Though he originally made his 24H SERIES debut with LMS Engineering in 2016 (and won in-class at Mugello, by the way), Constantin Kletzer today is synonymous with the TCR division, having competed with Bonk Motorsport and, more regularly, Autorama Motorsport by Wolf-Power Racing. Successfully too: of the seven TCR wins the Swiss-German team has taken thus far since 2020, this Austrian gentleman has been part of the winning Volkswagen’s driver line-up for four of them.
Chances are, Constantin won’t want you to forget his innumerous Nürburgring 24 Hours achievements either. Having debuted at the event in 2011, he finished 2nd in-class in 2014 before taking a well-deserved win on his next outing in 2017. Unsurprisingly, this ranks among his most treasured motorsport accomplishments.
Turns out he knows a thing or two about BMW throttle cables as well…
“[Laughs] I’m not going to lie, I’m 49!”
“Oh, that’s difficult. In the 1990s – probably ’93 or ’94 – and it was in Formula König, which doesn’t exist anymore. I was 22, or 23.”
“Winning the TCR class at the Nürburgring 24 Hours. That was good. And being overall 20th, or 21st,* we were the best non-GT3 car. You cannot [do better than that] unless you go into GT3!”
*Constantin competed that year aboard the mathilda racing Volkswagen Golf GTI with Andreas Gülden, Dennis Wüsthoff and fellow 24H SERIES class winner, Benjamin Leuchter. The quartet actually finished 29th overall, but was indeed the highest placed non-‘SP’ entrant and even finished ahead of Teichmann Racing ‘Cup 3’ winning Porsche Cayman 981.
“Spa [Francorchamps]. Definitely. In German we would say it is ein geiler Kurs, so it’s a ‘terrific track’. There’s a flow, and everything you do you have to have balls with it! It has it all!”
“I once had a failure at the Nürburgring with a BMW E36. The throttle cable broke and it wasn’t repairable, but we had a spare in the pits. So I took a stone, put it in the engine [bay], placed it so the throttle lever could rev the engine up, and with that, I went back to the pits. I could only go 30kph, or something like that, so the whole [field] was coming up behind me, and I had to go onto the grass a few times. When I got back to the pits, the mechanics couldn’t believe what they were seeing! But we finished the race!”
“My helmet has a black and grey tartan design. I have no relation to Scotland, but I wanted something different and I just thought it would look nice. I think it looks classy but aggressive.”
“[Pause] My age! And experience. I don’t give a” – let’s just skip over that! – “at this point. I’m always calm.”
“So, some people tell me I look like Jason Statham from The Transporter, so that’s a good start.”
“I would like to do a season in a GT3 car, either here with CREVENTIC or in another series. All I need is the car. And a sponsor! [Laughs]”
“Some people might know this, some might not. I’m also a photographer, so sometimes you’ll see me running around with a photographer’s tabard and the racing suit underneath wondering, ‘is he a photographer or is he a racing driver?’ I’m both.”*
*You can check out some of Constantin’s work at Gute Macher Prod. Rather handily for an enthusiastic photographer, he also knows quite a bit about copyright law!
“It’s totally laid back but still a serious race series. It’s easily accessible but it’s still very professional. Of course there are a lot of gentlemen drivers that need to be taken care of, but at the end of the day, it’s still all about racing!”
Constantin Kletzer was speaking with Mart Boksem and James Gent at the 2021 Hankook 12H HOCKENHEIMRING. Images courtesy of Petr Frýba. You can also check out this story in the 2021 Hankook 12H HUNGARY magazine, available for download at the link below.