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Max Werner (1922-2011)

Biography of racing driver, photographer and marksman Max Werner (1922-2011)

Max Werner (1922-2011) was born in Eschwege, Germany. He loved cars from a very early age. As a young boy, his great friend was the family chauffeur, Mr Pertak, who explained the workings of the family car and engine.

After graduating from the University of Leeds, Werner became a naturalised British citizen, returning to Germany after World War II to become a director of the family knitwear business LS Brinkmann GMBH in Eschwege.

Combining his passion for motor racing and his hobby of photography, Werner began documenting race meetings, beginning with the 1951 British Grand Prix at Silverstone, catching a very youthful Stirling Moss in the paddock at the wheel of his Cooper 500. Regularly attending meetings at Reims, Monaco, Spa and Le Mans as well as Silverstone and Goodwood, Werner became friendly with many of the drivers, which enabled him to get close to the cars and the action in the pits.

Werner was a regular contributor to the International Motor Racing magazine and was extremely proud of a photo of Mike Hawthorn at the wheel of the Ferrari, which he later had signed. Attending Le Mans in 1955, Werner was able to photograph Pierre Levegh along with the Mercedes team before the start of the race, later witnessing first hand the tragic accident only a few hundred yards away from them in the stands.

Werner began his own racing career in 1958 at an International Sportcar meeting at the Nurburgring in a Mercedes 300sl. Competing in numerous national events across the continent in the 300sl and subsequently a 4.2 litre Jaguar E-type, he achieved 1st Place at the Rallye Trifels in 1960. In 1962, he finished 15th overall and 2nd in the over 2 litre class at the Nurburgring 1000km to the Mike Parkes/Willy Mairesse 4 litre Ferrari 250GTO.

At each event, Werner carefully recorded and filed the event programme and results producing a unique individual archive of not only his result, but many of the famous drivers of the period who competed. His success enabled him to become a Life Member of the BRDC and he continued to attend many of their functions and the British Grand Prix.

As well as his racing and photography, Werner was an accomplished marksman, winning numerous trophies.

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