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Helmut Niedermayr was a BMW dealer in Chemnitz before World War II who started racing a Reif-BMW sports car at the Sachsenring in 1949. He then built a special which was entered in Formula 2 races by Count Karl van Horn.
Second in a number of national sports car events during 1950 (including at Solitude), he raced in both East and West Germany. A participant in the 1951 Monte Carlo Rally, Niedermayr drove a Veritas RS and F2 AFM-BMW during 1952.
Success at Le Mans
However, his greatest success came in that year’s Le Mans 24 Hours when he shared the second placed Mercedes-Benz 300SL with Theo Helfrich as they finished a lap behind team-mates Hermann Lang and Fritz Riess.
The 1952 World Championship was run to F2 rules and Niedermayr’s AFM finished ninth in the German Grand Prix. He drove the car again at the Grenzlandring four weeks later and crashed into the crowd on the opening lap at the Roermonder Kurve. Niedermayr was slightly injured but 14 spectators died and another 30 were injured.
He raced again at Avus in 1954 and competed in a number of rallies and sports car events but his short international career was soon over. At the height of the Cold War, he moved from Berlin back to East Germany before settling in the United States Virgin Islands where he died in 1985.