Tag Archives: formula one

Jody Scheckter

One weekday afternoon during the summer holidays of 1972, my Father and I decided we would go to Silverstone, just to see if anybody was there testing a car. Back then you could just drive in to the circuit and nobody was bothered about you being there, that was unless Silverstone Syd was on the prowl of course! We parked in the paddock and made our way on to the pits roof top viewing area, and from there we could see Jody Scheckter having his first ever drive in a Formula One car. Later that year Jody made his Formula One race debut driving for Mclaren in the American Grand Prix.

I first saw Jody race in the 1973 British Grand Prix, where he spun his car coming out of Woodcote corner at the end of the first lap taking out nearly half the field. I think he upset a quite a few drivers and teams that day. The following year he moved to Tyrrell to replace the just retired Sir Jackie Stewart, and went on to get his first Grand Prix win that year in Sweden. After two more years at Tyrrell he moved on to the newly formed Walter Wolf Racing, where Jody gave the team a victory in its maiden race. In 1979 Jody moved to Ferrari, winning three races that year on his way to becoming the world drivers champion. Jody raced for just one more year in Formula One and retired at the end of the 1980 season.

I’ve been lucky enough to get Jody’s autograph twice, the first at the British Grand Prix in 1977, and then at the Coy’s festival at Silverstone in 1992, on one of the rare occasions that my daughter came to Silverstone with me. We were walking through the paddock when they announced over the PA that Jody would be signing autographs soon, so we made our way to the autograph booth and waited for him. When he arrived I said to him that my daughter had been named after him, and could I take a photo of the two of you together. Of course he replied. So I lifted her in to the booth, got a lovely photo of them, then he signed our programme. To Jodie lots of love Jody Scheckter, and that’s the autograph I show here.

The Mighty Arms Of Atlas


Posted by on August 20, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Jacky Ickx

Most of us have our sporting heroes, and Jacky is mine. I’ve been lucky enough to have seen him race many times both in Formula One and in sportscars.

I recently tweeted Derek Bell and said it would be nice to see Jacky tweeting. He replied saying, Jacky is to laid back!. A comment that describes Jacky perfectly.

Although he was a winner of eight Grand Prix’s, he is probably remembered more for his success in sportscar racing. Twice a world champion and six time Le Mans winner. His first Le Mans win came in 1969. That was the last year of the traditional Le Mans start, where the drivers lined up, ran across the track, got in to their cars, many without putting there seat belts on, and started to race. Jacky considered this unsafe, so as a protest he did not run across the track to his car, he walked! Winning the race with Jackie Oliver beating the Porsche of Herrmann/Larrouse by about 120 metres after 24 hours of racing. Which I believe is still the closest non staged finish in the history of the race. In 1977 his epic drive through he field in a Porsche 936 to win again, is considered by many to be his greatest ever race.

Jacky also took part in many other races. A one off visit to Australia in 1977 to race in the Bathurst 1000. Sharing a Ford with Allan Moffit, they won of course. Can-Am in North America, winning the championship in 1979. He has even taken part in the Paris-Daker rally, winning in 1983.

The term rainmeister, is often over used, but Jacky truly was. So I’ll finish with this. At Le Mans this year when ex driver and entrant Alain de Cadenet was asked about a memory of the race he replied. Very strange one. Jacky Ickx in a Porsche 936, on slicks in the pouring rain, going past me in my car on deep river wet tyres. How the heck did he do that, it’s impossible.

The Mighty Arms Of Atlas

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Posted by on August 10, 2012 in Uncategorized


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