Ten-time non-qualifier Volker Weidler turns 48 today!

Despite having never successfully made the grid during his single season in 1989 with the execrable Rial ARC2, Volker was a capable driver with a pedigree in the German F3 series, which he won outright in 1985.

He branched out into sports and touring cars in 1986, and finished runner-up in the 1987 German Touring Car Championship.

Volker Weidler

Despite a brief and unsuccessful return to open-wheel racing in 1987-8, he somehow picked up a drive in the second seat at Rial by dint of sponsorship rather than form.

With the team being run by the mercurial Gunther Schmid, the ARC2 was little more than an outdated version of the 1988 chassis used by the team, and Volker never stood a chance of making the F1 grid. After he was disqualified from the Hungarian GP, he was sacked by Schmid.

Weidler disappeared to Japan in 1990 and competed with moderate success in the Japanese F3000 and Japanese Sports Prototypes championships.

With his Japanese connections, he secured a drive with Mazda at the 1991 Le Mans 24 Hours classic and partnered Johnny Herbert and Bertrand Gachot to record a shock outright win in the rotary-engined car.

His improving prospects came a to a crashing halt the following year when he was diagnosed with tinnitus (possibly as a result of ongoing exposure to Mazda’s noisy engines), an hereditary disease causing a loss of balance, constant buzzing in the ears and eventual deafness. Despite undergoing surgery to correct the condition, Volker decided to retire from all forms of motorsport.

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.