Hans-Joachim Stuck (born 1 January 1951), nicknamed “Strietzel”, is a German racing driver who has competed in Formula One and many other categories.
He was born in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, and is the son of Christa Thielmann and the legendary Hans Stuck. As a young boy, his father taught him driving on the Nürburgring. In 1969 he started his first ever motor race at the Nordschleife. Speaking about that day he said, “Getting to the grid was extremely exciting. All of a sudden, my wishes to become a racer came true. I just wanted to start the race and give everybody hell!” The following year, at just 19 years of age, he won his first 24 hours race at the wheel of a BMW 2002TI. He won there again in 1998 and 2004, too, each time with a BMW touring car.
The always friendly and funny, tall and blond Bavarian, who is living in Austria, was immediately after his birth nicknamed Strietzel by his grandmother, as she claimed that the newborn baby looked like one of the famous Stollen cakes of her Saxony area. He is also nicknamed “Regenmeister” (“Rainmaster”) for his ability to race on wet tracks.
In 1972, Stuck teamed up with Jochen Mass to drive a Ford Capri RS2600 to victory at the Spa 24 Hours endurance race in Belgium. His campaigns racing the BMW 3.0 CSL “Batmobile” were very successful in 1974 and 1975, in the German DRM as well as in the USA together with Ronnie Peterson. Later in the 1970s he raced the turbo-charged BMW 320i.
After some success in Formula 2 with a March-BMW, he also entered F1 with March. Overall, Stuck participated in 81 Grands Prix, debuting on 13 January 1974. He achieved 2 podiums and scored 29 championship points. Stuck was quite successful at Brabham-Alfa in 1977, leading the 1977 United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen in the rain, but was replaced by Niki Lauda for 1978. Stuck missed an opportunity to join Williams F1 just before this team became successful.
Due to his height of 194 centimetres (6 ft 4 in), he did not fit well into the F1 cars of the late 1970s that had the cockpit moved forward. Leaving F1 at that time probably spared him bad injuries to the leg, as suffered by Ronnie Peterson, Clay Regazzoni, Marc Surer and others.
Stuck continued racing touring and sports cars all over the world, winning the 24 hours of Le Mans twice with a Porsche 962. Stuck says the 962 is the favourite racecar he has driven during his career, describing it has having the “perfect combination of power and downforce”.
In the 1990s he tasted touring car success, winning the DTM Championship in 1990 with Audi, before returning to Porsche until the 24 hours of Le Mans in 1998. He resumed an official role with BMW after that. In 2006, Stuck raced in the inaugural season of the Grand Prix Masters formula for retired Formula One drivers after scoring 6th in the first race event at the Kyalami circuit in South Africa on 11–13 November 2005.
January 2008 saw Stuck begin his current position with Volkswagen Motorsport. This role has also seen him use his experience to help refine road cars, including the new Golf VI GTI.
Stuck announced the end of his active career as a race driver after 43 years after the 2011 Nürburgring 24 hours, in which he participated with a Reiter Engineering Lamborghini Gallardo LP600+ GT3 together with Dennis Rostek and his sons Ferdinand Stuck and Johannes Stuck. Team Stuck³ finished 15th overall following gearbox problems.