The Story Behind Grand Prix’s Biggest Starting Grid

#129 – Josef Peters — Veritas RS – BMW
Grid: 20th / Race: Retired (1 lap / Engine)

(Source: Internet)
Born: 16th September 1914
Düsseldorf, Germany
Died: 24th April 2001
Düsseldorf, Germany
Appearances: 1   (1952 German GP)


Little is known about Peters. He lived at Düsseldorf and was perhaps a friend of well-known driver Ralph Roese, who died in a road accident in 1950. Peters took over Roese’s orphaned Veritas RS sports car and later did the same with a similar car, in which Josef Hackenberg had a fatal accident in the Eifelrennen 1952.

As a driver Peters could probably be characterised as steady, but not too quick, at least by looking at his results, while he is rarely mentioned in the narratives of the contemporary reports. He appeared very regularly in the races in West and East Germany, normally in the sports car class, but occasionally also in Formula 2, especially after he had obtained a second car.

He made his only World Championship Grand Prix appearance in his Veritas sports car at the Nürburgring in 1952, dropping out with engine problems after a single lap.

While usually behind the top drivers, he had a solid finishing record, with a number of 2nd and 3rd places in 1951 and 1952. However, the real outstanding result of his career was still to come, in 1953, when he started in the Nürburgring 1000 km race partnering Seidel in the already antiquated Veritas. All of the superior Maseratis in their class dropped out and so Seidel/Peters came to a very surprising victory in the 2.0 litre class, even though they were two laps behind the 1.5 litre Borgward of Bechem/Helfrich!

1952 German Grand Prix, Josef Peters (right) alongside ‘Nacke’s’ HH48 (left) (Source: Auto Motor und Sport)

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