Karl Kling
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Karl Kling
Karl Kling
Karl Kling El Gráfico.jpg
Karl Kling in 1951.
Born(1910-09-16)16 September 1910
Giessen, Germany
Died18 March 2003(2003-03-18) (aged 92)
Lake Constance, Germany
Formula One World Championship career
NationalityGermany German
Active years1954-1955
TeamsMercedes
Entries11
Championships0
Wins0
Podiums2
Career points17
Pole positions0
Fastest laps1
First entry1954 French Grand Prix
Last entry1955 Italian Grand Prix

Karl Kling (German pronunciation: [ka?l kl] ; 16 September 1910, Gießen - 18 March 2003, Gaienhofen on Lake Constance, Germany) was a motor racing driver and manager from Germany. He participated in 11 Formula One Grands Prix, debuting on 4 July 1954. He achieved 2 podiums - the first German ever to achieve a Formula One podium - and scored a total of 17 championship points.

It is said, that he was born too late and too early. Too late to be in the successful Mercedes team of the 1930s and too early to have a real chance in 1954 and 1955. Unusually, Kling found his way into motorsport via his first job as a reception clerk at Daimler-Benz in the mid-1930s, competing in hillclimb and trials events in production machinery in his spare time. During the Second World War he gained mechanical experience servicing Luftwaffe aircraft, and after the cessation of hostilities he resumed his motorsport involvement in a BMW 328.

Kling was instrumental in developing Mercedes' return to international competition in the early 1950s, and his win in the 1952 Carrera Panamericana road race, driving the then-experimental Mercedes-Benz 300SL was a defining point in assuring the Daimler-Benz management that motorsport had a place in Mercedes' future. Called up to the revived Mercedes Grand Prix squad in 1954 he finished less than one second behind the legendary Juan Manuel Fangio on his Formula One debut, taking second place in the 1954 French Grand Prix at the fast Reims-Gueux circuit. This promising start was not to last, and with the arrival of Stirling Moss at Mercedes in 1955 Kling was effectively demoted to third driver. However, away from the World Championship, Kling took an impressive victory in the Berlin Grand Prix (at AVUS, another high-speed circuit). He left the Formula One team at the end of the season, to succeed Alfred Neubauer as head of Mercedes motorsport. He was in this post during their successful rallying campaigns of the 1960s, occasionally taking the wheel himself. On one such occasion he drove a Mercedes-Benz 220SE to victory in the mighty 1961 Algiers-Cape Town trans-African rally.

He died in 2003 at the age of 92.[1]

Complete Formula One World Championship results

(key)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 WDC Points
1954 Daimler-Benz AG Mercedes W196 Mercedes straight-8 ARG 500 BEL FRA
2
GBR
7
GER
4
SUI
Ret
ITA
Ret
ESP
5
5th 12
1955 Daimler-Benz AG Mercedes W196 Mercedes straight-8 ARG
4*
MON 500 BEL
Ret
NED
Ret
GBR
3
ITA
Ret
11th 5

* Shared drive with Stirling Moss and Hans Herrmann.

Non-championship results

(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 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
1954 Daimler-Benz AG Mercedes W196 Mercedes straight-8 SYR PAU LAV BOR INT BAR CUR ROM FRO COR BRC CRY ROU CAE AUG COR OUL RED PES SAC JOE CAD BER
1
GOO DTT

Complete 24 Hours of Le Mans results

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
1952 West Germany Daimler-Benz AG West Germany Hans Klenk Mercedes-Benz W194 S
3.0
DNF DNF
1953 Italy SpA Alfa Romeo West Germany Fritz Riess Alfa Romeo 6C 3000 CM S5.0 133 DNF
(Transmission)
1955 West Germany Daimler Benz AG France Andre Simon Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR S3.0 130 DNF DNF

References

  1. ^ Williams, Richard (2003-03-22). "Obituary: Karl Kling". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved .

Further reading

  • Karl Kling, G. Molter, Pursuit of Victory (Bodley Head, London, 1956)
Awards
Preceded by
Paul Falk
German Sportsman of the Year
1952
Succeeded by
Werner Haas

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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