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Alex von Falkenhausen Motorenbau

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Alex von Falkenhausen Motorenbau (commonly known as AFM) was a German Formula One team which competed during the 1952 and 1953 seasons, racing in 4 events of the World Championship. Despite fielding a total of 7 drivers over these four events (9 race entries in total), AFM failed to score a single point, with only two race finishes in total. Among the AFM drivers for these two seasons was Hans Stuck, father of the more successful Hans-Joachim Stuck who competed for numerous teams in the 1970s.

AFM was founded by German hill-climbing specialist Alexander von Faulkenhausen in 1946 as a platform for racing in Formula 2, before joining the premier Formula One series under F2 regulations in 1952. However, their existence in F1 was short lived as they withdrew following the end of the 1953 series, when the sport abandoned the F2 regulations.

Pre-AFMEdit

Alexander von Falkenhausen, later to be founder of the AFM team, was one of BMWs Head Engineers during the 1930s for the development of the BMW 328, the teams most successful car of that era. Von Falkenhausen worked with BMW until 1940 where he was assigned into the Wermacht to fight in World War 2 for the German army.

AFM 1946-1953Edit

Von Falkenhausen survived the war and returned to racing in 1946 however no longer with BMW opting to start his own team called Alex von Falkenhausen Motorenbau for Formula 2 racing. However still remained on friendly terms with BMW and purchased old 328 chassis to use as the body for his new team however he settled with using Kuchen engines supplied by long time friend Richard Kuchen. Technical Director and the teams main race driver would be Hans Stuck. The AFM team failed to make much success with the outdated 328s so in 1949 the team then began work on their very first racing chassis. The new and very first F2 AFM car proved quite successful in their first year with Stuck taking a 3rd place finish at the German circuit of the Grenzlandring followed by a race win at the Monza circuit in Italy beating the Ferrari of Alberto Ascari and the Maserati of Juan Manuel Fangio by miliseconds, the teams greatest acheivement

In 1950 the team employed the services of Fritz Reiss, Willi Heeks, Manfred von Brauchitsch and Karl Gormann alongside Stuck but the team failed to be very competitive. In 1951 AFM lost the services of Reiss, Brauchitsch and Gormann leaving only Heeks and Stuck to do the work however the team employed Ludwig Fischer in the latter half of the season, the team began to really suffer and went a second season without any points in the F2 championship.

In 1952, Formula 1 began running on Formula 2 regulations which allowed the team to participate in F1 races deciding to take a step higher in motor racing. However Richard Kuchen left the team just after the start of the season. Von Falkenhausen then employed more powerful BMW engines however it still was not enough and the team of Stuck, Heeks, Fischer and newcomers Helmut Niedermayr and Willi Krakau failed to make a mark during the season.

1953 was not much better and the team was near broke and really struggling all the drivers except Stuck left the team and could only employ 2 other drivers Gunther Bechem and Theo Fitzau for only half season deal. The team really struggled and at seasons end when the FIA announced they would no longer be running F2 regulations the team would be forced to return to F2 the following year which von Falkenhausen was unwilling to do. Worst news was to come for him as Hans Stuck announced he would be retiring at the end of 1953 and would not continue his partnership with AFM as the technical director, unable to afford to employ a new driver or technical director von Falkenhausen sold the team to BMW where he himself returned to work for after 13 years of being away from them.

Von Falkenhausen worked as the BMW Sports Car Technical Director from 1954 to 1974 where he eventually after a long career in motorsport retired.

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