Teams Jochen Richard Mass
Races: 114Jochen Mass: The Mass-ter BreakthroughBy Jeremy McMullenPage: 1 2 next >>
Career Points: 71
Munich, Germany is one of the world's most striking cities, as well as one of the leading academic cities in the world hosting numerous, and famous, universities within its limits. It would be amidst this backdrop that a future professor of motor racing, Jochen Richard Mass, would be born. Demonstrating well-rounded skills, he would quickly become a respected academic of the driving world. But as with many studying in Munich's universities, Mass would spend himself in search of those breakthroughs that would come to define his career.
Munich serves as the home of Bavarian Motor Works, or BMW. Amidst this automotive background in 1946, during the very early stages of the city's reconstruction after the war, Jochen Mass would come into the world.
In spite of the obvious destruction all throughout Munich and the rest of Germany, Jochen has earned a reputation for always seeing the world through half-full eyes. This friendly disposition would remain with him throughout the whole of his racing career and would endear him to many teams and fans throughout the years. Fittingly, this disposition would enable him to become a professor of the whole of the motor racing spectrum. His vast experience and talent would certainly make him an authority on the subject. From European touring cars to Formula 2 to Formula One and the World Sportscar Championship, Mass' career would be a highlight reel for most.
In many respects, his career would be something of a hold-over from the past when drivers drove in many different disciplines and were judged for their ability to be successful behind the wheel of many different types of cars. But prior to his career in motorsports, Jochen would move to Mannheim and then would spend a period of three years on the water serving as a merchant marine. Once back on land, he would turn his attentions to land cruising and would become an apprentice in an Alfa Romeo dealership in Mannheim.
Using his Alfa Romeo connection, he would start his career using an older Giulia entering sprints and hillclimbs in the late 1960s. He was little more than 20 years of age at the time, but he would be successful right from the start. This start would eventually lead to a career behind the wheel of a Ford Capri and Ford Escort in the European Touring Car Championship. Not only would he win the championship in 1972, but he would also take the victory in the Spa 24 Hour race along with co-driver Hans-Joachim Stuck. Victories in the Tourist Trophy and Jarama 4 Hours would help to seal the championship.This success would lead Mass to drive in Formula 2 the following year. Jochen's first Formula 2 event, the Radio Luxembourg Formula 2 Trophy race at Mallory Park, would not have a fairytale start. In the two heat race, Mass' effort would last just 14 laps before oil pressure caused his day to come to an early end. Another that would find the road rough-going would be a future teammate, James Hunt.
Mass would start his next Formula 2 event from pole but would suffer a similar fate as that which befell him at Mallory Park. It would be disappointing given the race took place on home soil at the Hockenheimring.
|Trouble continued to follow Mass, but then, at the Swedish Gold Cup race at Gotene, Sweden in late May of 1973, Mass would not only start from the pole, he would go on to set the fastest lap of the race and would eventually go on to take the victory by around 30 seconds from Patrick Depailler. This would prove to be a turning point in Mass' open-wheel career as he would follow the victory up with a 2nd place result at Nivelles and then took victory at Hockenheim in June of that year. Driving for Team Surtees FINA, Mass would continue to achieve strong results and remained in a close battle with Jean-Pierre Jarier for the title. A victory for Jarier at Estoril in late-October would ensure the Frenchman won the title over Mass. |
|1982||3/1/821||Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8|
|1980||Arrows A3||Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8|
|1979||A2||Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8|
|1979||A1B||Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8|
|1978||D1||Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8|
|1978||HS1||Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8|
|1977||McLaren M23||Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8|
|1977||McLaren M26||Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8|
|1976||McLaren M26||Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8|
|1976||McLaren M23||Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8|
|1975||McLaren M23||Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8|
|1974||McLaren M23||Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8|
|1974||Surtees TS16||Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8|
|1973||TS9A||Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8|
|1973||TS14A||Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8|
|1973||Surtees TS9B||Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8|
In spite of losing out on the title, the fact he battled for it right up through the end of what was his first season in Formula 2 signaled to Surtees that this German was ready to make the jump to the pinnacle level of motorsport. Therefore, toward the end of the 1973 season Surtees would make one of its Cosworth-powered TS14A chassis available for Mass.
The debut for Mass would come at the British Grand Prix on the 14th of July at Silverstone. He would start the race from 14th on the grid. Unfortunately, an accident would bring about his early exit from the race. Nevertheless, on home soil in the German Grand Prix, less than a month later, he would come through to finish the race in 7th place. He would, in just his second Formula One race, barely miss out on a points-paying result.
In addition to his success in Formula 2 and his debut in Formula One, Mass would continue to take part in the Touring Car Championship driving a Ford Capri. He would lead up to his 7th place result in the German Grand Prix with a 2nd place finish in the Spa 24 Hours and the RAC Tourist Trophy.Mass' career was just getting started. Unfortunately, the 1974 Formula One campaign would be a difficult one. Able to finish just two races out of ten starts for Team Surtees would prompt Jochen to move to Yardley McLaren at the end of the season. This would yield two finishes in a row, including a 7th place result in the United States Grand Prix matching his career best in Formula One.
The move to McLaren would prove to be a fruitful one as he would stand on the podium for the first time at the 1975 Brazilian Grand Prix. This would be followed by another points-paying result in the South African Grand Prix.
While he was just getting established within Formula One, he would continue to take part in touring cars and endurance sportscars driving for the Gelo Racing Team in a Mirage GR7. In spite of starting a number of races from the front of the grid, making it to the end would prove the greater challenge. Nonetheless, Mass was proving his talents as a multi-faceted driver. He would end up proving more than that in the end of April in 1975.
Yardley would be gone from McLaren. The team was now known as Marlboro Team Texaco. This would prove to be a changing point for Mass and McLaren. A teammate to Emerson Fittipaldi, Jochen was quickly proving himself. Then, at the Spanish Grand Prix, held at the serpentine Montjuic Park Circuit, Mass would find himself starting the race from a difficult 11th place on the grid. However, with the help of attrition and his own efforts to climb up through the field he would find himself locked in a battle with Jacky Ickx for the lead. On the 29th lap, Mass would go into the lead. Just before then, Rolf Stommelen would lose a wing and would end up crashing hard into the barriers. He would then end up being slingshot into the crowd killing more than a couple of people. The race would finally be stopped and only half points awarded. This ‘half' a grand prix would be a tragic first victory for Mass and would seemingly mark his Formula One career from then on.
Following the victory in Spain, two more visits to the podium would be in store for Mass. He would end the season 8th in the championship standings but seemed to have a bright future ahead of him in Formula One.
The next season, Fittipaldi would be gone from McLaren. His place in the team would be replaced by the rapid James Hunt. Hunt's career, to that point in time, had been marked by great speed but numerous little mistakes that cost him great opportunities. The early part of the '76 season would be similar. He would earn a 2nd place in South Africa, and then a victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But, the early part of that year would be marked with four retirements. The last half of the season would be a stark contrast and it would be very tough on Mass.
Hunt would go on to win the World Championship in his first season with McLaren. This understandably put a bit more emphasis on Hunt's needs than Jochen's. To combat this, the German needed to compete, and beat, his teammate. Unfortunately, he would find it more and more difficult to keep pace with the Englishman, and this would bring about his disillusionment with McLaren and would cause this talent of the future seem as something of the past just as quickly.
Though just 31 years of age, Mass would leave the McLaren team after the 1977 season. His final highlight with the team, and really Formula One, would come with a 3rd place finish in the Canadian Grand Prix at Mosport in October of that year. Page: 1 2 next >>