Mercedes-Benz Classic: The racing “Fintail” to start in the season finale of the FHR long-distance cup at the Nürburgring racetrack
Roland Asch and Bernd Ostmann to drive the successful racing car at the concluding race event for the 2012 season
Immediate class victory in the previous year
Races in the coming year have already been planned
Mercedes-Benz in the final spurt at the Dunlop FHR long-distance cup: the type 220 SE (series W 111) reconstructed by Mercedes-Benz Classic will be on the starting grid for the ADAC Westphalia Trophy 2012 at the Nürburgring (19–21 October 2012), the setting for the season finale of the race series, held as a two-hour race.
The “Fintail” saloon has been optimised for racing and will be piloted by former racing driver, Roland Asch, and by Bernd Ostmann, editor-in-chief of the professional journal auto motor und sport. The Westphalia Trophy is the perfect setting for this year’s finale to the world’s biggest historic long-distance race series as per Appendix K: more than 500 race cars from different periods and vehicle classes are expected to take part. In 2011, the event was the venue for the racing premiere of the reconstructed “Fintail” – which promptly carried off a class victory.
The two-hour race for the Dunlop FHR long-distance cup will be held on the north loop of the Nürburgring. This competition is the crowning highlight to a very successful season for the Fahrergemeinschaft Historischer Rennsport e. V. (FHR), a German association which has made a significant contribution to increasing the popularity of the current race series for historic competition cars. Mercedes-Benz Classic is cooperating with the FHR, which was founded in 1983, to actively promote historic racing sport – and, at the same time, proving itself against the competition, as for example with its class victory at the race in Spa-Francorchamps in mid-July 2012.
The racing “Fintail” from Mercedes-Benz Classic is reviving the successes that the Stuttgart racing department enjoyed in the late 1950s and early 1960s. During this period, Mercedes-Benz had a string of successes at international long-distance races and rallies. The period was dominated in particular by the saloon types 220 SE and 300 SE with six-cylinder engines, which were given the name “Fintail” because of their dynamically styled rear wings.
In 2011, Mercedes-Benz Classic reconstructed a type 220 SE saloon (W 111) for historic motor sport use, as a homage to the successes of that time, and as an expression of the proud tradition of the brand. A key aspect in the 1960s was that the technology used in competition vehicles was typically very close to that of the production models. The usual modifications at the time included stiffer suspension elements and body components, a larger fuel tank and an engine performance tuned specifically for the intended use.
When building the new racing “Fintail”, the Mercedes-Benz Classic specialists first built a safety cage with a quick-connect safety coupling for side-impact fasteners, such as door crossbars and side impact protection (Fix Opening and Closure Security System, or “FO-CS” for short). The “Fintail” has also been equipped with a fire extinguishing system and a 100-litre FT3 safety tank. The racing car will feature 5½ x 15 rims with 5.50 x 15 Dunlop Racing tyres – and, of course, Mercedes-Benz Classic decided to paint the vehicle in the classic DB 140 light-grey livery, which characterised the competition vehicles from 1961 to 1964. The vehicle complies with the regulations laid down in Appendix K of the international sports regulations of the FIA (Féderation Internationale de l’Automobile), and is placed in Class 12 (saloon cars with a displacement of up to 2500 cubic centimetres, Period F from 1962 to 1965).
The ADAC Westphalia Trophy is being held at the Nürburgring for the eighth time already. With the start of the authentically reconstructed 220 SE, Mercedes-Benz Classic is thus returning to one of its historic stomping grounds, given that the Nürburgring is closely linked to the motor racing history of the brand, ever since Rudolf Caracciola won the opening race in 1927 in a Mercedes-Benz S model. Some of the brand’s successes in 1963 included class victories for Ewy Rosqvist with Ursula Wirth and Eberhard Mahle at the International ADAC six-hour saloon race. The vehicle that took part in the race was a “Fintail” Mercedes-Benz 220 SE model.