Udo Schütz – from racing driver to water sports star
Businessman Udo Schütz was part of the Porsche world championship team in the 1969 season, driving as the partner of Gerhard Mitter. Following his retirement at the end of that season, he dedicated his efforts to sailing.
Udo Schütz only competed in car races for about ten years. After some initial attempts in a Porsche 356, he drove a 904 Carrera GTS so fast in 1964 that Porsche sports boss Huschke von Hanstein came to hear about the tall man from Selsters in the Westerwald. In 1966, he invited him to join the works team and the first major success followed just a year later: victory with Joe Buzzetta at the 1,000 kilometre race at the Nürburgring in a Porsche 910. Senior race engineer Peter Falk Schütz called Schütz ‘fast and reliable’.
For the 1968 season, the businessman decided against renewing his contract with Porsche. He drove for Alfa Romeo and had to face disappointment. In 1969, he returned to Porsche and formed a good pairing with Gerhard Mitter. ‘We are almost as fast as each other, not least because we’ve always said what we think,’ Schütz said at the time. His success was to be repeated. A stand-out victory was the Targa Florio in a Porsche 908.
At Le Mans in 1969, the two 908 long tails driven by Larrousse and Schütz brushed against each other during the night. The German was no longer able to hit the ideal line precisely at top speed, so the car hit the safety barrier. Instinctively, Schütz unfastened the straps and was thrown out. Almost uninjured, he returned to the pits. A few weeks later, Gerhard Mitter died in a Formula Two race at the Nürburgring. Following this unfortunate event, Schütz considered his future for a long time and finally made the decision to give up racing.
After his motor sports career, Udo Schütz enjoyed great success as a sailor. His yacht was so fast that he won the Admiral’s Cup with a purely German team ahead of England in 1993.