Gentlemen and racers


December’s Motor Sport was absolutely brilliant with Sir Jackie Stewart as guest editor and Simon Taylor outdoing himself again in Lunch With Hans Stuck. Having had the fortune to grow up at the Zandvoort circuit, I have been privileged to meet many famous drivers like Jackie and Hans, both true gentlemen.

I first met Hans probably in 1962, when we were both put in a Mercedes 600 to be taken for a lap around the Nordschleife on the Saturday before the German Grand Prix. Our fathers, who knew each other well, probably wanted to get rid of us for a bit.

It’s funny to read that, being infected with motor sport through our fathers, we both started driving cars at the age of nine and both started in competition in 1970. When I was racing for Ford in Holland in 1972/3, I was at most of the ETCC races and vividly remember certain drivers being locked out of their hotel room stark naked because of another Stuck practical joke. I don’t think he’s changed much!

Whenever I meet Jackie Stewart with other people he always talks about my father’s efforts to make circuits and racing safer, and how drivers’ lives were saved because of him. I am always very grateful for this and it makes me feel proud of my dad’s achievements.

Jackie was always my hero and his guest editor special shows what a smart businessman and true gentleman he has always been.

Hans (John) Hugenholtz, Schilde, Belgium