Without any doubt, one of the most exciting classes or motor racing during the 1970s was the GT class, which included the Group 4 and Group 5 or ‘Silhouette’ classes. It wasn’t just the cars that were exciting, but the gallant combatants had character and guts, making this one of the most colourful periods in motor racing.
This was a time of innovation and experimentation, and great strides were made in automotive engineering that greatly benefitted the road cars of the time. Privateer race teams such as the Kremer Brothers, Georg Loos (Gelo), Max Moritz, John Fitzpatrick Racing and many others, all entered the fray because they could. It was possible for a privateer team to compete against the factory teams, and while the official works teams would usually win, the privateer teams were there to keep them honest and to pick up any top positions should a factory team drop out for any reason.
Max Moritz was first and foremost a motor dealership, handling both VW and Porsche alongside each other. These two were later joined by the Audi brand. The book starts with the history of Max Moritz the dealership, and moves into the early years when the company ran its own 914/6. Manfred Jantke of Porsche wanted to improve the 914’s image, and so he offered factory help to make the Moritz 914 a force to be reckoned with. Success followed, in great chunks.
Experience was gained in entering the Targa Florio and Le Mans, and with the interest of the German drinks manufacturer, Jaegermeister, firmly secured, the Max Moritz Racing Team went from strength to strength. Fortunately for Moritz, the CEO of the famous drinks firm was on a quest to take over the world, at least in the sphere of herbal liqueurs, and the company’s marketing campaign ensured that the wheels of the Moritz Porsches kept turning.
The years between 1973-1979 saw the most closely fought duels in the GT ranks witnessed to date, as the striking orange Jaegermeister Moritz Porsches made a name for themselves, internationally. And it was this international exposure that the Jaegermeister company wanted, and get it they did. The familiar orange Jaegermeister colouring on Porsches, and later other brands too, has become synonymous with this era of motorsport. The branding could also later be found on the Porsche 962.
So successful was the Jaegermeister Moritz team that the drivers associated with the team read like a ‘who is who’ of motor racing at the time. Some of these names included Jacky Ickx, Jürgen Barth, Bob Wollek, Manfred Schurti, Edgar Doren, Helmut Kelleners and Derek Bell. To show how strong the privateer teams were through the ‘70s, one just needs to look at the results of the 1979 Le Mans 24 Hours. Here the privateer Kremer team won the coveted trophy and also took third place with the Dick Barbour team taking second place. Admittedly this was not the Max Moritz team, but it just shows the level to which the privateer teams had risen when driving Porsche machinery during the period covered by this book.
This success was the inspiration for a host of scale models that were created in the Jaegermeister colours, and a separate chapter is devoted to this in the book. Towards the rear of the book is a complete list of achievements racked up by the Max Moritz team, from the 914/6 right through to the 935s of 1979. The book is packed with fantastic photos, both colour and B&W, and both professional as well as amateur. This mix of photography simply adds to the rich history that the Max Moritz team created during those heady days of the 1970s.
The pages are punctuated with images of significant and relevant racing memorabilia, newspaper clippings and press material, as well as images of the various cups and trophies that the team won. The Max Moritz Racing Team was not the largest privateer team by any means, but they punched well above their weight.
The presentation of this publication is top class, and the images range from small mugshots to full double-page spreads in full colour. Although the book is written entirely in German, the photographs tell the story. And while you are waiting for your copy to arrive through the post, you can enrol with one of the many German language courses on the internet, and when your book arrives you should already be up to speed at a basic level. Enjoy!!
|Title||Max Moritz Racing Team – Rennsportjahre 1970-1978|
|First published||November 2016|
|Pages & images||304 pages; 250 colour and 50 b/w images|
|Format||240 x 300mm, hardcover|
Written by: Glen Smale