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This German amateur raced in his home Grand Prix in 1952 and 1953 and claims an unusual place in the world championship history books. He is the only driver to enter two such races with different names.
Formula 2 privateer and works Borgward driver
Günther Bechem had already been racing for two years when he entered his BMW Eigenbau in the 1952 German GP, for some reason hiding his identity by taking the pseudonym "Bernhard Nacke". He qualified in 30th position but was forced to retire after four laps of the Nürburgring with fouled spark plugs.
When he returned a year later it was with an AFM-BMW and under his real name. He qualified in the same position and again succumbed to mechanical failure during the early stages – his engine expiring on lap three. Bechem also raced a works Borgward Hansa at the time and he won the 1500cc sports car race that supported the following year’s Eifelrennen, again at the Nürburgring.
The 1954 season ended with the Carrera Panamericana on Mexico’s open roads in which Bechem shared a works Borgward Rennsport 55 with René Herzog. He led his class for the opening two legs but was severely injured when he crashed on the fourth stage.
He eventually did make a full recovery and Bechem competed on the Freiburg mountainclimb as late as 1965. However, he did not start another international race.