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Porsche mourns the death of Eberhard Mahle Racing Driver and European Champion 1966
Stuttgart . Dr. Ing. h.c. F.
Eberhard Mahle was European Champion in 1966. He was the first driver to take an international title in a
He also enjoyed early successes with cars from Zuffenhausen. In 1959, he finished second in the
Eberhard Mahle (* 7 January 1933 – † 21 December 2021) had petrol in his blood. His father Ernst Mahle founded what is today Mahle GmbH with his brother Hermann. The first Mahle high-performance pistons were tested in the
By 1963, the young Swabian had competed in around 210 races and rallies, driving to six overall wins and over 150 class victories. After a serious accident with a go-kart through no fault of his own in 1964, Eberhard Mahle spent one and a half years in hospital. In 1966, he had recovered to such an extent “that I wanted to have another go,” as he put it. In 1966 he won not just a trophy but also a title in the GT class without engine capacity limitation at the European Hillclimb Championships. “That was just right for me,” recalled Eberhard Mahle.
Eberhard Mahle wanted to try out a 911, but
The other tracks suited the driver and vehicle much better: lots of curves, lots of heavy braking, lots of acceleration. It was just right for the agile 911. “And a good driver can compensate for any performance deficit on such tracks,” said Eberhard Mahle modestly. In 1966 he proved himself to be the best. The Swabian driver won all the other races in the GT class with the exception of the finale on the Gaisberg where he collided with a guardrail before getting out and surveying the damage. He had only dented a wing, but abandoned the race due to the time already lost. No drama: “I already had an unassailable lead in the European champion before the Gaisberg.” He knew the road up the mountains around Salzburg very well from races before his European Championship year. “A very, very twisty and extremely difficult route to drive,” he said before adding “Actually, it's a pity that I didn't finish that race.”
This one DNF did not diminish his pride in winning the European title. “That was my greatest success,” said Eberhard Mahle. “Especially because all the experts said you will never win it like that.”
Dr. Ing. h.c. F.
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