DTM and ITR mourn Kalli Hufstadt

Kalli Hufstadt, the "Voice of the DTM" has passed away DTM and ITR mourn Kalli Hufstadt. Presenter and speaker, Karl-Heinz Hufstadt was known as the "Voice of the DTM". He died of a heart attack on the morning of 28 January in ...

Kalli Hufstadt, the "Voice of the DTM" has passed away

DTM and ITR mourn Kalli Hufstadt. Presenter and speaker, Karl-Heinz Hufstadt was known as the "Voice of the DTM". He died of a heart attack on the morning of 28 January in Mönchengladbach-Rheydt (GER). "Kalli was an exceptional man", says ITR-Chairman Hans Werner Aufrecht. "We will sadly miss his profound humanity, his wonderful sense of humour and his uniquely vivid style of presentation. His heartfelt kindness contributed decisively to an amicable way of working with each other in the paddock. His untimely death has filled all of us with deep sadness. Our sympathy is with his wife Conny and his relatives."

It was rather by chance that the fan of motor racing turned commentator of motor sports events. Kalli, who was born on 11 January 1941 in Mönchengladbach started his career in 1968 when he stood in for a missing speaker at an airfield-race. Captain Hufstadt enjoyed the task and from that day onwards practised "the honourable profession of trackside-speaker", as he once said. He combined passion and hobby to lay the foundations for his profession.

From 1972 to 1980 Kalli worked as press officer for BMW, racing touring cars of the Bavarian make in 1976 and 1977 himself. In 1982 Kalli Hufstadt started working as free-lance publisher for Motorsports and Automotive Engineering and as Marketing- and Product-Trainer. Kalli Hufstadt fascinated not only the DTM-enthusiasts but also the Formula One-spectators at Hockenheim and the Nürburgring. His approach -- both professional and humane at the same time -- was in high regard by numerous companies such as BMW, DEKRA or Mercedes-Benz, for whom Kalli was active as moderator at fairs and presentations.

With Kalli Hufstadt the German motor racing fraternity loses one of its most respected members. "I am very sad", says Norbert Haug, Mercedes-Benz Motorsports-Director. "Kalli has been a friend for 30 years. He has formed motorsports in Germany like few other people, and he has always been positive and completely committed. His death is a great loss. My thoughts are with Kalli's wife and his family."

Opel Sports-Director, Volker Strycek spoke of a "massive personal loss. Kalli has almost been something like a father figure for me, accompanying me through my professional life. I valued both his personality and his abilities as a presenter. It's hard to appreciate what Kalli did for the DTM. My heart goes out to his family."

Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, Sports-Director with Audi, who only met Kalli last year, sees his death as a heavy blow: "Kalli Hufstadt was an institution. He enthused absolutely everybody as "the Voice of the DTM". Together with all DTM-fans we miss him. Our thoughts are with his family."

A "typical Kalli", just a whim at a race in the nineties, has become cult: On race morning Kalli took out his mouth organ and played "Morning has broken" over the PA-system. This little performance became a nice tradition. Everyone who heard the tune -- drivers, team managers, fans -- was moved. Kalli once said: "The song got a very special meaning on two occasions: on the farewell from the old DTM in 1996 and at its rebirth in 2000. It became the acoustic symbol for the DTM's strength and uniqueness." Kalli's columns on the DTM's website www.dtm.de also have achieved veritable cult-status.

-dtm-

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About this article
Series DTM , General
Drivers Norbert Haug , Volker Strycek
Article type Obituary