(c) 'Who is Who' by Steve Small, 2000 Родился: 04.04.1958 Мюнхен Сезонов в Ф1: Лет в Ф1: 5 Гран При: Старты: 34* *не стартовал: 14 Победы: подряд: Подиумы: подряд: Поул-позиции: подряд: Первый ряд: подряд:
Сезонов в Ф1:
Лет в Ф1:
5 Гран При: Старты: 34* *не стартовал: 14 Победы: подряд: Подиумы: подряд: Поул-позиции: подряд: Первый ряд: подряд:
34* *не стартовал: 14 Победы: подряд: Подиумы: подряд: Поул-позиции: подряд: Первый ряд: подряд:
14 Победы: подряд: Подиумы: подряд: Поул-позиции: подряд: Первый ряд: подряд:
Christian got involved in motor sport by racing (and regularly crashing) a Renault 5 in Germany, and soon came to the attention of Manfred Cassani, who was looking for a young driver to promote. Danner was given a BMW M1 to race in the German G4 championship and a couple of Procar GP support races, and did so well in these that BMW signed him on a three-year contract to race in the works March F2 team. With no single-seater experience, Christian struggled in 1981 - his first season -and he was usually overshadowed by the team's lead drivers, Boutsen, Corrado Fabi, Cecotto and Gabbiani, but by the end of 1983 he was not far off the pace, as witnessed by his pole position at the Nurburgring.
Unfortunately for Christian, BMW then pulled the plug on their F2 programme and at first he was left without a drive for 1984, eventually joining the Bob Sparshott team. That season was dominated by the Ralt-Hondas, but Danner was up there with the rest, and with a minimal budget he tackled the inaugural F3000 season in 1985 with the same team. This was to be the breakthrough year for Christian. Not the quickest driver but certainly the most consistent, he became the formula's first champion. This brought him a Grand Prix chance at Zakspeed, and then a contract with Osella for 1986, which was bought out in mid-season when Arrows needed a replacement for the badly injured Marc Surer.
Christian rejoined Zakspeed in 1987 and, paired with Martin Brundle, performed quite well given the equipment available. He was on the sidelines in 1988, but could have had the dubious privilege of a EuroBrun drive from mid-season had he not been too tall to fit into the car. The following season saw his final shot at F1, driving the Rial for Gunther Schmid. He scored a distant fourth at Phoenix, but finally quit as the team slid into oblivion.
Christian then spent the next few years as a real globetrotter, competing in Japanese F3000, Indy cars and the GTCC, driving a BMW in 1991. Landing a works-backed Alfa in the DTM/ITC run by Schubel, Danner put in some very strong performances, and was rewarded with outright wins in 1995 at Helsinki and Norisring.
Christian is a co-owner with Andreas Leberle of the Project Indy CART team, which has always competed on very limited resources. Danner managed to drive in a couple of Indy Car races himself in 1995, the first of which, in Miami, brought the team a remarkable seventh place, despite his having to resort to an elderly '93 Lola. It is a testament to his racing abilities that, in 1997, even two years away from CART proved to be no barrier to Christian. At short notice, he hopped into the Payton/Coyne Lola at Detroit and picked up the team's first point of the year with a solid 12th-place finish.
Lack of finance has since kept Project Indy's plans on the back burner and therefore his racing activities have been centred on the German Super Touring series with an Alfa Romeo. Looking to the future, however, the charismatic Danner is exploring the possibilities of starting up a low-tech touring car series in Germany.
(c) 'Who is Who' by Steve Small, 2000
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