We are always slightly amused when some PR firm sends in a publicity blurb telling us that “Janus Blogsworthy is retiring from motor racing”. Our immediate reaction is to remark that we were not even aware that Janus Blogsworthy had even started motor racing, so his premature retirement is no great loss to anyone but himself and his publicity man.
When Brabham announced his retirement everyone was interested, and last month’s Editorial made suitable comment, and shortly after that a letter came from Dan Gurney to tell us he was retiring from driving in motor races, but not retiring from motor racing, for his AAR-Eagle firm are doing very well building racing cars for American racing and preparing engines. Gurney is running a works team in USAC racing for Bobby Unser (the short-lived BRM team driver) and a young driver by the name of Swede Savage, for whom Gurney sees a great future. (See page 39 for more details). The amiable and likeable Gurney was always popular in European racing and if his plans succeed he visualizes returning to the European Grand Prix circuits one day with his AAR-Eagle team, and if he does he can be sure of a friendly welcome from all over Europe.
While on the subject of the retirement of known and unknown drivers, some because they feel they have raced enough, like Brabham and Gurney, others because they have lost the taste for racing, like Johnny Servos-Gavin, Hubert Hahne and Robin Widdows, and others because they were never going to be a racing driver, like Janus Blogsworthy, there was much talk and writing about Brabham being 44 years old when he took part in his last Grand Prix, in Mexico last October. A reader who lives in Co. Durham and who keeps copious and detailed records of Grand Prix racing, tells us that Brabham is one of the youngest retirements, equal in age to Sommer, when he was killed in a Cooper in 1950. His list is most interesting, listing Louis Chiron the oldest at 56 when he drove a D50 Lancia in the Monaco GP of 1955. Etancelin 54, Fagioli 53, Hans Stuck 52, Fangio 47, Farina 47, Trintignant 46 and Herrman Lang 45, so perhaps young Jack Brabham has retired prematurely?
It is worth noting that though Brabham retired in his last Grand Prix, he was lying third at the time and was leading all the Cosworth-powered cars, only the two Ferraris being ahead of him. Also in this book of statistics, compiled by reader Aidan Haile, is a list that puts Brabham at the top for the number of Grand Prix races competed in, with 126, two ahead of Graham Hill.