James King, once an F3 winner, now a historic front-runner
“When I look back at 1977,” the American says with a smile, “F3 wins seemed to be shared out between several drivers. I’m not sure if everybody was very good – or if we were all a bit average!”
King took his works March to victory at Cadwell Park that season, but returned home soon afterwards and picked up where he’d left off before his European sojourn, racing in Formula Atlantic and winning the SCCA National title in 1982.
He retired five years later, not long after sharing 12th overall – and second in the GTP Lights class – in the Daytona 24 Hours. In 1993, however, he was lured back by the appeal of historic competition – and 25 years on he’s still active, racing on both sides of the Atlantic in a small fleet of cars that includes an ex-Dan Gurney Brabham BT7 (he was there to watch the American win with it at Rouen in ’64), a March 761 and a March 712.
His adventures have led him to the top steps of podia at events as diverse as the GP Historique de Monaco and the Goodwood Members’ Meeting – and he was also a co-founder of Historic Grand Prix, which continues to sanction old-time F1 races in the States (though King sold his interest a few years ago).
Now 72, he plans to take in another blend of clubbies and celebrated classics during the campaign ahead. “I still absolutely love racing,” he says, “and the people I’ve met along the way have been essential in fuelling my passion to compete. I’ve always considered myself a lucky dog – and that holds true to this day.”