered car was noted for being very loud.

Possibly related to the hours spent in the noisy Mazda,[citation needed] Weidler began to suffer from an ear problem (sensorineural hearing loss) which eventually forced him to retire prematurely from the Japanese Formula 3000 Championship during the 1992 season though Weidler was leading the championship at that time.

When Weidler left the Japanese team, Nova Engineering, he recommended Heinz-Harald Frentzen as his successor.

Racing recordEdit

Complete International Formula 3000 resultsEdit

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap.)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Pos. Pts
1986 Bromley Motorsport with Rial Ralt RT20 Cosworth SIL
10
VAL
7
PAU
Ret
SPA
DNQ
IMO MUG
16
PER
DNQ
ÖST
9
BIR BUG JAR NC 0
1988 Onyx Race Engineering March 88B Cosworth JER
DSQ
VAL
12
PAU
DNQ
SIL
14
MNZ
9
PER
Ret
BRH
6
BIR
4
BUG
DNS
ZOL
Ret
DIJ
6
15th 5

Complete Formula One resultsEdit

(key)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 WDC Pts
1989 Rial Racing Rial ARC2 Ford Cosworth DFR 3.5 V8 BRA
DNPQ
SMR
DNPQ
MON
DNPQ
MEX
DNPQ
USA
DNPQ
CAN
DNPQ
FRA
DNPQ
GBR
DNPQ
GER
EX
HUN
DNQ
BEL ITA POR ESP JPN AUS NC 0
Source:[1]

Complete 24 Hours of Le Mans ResultsEdit

Class winners in bold. Cars failing to complete 70% of the winner's distance marked as Not Classified (NC).

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
1987   Porsche Kremer Racing   Kris Nissen
  Kunimitsu Takahashi
Porsche 962C C1 6 DNF DNF
1989   Mazdaspeed Co. Ltd   Yojiro Terada
  Marc Duez
Mazda 767 GTP 339 12th 3rd
1990   Mazdaspeed Co. Ltd.   Bertrand Gachot
  Johnny Herbert
Mazda 787 GTP 148 DNF DNF
1991   Mazdaspeed Co. Ltd.   Johnny Herbert
  Bertrand Gachot
Mazda 787B C2 362 1st 1st
1992   Mazdaspeed Co. Ltd.
  Oreca
  Johnny Herbert
  Bertrand Gachot
  Maurizio Sandro Sala
Mazda MXR-01 C1 336 4th 4th

ReferencesEdit

Footnotes
  1. ^ Small, Steve (1994). The Guinness Complete Grand Prix Who's Who. Guinness. p. 415. ISBN 0851127029.
Sources
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Kurt Thiim
German Formula Three champion
1985
Succeeded by
Kris Nissen
Preceded by
John Nielsen
Price Cobb
Martin Brundle
Winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans
1991 with:
Johnny Herbert
Bertrand Gachot
Succeeded by
Derek Warwick
Yannick Dalmas
Mark Blundell