Jedna priča o Rolandu Ratzenbergeru koji je poginuo na današnji dan
He might not be very well known, nor do his limited F1 results look any good, he certainly wasn't a bad driver.
When he came to Britain in 1986 to race Formula Fords, he was his own mechanic, PR person (a very successful one at that), truck driver and crew chief. At the time, he was 26, but said he was 24, in an attempt to be more appealing to possible sponsors.
Probably that also helped him, but by all accounts it was determination and especially charm and personal networking that got him from being absolutely underfinanced privateer to a works BMW driver, after being recommended by Gerhard Berger. Of course, winning the Formula Ford festival meant that his skill was nothing to scoff over either.
Like many who had the talent, but not the funds, instead of trying to muster up money to race in Europe, Roland set off to race for a salary in Japan. Keeping his options open, while being a successful driver overseas almost saw him get two premier open wheel seats for 1991. One was a CART seat with Dick Simon Racing, he turned down in order to concentrate his resources on the other offer... Jordan's no.2 car! Eventually, his sponsors pulled out and he had to settle for more Formula Nippon, while Jordan took de Cesaris.
It was also during this time that Roland got married for a few months, but found out that it's not for him. As per teammate Eje Elgh, his greatest regret was not the marriage, but that in order to show his commitment, he threw away his little book that contained the numbers of "female friends"... Not that it was too much of a problem for him to start a new one.
He got the funding for his F1 seat for 5 races with the help of a wealthy German businesswoman (remember the Barbara logos on the Simtek?) and impressed the team with his attitude right away. Wirth was especially close to him. Sadly, in Brazil his car had misfire and suspension trouble in Q1, and with rain in Q2, it meant that he was a DNQ.
He was still very much learning the car in Aida, mostly having troubles with slow corners, but completed the full race without incidents and looked to be on the up, if disappointed with his performance. In Imola, brake problems plagued his car for a while, but they repaired it and Roland was trying his absolute best, when his second spin of the session resulted in a bounce on the kerbs and a cracked front wing. He weaved the car around and as the wing was still attached, did not feel anything wrong and set off on his last lap...