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The man is a living legend: Hans-Joachim “Strietzel” Stuck has been sitting behind the wheel of many a racing car for the last 43 years. He has driven in Formula 1, has won the Le Mans twice, and the German Touring Car Championship once. There is nothing new that could impress Stuck. Or so you’d think.
The racing pro from Upper Bavaria is having a lot of fun during the presentation of the Octavia RS 230 at the Slovakia Ring near Bratislava (see video). At the three-day event, international journalists are getting to know the new top model in the Octavia series; Stuck is on hand as a technical expert, instructor and fast chauffeur for the guests.  He is answering countless questions, giving interviews and getting to know lots of people – including one that puts all his former racing cars on a scale of 1:43. Only three models are missing; Stuck will be sending them to him later as a gift in the post.

Compact facts

Why the ŠKODA Octavia RS 230 is the fastest Octavia of all time

Engine: 2.0 l TSI with 169 kW (240 hp), 350 Nm (1500-4600 1/min)

0 - 100 km/h: in 6.7 seconds (saloon with manual transmission)

Top speed: 250 km / h (electronically limited)

Combined fuel consumption: 6.2 l / 100 km (142 g CO2/km) for saloon and estate with manual transmission

Gearshift: Six-speed manual gearbox standard, optional 6-speed DSG

Front-wheel drive with electronically controlled front-axle differential lock (VAQ)

Weight: 1445 kg including driver (saloon with manual transmission)

Brakes: Internally ventilated front disc brakes, diameter 340 mm

Wheels: 7.5 J x 19, tyres 225/35

Dimensions (mm): 4685 length/ 1814 width/ 1449 height/ 2680 wheelbase

If the Octavia RS 230 were an animal, you would think twice before approaching it. This sporty car’s aggressive design is underscored by numerous black additions, including the grille and side mirrors.
If the Octavia RS 230 were an animal, you would think twice before approaching it. This sporty car’s aggressive design is underscored by numerous black additions, including the grille and side mirrors.
Sporty, yet practical: Octavia Combi RS 230. One highlight of the car: The electronically controlled front axle inter-wheel lock (VAQ). When needed, 100% of the power can be directed to one front wheel, providing the vehicle with more traction and grip to exit a corner.
Sporty, yet practical: Octavia Combi RS 230. One highlight of the car: The electronically controlled front axle inter-wheel lock (VAQ). When needed, 100% of the power can be directed to one front wheel, providing the vehicle with more traction and grip to exit a corner.

“The whole event is very interesting and entertaining,” says Stuck. “It’s down to earth in a positive sense, completely focused on the car. And I like the Slovakia Ring a lot. I’ve raced here before. It’s a nice, demanding course with exciting curves, painting a very accurate picture of the car.”

And when Hans-Joachim Stuck sits behind the wheel and pulls out of the pit lane, the racer in him reawakens.  Or is it perhaps the ever-young boy with bright eyes? Of course, the new ŠKODA Octavia RS 230 is not a racing car, but it has power, it has sound and it has grip – more than enough to impress Stuck. The guy from Grainau summarizes his fast lap: “Heading into a curve, I can brake late and return to the gas at the apex without understeering.  And the RS 230 is the first Octavia to be electronically limited to 250 km/h!”

ŠKODA and Stuck go well together. “I have a special fondness of this brand,” says the former professional racer. “Especially because of the long history with so many beautiful cars, particularly from the 1920s and 30s. And then because of the commitment to motorsport and the passionate people in this area. Rallying is exactly the right way – it’s a perfect match for ŠKODA and their target groups. And the success is, of course, the icing on the cake.”

Heading into a curve, I can brake late and return to the gas at the apex without understeering.

