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Auto Union Silver Arrows at Grand Prix de Monaco Historique

Auto Union Type C at Monaco Grand PrixThe sound of two Auto Union Silver Arrows will echo through the narrow streets of Monaco when Jacky Ickx and Hans-Joachim Stuck pilot Auto Union racing cars from the 1930s during the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique on May 1-2, 2010.

Hans-Joachim Stuck explains how much this guest appearance means to him, “It will be a very emotional moment for me when I sit in the car that my father also drove in Monte Carlo. When I think of the sound the 16-cylinder engine will make in those built-up streets, it already sends a shiver down my spine!”

It was Hans Stuck who brought home the first major successes for the newly established Auto Union racing department back in 1934. In the 16-cylinder mid-engined racing car designed by Ferdinand Porsche, the “Hillclimb King”, as they called him in those days, broke several world records on the Avus circuit in Berlin. And that was only the start: he triumphed in most of the season’s races and became the unofficial European Champion, a title that was only acknowledged by the sport authorities in the following season. The Monaco Grand Prix was held twice in the 1930s, in 1936 und 1937. It was not one of the venues at which Auto Union scored a victory. The best placings were achieved by Hans Stuck: third in 1936 and fourth in 1937 at the wheel of the Auto Union Type C.

Hans-Joachim Stuck can also look back on a career that included Grand Prix racing. He drove a Formula One car for five seasons, and was on the podium twice in a period when German drivers in this supreme motor racing category were few and far between. Stuck, who competed in sports car and German Touring Car races with great success for Audi at the end of the 1980s and in the early 1990s, is about to find himself in charge of a racing-car behemoth with 16 cylinders and a power output of 520 hp. Although Audi Tradition’s authentic replica of the original Type C no longer has a chance to reach the unbelievable top speed of 340 kilometres an hour that it recorded in 1936, its fascination nonetheless persists to this day.

At about the same time, Jacky Ickx will be putting on his helmet and preparing to take the wheel of the Auto Union Type D with its twin-supercharger engine. This car was the final stage in the development work undertaken by the Auto Union racing department. At the end of the 1938 season a change in the rules was announced; engines had to be limited to a displacement of three litres. This meant a new Auto Union car with a 12-cylinder engine that, with an output of 485 hp, had no trouble in rocketing the latest Silver Arrow up to 330 km/h.

Scarcely any driver on the international motor sport scene can claim as much experience as Jacky Ickx, who drove in Formula One for no fewer than twelve years, was twice runner-up in the world championship and is also famous as “Mr. Le Mans.” The Belgian driver won the 24-hour race there six times, a record that was expected to last forever until Tom Kristensen, driving the Audi R8 and later the R10, scored his seventh win. Jacky Ickx drove the Type C at the Monte Carlo event in 2008, and is looking forward to this year’s Grand Prix de Monaco Historique, “To drive such a car here is a privilege!”

This is the seventh time that the Automobile Club de Monaco has staged this competition for historic racing cars on the Formula One circuit in Monte Carlo. This year, historic Formula One cars from 1947 to 1978 and Formula Three cars built in 1984 or earlier will contend with each other in genuine race conditions. The Auto Union racing cars will start together in two special events, and complete a number of laps at about midday on Saturday May 1 and again on the afternoon of Sunday May 2.

[Source: Audi AG]