Dietrich Anger (b. 26th June 1958 Bern, Switzerland) is a retired Swiss motorsports steward and occasional racing driver. He drove for FSK Racing in the 2001 Prost GP season and 2002 CART season. Before this, he acted as the Chief Safety Officer of the Life GP Series.
Anger had been interested in motorsports ever since he first saw a documentary about the 1955 Le Mans disaster on TV at the age of 12. While this made him very suspicious about actually competing, he did get interested in the safety of the sport and after high school he quickly applied for training to become a licensed steward at the few motorsport events allowed and held in his native country. Many of these events were hillclimbing, one of the most popular forms of racing in Switzerland as it was legal due to not having cars competing against one another simultaneously, but instead against the clock. At one point in the 1980s he accidentally promised to take part in one of these events during a drunken night out. Being a man of his word he finally sat in a race car for the first time in 1986, at the ripe age of 28. He finished dead last, almost half a minute behind the next-slowest competitor, but it did spark a certain interest towards racing in him and eventually he took part as a competitor in at least one event per year from 1986 to 1990, whilst also working as a steward.
Life GP Series
In late 1990 a Swiss company called Finanz-Sichereit Konglomerat started to prepare their organization to start a new racing series called Life GP Series in the spring of 1991. As everything else started to be finalized, they noticed to be short of a chief safety officer. As all people who had any previous experience from such job demanded a substantial monthly salary on top of having their travels and other needs paid for in advance, the company decided to approach the most experienced regular stewards instead. As it turned out, Anger was the only one to agree for a very meager salary on top of having his work-related expenses covered, being happy to have a regular job.
Anger worked with the series until the start of 1993, when he was fired due to being overly strict in some of his rulings, which made him very unpopular in the paddock. As he could not find another job he fell to alcoholism, and at one low point he also sold his racing suit and helmet, which he had previously held in high regard, just to get more booze.
Prost GP Series
In 2001, FSK branched out to the recently-announced Prost GP Series. For the first car they signed British RTCC veteran Nathan Nurmester, but seemingly no-one was willing to take the second seat due to the bad reputation of the car used in the series, the infamous Prost AP03. Being in a hurry to find another driver, they went through their personnel files and found out that Dietrich Anger, their former employee, had previous racing experience, albeit very little. As time was running out they quickly located him in a bar in Bern, dragged him to a plane, flew to Australia for the inaugural round of the season, gave him a second-hand set of a racing suit and helmet and made him sit in the car for the first practice session. He quickly learned how to keep the car on the road, but speed was lacking and in his first outing he only qualified third-last, over seven seconds off the pace while Nurmester was 9th. In the race he was further humiliated when the brakes of his car failed early on while his team mate went on to finish second. Mechanical unreliability proved to be a teething problem, and neither car finished at the next two rounds.
Anger got his first finish at Mugello with 13th place, followed by another at Jerez in 14th, but he was still sorely lacking speed. In Austria he retired again, but in Scotland he made a great recovery from a poor qualifying and eventually finished 8th, his first points finish. Three consecutive retirements, all due to mechanical woes, followed in the British, English and French GPs. He also retired in the Dutch GP due to an engine failure, but completed enough laps to be classified. The German and Luxembourg GPs only brought him further retirements, despite all the money the team had put into developing reliability. This finally paid off at Monza, where Anger carefully managed his car through the attrition-filled race to emerge as the winner - his first win in any category ever. The joy was short-lived however, as engine troubles put him out of the Japanese GP at Suzuka two thirds into the race. The US GP was rather quiet for him as he finished 10th. In the remaining three GPs in California, Brazil and Belgium he retired with mechanical failures.
2001 turned out to be Prost GP Series' only season, as the series' owner bought out CART and merged the two series. FSK Racing decided to take part in the new CART series, with Anger still as the team's second driver.
However at the first round in Long Beach, it was clear that the car was completely different to the Prost, and Anger struggled as a result. A poor qualifying result and a crash in the race itself was not exactly what the aging Swiss had hoped for. At Laguna Seca he got his first finish in 29th. In Michigan Anger scored his and the team's first points in the series, but the race was marred by serious accidents, one of which ended his team mate Nurmester's CART career. This only seemed to give Anger more determination, as he scored more points with a 10th at the next round, held on Watkins Glen. He continued his points streak with another 8th in San Francisco, becoming the clear #1 driver of the team as Nurmester's hasty replacement Tero Palmroth was clearly out of his depth.
However at the next round at Road America he had a messy race and finished just outside of points in 16th. At Nazareth Speedway he improved a bit to grab a point with a 15th. His best finish so far came in Atlanta where he managed a brilliant 6th after a poor qualifying. At the Milwaukee Mile both FSK cars were well off the pace and so Anger couldn't manage better than 33rd, the fourth-last driver to finish the race, while at Rockingham Anger was 22nd, just ahead of his new team mate Jan Magnussen. At Thruxton he finished 21st, while at Croft and Lausitzring he suffered two consecutive retirements due to collisions. Three more low finishes in 28th, 27th and 29th followed at Dijon-Prenois, Miami and Pocono. At Motegi he crashed out after only two laps. A heavy crash at Surfers Paradise hospitalized Anger, and after hearing that he was the father of a young daughter he announced his formal retirement from motorsport at the age of 44.
Dietrich Anger is the father of Daniela Anger, although she was conceived during his alcoholism period and Dietrich wouldn't get to know her until in late 2002, when he was contacted by Daniela's mother while in hospital. Daniela made her reject motorsport debut in the 2016 F1 Rejects Development Series season.
Complete motorsports results
Prost GP Series
* Season in progress
† Did not finish, but was classified due to completing more than 90% of race distance.