Hans-Joachim Stuck
Driving on the racing line, both hands on the steering wheel and with a perfect seating position: Hans-Joachim Stuck, racing pro from Upper Bavaria, driving a ŠKODA on a race-track
Driving on the racing line, both hands on the steering wheel and with a perfect seating position: Hans-Joachim Stuck, racing pro from Upper Bavaria, driving a ŠKODA on a race-track
Hans-Joachim Stuck with the ŠKODA Octavia Combi RS 230 and Octavia RS 230 in the pit lane of the Slovakia Ring.
Hans-Joachim Stuck with the ŠKODA Octavia Combi RS 230 and Octavia RS 230 in the pit lane of the Slovakia Ring.

 

 Hans-Joachim Stuck The life of the race driver legend in beautiful pictures

01

Born 1 January 1951 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, Hans-Joachim Stuck (see picture above, right) was the son of Hans Stuck (left), a famous German racing driver in the 1940s. In the woods and on the Nürburgring race track, Hans-Joachim Stuck was taught to drive as a young boy. At the age of 12, he was already driving a BMW 700 on the racing tracks. His future was set. Stuck knew he would follow in the footsteps of his father and idol as a racing car driver. With a special permit, he received his driver’s licence at the age of 16.

02

Because of his daring driving style and obvious talent, “Strietzel” – Stuck’s nickname since he was a baby; it means a kind of plaited bun – was given the chance to drive his first competition in 1969 in a BMW 2002 TI on the Nürburgring. He placed third. One year later, he won his first 24 Hours race at the same track, aged just 19. He created his own helmet design in 1971 – white stars on a dark blue – and wore it throughout the rest of his career.

03

In 1972, Stuck left BMW for Ford, and teamed up with fellow driver Jochen Mass to achieve victory at the Spa 24 Hours in Belgium. Between 1971 and 1976, Stuck participated in various Formula 2 races driving for Ford and BMW, and in 81 Formula 1 Grand Prix races between 1974 and 1978. He achieved two podium finishes and scored 29 championship points. Stuck also enthralled his fans with wild drifts across the bends. “In those days, Formula 2 was all about speed,” he says, recalling having reached almost 300 km/h on the straight.

04

In 1985, Stuck switched to Porsche as “factory driver” and in a Porsche 962 became long-distance World Sportscar Championship Champion – his first international title. With his talent for endurance races and the groundbreaking technology of his Porsche 962 C, he won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in both 1986 and 1987. His first Le Mans victory was overshadowed by the death of his former teammate Jo Gartner during the race.

05

As a driver for Audi, Stuck achieved four victories and an overall sixth place in the US Trans-Am Championship in 1988 driving an Audi 200 Quattro. “It was a challenge, because Audi had a reputation for great rally cars, but not for circuit races. But we taught those Corvettes and Mustangs the meaning of fear,” he says, referring to the technical superiority of the 510 ps turbocharger with four-wheel drive. At the US IMSA GTO Championship in 1989, Stuck won fourth place in an Audi 90 Quattro after five victories with co-drivers Walter Röhrl and Hurley Haywood. In 1990, Stuck again tasted touring car success, winning the Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft DTM in an Audi V8 Quattro (Picture), outperforming BMW and Mercedes Benz.

06

After 37 years as a race car driver, Stuck was appointed motor sport representative of the Volkswagen group in 2008. “It would be a pity not to make use of my vast experience. That’s why I gladly accepted the offer from Volkswagen,” he says. Stuck is a vital part of Volkswagen’s motor sport division, a consultant for the racing plans of all the group brands – Audi, Seat, ŠKODA, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini and Volkswagen itself.

07

After the 2011 24 Hours Nürburgring, at which Stuck achieved 15th place in a Lamborghini Gallardo with his sons Johannes and Ferdinand as teammates, he announced the end of his long career as a racing driver.

08

In April 2012, Stuck was appointed President of the Deutscher Motor Sport Bund (German Motorsport Association). “In this position I get the chance to return something to the sport that gave me the most extraordinary moments of my life,” he says.

Photo: Archive Hans Joachim Stuck, ŠKODA AUTO a.s., Porsche AG, AUDI AG, Thomas Frey/dpa Picture-Alliance
Video: ŠKODA AUTO a.s