7/13/2020

Motorsport mourns the loss of Hans Mezger.

When Hans Mezger began his career in the Porsche Calculations Department on 1 October 1956, immediately after completing his mechanical engineering degree, he had no idea what he was going to achieve for Porsche, motorsport and all 911 fans over the coming decades – sadly, he has now passed away at the age of 90.

It is very difficult to compile a chronological list of Hans Mezger’s experiences and achievements during his time at Porsche. Because many of the highlights extended over a long period. The “Mezger engine” for the Porsche 911 that is still world-famous today was created as early as 1960 – just four years after he joined the company. This engine revolution promoted him to Head of “Race Car Design”, where he once again expressed his visionary thinking and applied this to the development of the 910. This car was to become the template for every race car that was built over the coming years – and therefore also for the Porsche 917. Hans Mezger successfully managed the overall construction of this race car: in 1970 and 1971, it not only won the 24h of Le Mans, but also the World Sports Car Championship.

1981, the search and Niki Lauda.

Hans Mezger embarked upon perhaps his most outstanding project in 1981. The McLaren racing team was looking for a new turbo engine for Formula 1. It opted for Porsche – and therefore also for Hans Mezger. The challenge for the company as well as for Mezger was clear: to develop a completely new engine. Mission successfully accomplished. The result: a 1.5-litre, V6 engine with an 80-degree bank angle producing more than 1000 PS.

Built for world champions – is what can be said about the Porsche TAG turbo engine of the late 1980s. In 1984, Niki Lauda became world champion, followed by Alain Prost in the two subsequent years. The engine developed by Mezger won a total of 25 races, plus the Constructors' World Championships in 1984 and 1985.

Hans Mezger maintained a close connection with Porsche over the years and was always available to provide fans, journalists and former colleagues with advice. Until the very end, he was a regular and welcome guest at many Porsche events. Hans Mezger began his final journey on 10 June 2020 and we will miss him greatly.

Be it on the race track or on the road, Hans Mezger’s legacy will live on forever in the hearts of our cars.

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