DTM Norisring 2006 July, 21st
Remembering Pedro Rodriguez (1940-1971)
By: Chris Van de Wiele
Sunday, July 11th, 1971; Norisring 200 Miles Interseries race. 35 years ago, the 31 year old Mexican driver had just been crowned as World Sportscar Champion for a second consecutive year, was offered to race a Ferrari 512M belonging to Herbert Muller Racing. He accepted and raced against a field with famous names like Jo Bonnier, Chris Craft, Peter Gethin, Leo Kinnunen and Muller.
At the start, Pedro immediately took the lead and by lap 5 he was already passing backmarkers. After 11 laps, only Leo kept in touch as he passed Kurt Hild on the approach to the 'S'. Suddenly, at 220 kph a front wheel collapsed, the 512M ran wild, crashed against the bridge, pirouetted and came to rest at the other side of the track against the guard rail, where it caught fire. Rescuers took two minutes to free him, but the Mexican driver had a fractured skull and severe burns; it was too late. He died the way he lived, a leader until the last minute of his life.
Friday, July 21st, 2006 at 7:30 PM a commemoration took place, organized by Carlos E. Jalife Villallon Secretary general of the Scuderia Rodriguez A.C. Mexico in cooperation with Eng. Helmut Schott of the city of Nurnberg. The inauguration of the memorial plate on the exact place of Pedro Rodriguez' fatal accident, was introduced by the speeches of Dr. Ulrich Maly Ober-burgemeister of Nurnberg, Mr. Gernot Leistner of the Motorsportclub Nurnberg and Mr. Miguel Angel Quintana President of the Scuderia Rodriguez. Heinz-Harald Frentzen and a lot of track marshals were also present.
Mr. Rio Tattarletti from BRUMM Italy presented a special edition made at 1000 pcs of the Ferrari 512M 1/43 model in which Pedro left his life.
Credit: CVDW-SHRAC 2006