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Heyer drives the Ford Escort in 1974
Hans Heyer (born March 16, 1943 in Mönchengladbachmarker, Germanymarker) is a racing driver from Wegbergmarker, the site of the Grenzlandringmarker, a former high speed race track oval. He mainly raced touring cars, being popular with the fans for his rather funny style.
Very unusual for his Western German origin, Heyer's sign is his so-called Tirolerhut, a hat from Tyrolmarker or Bavariamarker which would fit better to drivers from these Alpine regions, like Hans-Joachim Stuck or Niki Lauda.

Living close to the Netherlandsmarker and not yet allowed to race in Germany at the age of 16, he started his career there in 1959 with Karts and won the 1962 Dutch Championship.

For many years, Heyer was associated with Zakspeed, racing their Group 2 Ford Escorts in the European Touring Car Championship (champion 1974) and the Deutsche Rennsport Meisterschaft (champion 1975 and 1976). Heyer attempted two European F2 races in 1976, finishing sixth at Hockenheim, but non-qualifying the race after.

In 1980 he won the DRM again, this time for Lancia in a Group 5 Lancia Monte Carlo Turbo, a car he also helped developing. He crashed his 480hp car badly at the Norisringmarker in Nurembergmarker, rolling several times. He escaped unhurt, but returned immediately to the wreck to recover his famous hat. In the following medical exam, the doctor was said to have been more nervous than him.

Heyer was also successful in sportscar racing, winning the 1984 12 Hours of Sebring in a Porsche 935.

In his single attempt at Formula One, he entered the 1977 German Grand Prix on July 31, 1977 with the second Penske car of the new German team ATS. With little experience in single seaters and a bad car, he did not qualify. This did not stop him from racing, however; as he was well known with the marshals at Hockenheimmarker, they looked the other way when he put his car at the end of the starting grid and joined the race anyway, to the surprise of everyone. His Formula One career didn't last long, though, for after 10 laps the car's gearbox broke down, and he was disqualified from this race, as well as disqualified from starting the next. But Heyer had his 15 minutes of fame – as well as one more story to tell.

Heyer retired in 1989 after 999 races in 30 years.

In 2004, Volkswagen director Kris Nissen found out about the number and invited Hans Heyer (and his hat) to drive his 1000th race in the ADAC Volkswagen Polo Cup at the Norisringmarker against youngsters.

His son Kenneth Heyer is also a racing driver, currently involved in the ADAC GT Masters series driving a Ford GT for the Swiss Matech team.

Complete Formula One results

(key)
Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 WDC Points
1977 ATS Racing Team Penske PC4 Cosworth V8 ARG

BRA

RSA

USW

ESP

MON

BEL

SWE

FRA

GBR

GER

Ret*
AUT

NED

ITA

USA

CAN

JPN

NC 0
  • *Started illegally


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