An incredible series of behind-the-scenes racing images take by aristocrat Marianne Fürstin zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn – great-great-geat-great granddaughter of Holy Roman Empress Maria Theresa – will go on display at Retro Classics Stuttgart from 26-28 March.
The 95-year-old Salzburg native – who Princess Caroline of Monaco once jokingly called 'Mamarazza' – has amassed an archive in excess of 250,000 photographs. In addition to heads of state and actors, a large portion of her work focused on motor racing, to which she was offered unfettered access.
"The 1950s, '60s and '70s were the heyday of motor racing," she said. "Back then, you could stand close to the race track, visit the pits and talk to the drivers. It was totally different to today. When I think of how often I went through the tunnel in Monte-Carlo with my camera – hundreds of times. However, there was an accident nearly every race at that time. Fortunately, that is no longer the case today."
Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn's photographs capture not only the showers of champagne on the winner's rostrum, but also the fleeting personal moments at the side of the track. "I especially like, for example, the photo of Juan Manuel Fangio arriving at the finish of the Mille Miglia. He made an enormous effort and took a great risk. After driving 1600km, you can see the exhaustion etched on his face. You can also see his disappointment because he did not win the race. What interests me about photography is capturing special moments."