Hermann Lang (1909 - 1987)

Jan 31, 2009
Hermann Lang started from scratch in the motor racing hierarchy, with motorbike exploits, only to be thrown back in his promising career by the 1932 recession. Eventually he managed to find a place in the Daimler-Benz test department and became Luigi Fagioli's racing mechanic. But never did he lose sight of his objective to become a racing driver himself, and in 1935 his dreams came true. During tests in Monza, he was discovered as a driver and subsequently promoted by racing manager Alfred Neubauer. In his debut in that year's Eifel race, the order was Rosemeyer, Caracciola, Lang after a couple of laps. The young driver came off the track at Pflanzgarten but that could stop him only briefly as he succeeded in manhandling the weighty 750-kilogram W 25 back onto the circuit, finishing fifth.
And this was not the end of his successes. Between 1937 and 1939, Hermann Lang won the Tripoli Grand Prix three times. In 1939 he became European champion, with firsts in Spa and Bern. His comeback at the beginning of the 1950s was promising and culminated in his 1952 Le Mans win at the helm of the 300 SL together with Fritz Riess. But when his car skidded off course during the 1954 German Grand Prix, Lang called it a day. In subsequent years, he worked as an inspector in the Mercedes-Benz field organisation, stubbornly withholding his former identity. Hermann Lang died in Bad Cannstatt in 1987.
Coppa Ciano in Livorno, August 7, 1938. Hermann Lang, who was ti win the race, in a racing car W 154 during the starting preparations.
German Grand Prix on the Nürburgring, July 23, 1939. From the left: Hermann Lang, racing director Alfred Neubauer and Rudolf Caracciola, who was to win the race.
Hermann Lang (1909-1987)
Hermann Lang (1909-1987)
Hermann Lang during a veteran race, 1973.
Nürburgring 1952: The winner Hermann Lang