A part of Phoenix history
Phoenix Racing is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2019. It’s been 20 years of highs and low, emotional moments and special people: one of the them is Hans-Joachim Stuck.
Whenever Hans-Joachim Stuck and Ernst Moser get together, there are always some stories to tell. The legendary German driver and the founder of Phoenix Racing share a long history together, a partnership that has become a friendship. The pair got together for a chat at the 24 Hours of the Nürburgring 2018.
From competitor to family member
“I’ve known about the team ever since I started racing – initially only as a rival”, says the former BMW works driver Stuck. “Ernst Moser was a familiar and important figure in the paddock for me, someone who would always speak his mind and command respect from his peers.”
Stuck found his way to Phoenix Racing through Audi’s decision to enter the world of GT3 racing. The 1990 DTM champion was heavily involved in the development of the Audi R8 LMS, which debuted on track in 2009. The Meuspath-based team also played a vital role in Audi’s GT3 programme, and gave the Ingolstadt manufacturer its first ever victory in the VLN Nürburgring endurance championship in June 2009. Behind the wheel that day were Marc Basseng, Frank Biela and the one and only Hans-Joachim Stuck.
A special opportunity
As the years went by, Stuck’s involvement with Phoenix Racing became more and more significant – be it as an R8 development driver, a test driver for Dunlop or a teammate to his two sons. Despite all of his successes in his racing career, Stuck is still extremely proud of one particular job: his role as “Chief Taxi Driver” at Phoenix Racing. “Look, do you know any other people who are pushing 70 but still have the chance to get behind the wheel and put their foot down?” Stuck says. “It is a huge responsibility to take guests around the Nürburgring at racing speed. Ernst gave me this special opportunity and I am very thankful for it.”
The countless guests who get to experience perhaps the quickest and most impressive taxi ride of their lives together with Hans-Joachim Stuck are thankful too! Of course the experience is never complete without a souvenir photo with the motorsport legend.
Keeping it in the family
Stuck is far more than just Phoenix Racing’s Chief Taxi Driver. He is also an important part of the Phoenix Racing junior programme, providing the next generation of drivers with some invaluable tips and advice. Fledgling talents such as VLN youngsters Vincent Kolb and Max Hofer are always keen to learn from one of their heroes.
“Phoenix Racing provides a unique opportunity for young racing drivers”, Stuck explains. The 67-year-old knows what he’s talking about – after all, he also sent his two sons, Ferdinand and Johannes, to Ernst Moser to learn the ropes. The brothers made their first appearance on the Nordschleife in a Phoenix Racing Audi in 2013. “I told Ernst to make sure he didn’t go easy on the boys”, the two-time Le Mans winner says. “A proper motorsport education is absolutely essential for any young driver.”
Is Stuck willing to get behind the wheel for another race in the future? “Of course! I’d be there in an instant”, the Nordschleife specialist says. “It may not necessarily need to be a race at the Green Hell, but if Ernst calls me, he knows he will be able to count on me!”