Jo Siffert—1936-1971

As reported elsewhere in this issue, the Swiss driver Jo Siffert died at Brands Hatch on October 24th as a result of his BRM crashing and exploding in flames. Siffert’s history has been well chronicled on many occasions and there is little to add here. Suffice to say Siffert was born in fairly humble circumstances but by a combination of tremendous perseverance, courage and skill became one of the World’s finest racing drivers, not only in sports-car racing but also in the past few months in Formula One.

Through his continuing success he had remained a great enthusiast for motor racing as well as an astute businessman. Siffert loved the life, rarely complaining about circuits or machinery and just got on with the job of driving as hard has he could.

But the best tribute of all we could bestow on the friendly dapper little Swiss was the one we overheard at Brands hatch at the end of the tragic meeting. Two ordinary enthusiasts were walking back to their car and one turned to the other and said: “It’s a great shame, I liked Jo Siffert”. Almost certainly that spectator had never met him yet those simple words so aptly expressed the esteem which he, and thousands of motor racing enthusiasts all over the World, felt for Jo Siffert.A.R.M.