My only grand prix

Author

admin

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Current page

109

Current page

110

Current page

111

Current page

112

Current page

113

Current page

114

Current page

115

Current page

116

Current page

117

Current page

118

Current page

119

Current page

120

Current page

121

Current page

122

Current page

123

Current page

124

Current page

125

Current page

126

Current page

127

Current page

128

Current page

129

Current page

130

Current page

131

Current page

132

Current page

133

Current page

134

Current page

135

Current page

136

Current page

137

Current page

138

Current page

139

Current page

140

Current page

141

Current page

142

Current page

143

Current page

144

Current page

145

Current page

146

Current page

147

Current page

148

Current page

149

Current page

150

Current page

151

Current page

152

Current page

153

Current page

154

Current page

155

Current page

156

Current page

157

Current page

158

Current page

159

Current page

160

Current page

161

Current page

162

Current page

163

Current page

164

Current page

165

Current page

166

Current page

167

Current page

168

1965 British at Silverstone

by John Rhodes

How did you make the leap from Formula Junior star to GP driver?

I had enjoyed success with Midland Racing Partnership and then with Ausper in FJunior. This in turn led to me driving for Bob Gerard in Formula Libre. He was a gentleman driver in the truest sense; a really good man who entered cars out of sheer enthusiasm for motor racing. Bob had a couple of old Coopers, one with Coventry-Climax power and the other with a Ford engine. We raced everywhere and lived off start money as you did back then. I’d won the Driver of the Day awardat Mallory Park with one of his cars and Bob decided to enter me in the British Grand Prix.

 The race didn’t exactly go to plan though, did it?

The Cooper had electrical niggles which ended my run. I forget how many laps I did but, to tell the truth, I wasn’t as fast as I would have liked and had qualified near the back.

Not an auspicious GP debut, then?

To be perfectly honest, there’s only so much you can do with outdated equipment. That’s not intended as a comment on Bob or his preparation — he was meticulous. I always loved single-seaters, and we did well in Libre events, scoring quite a few wins. That T60 was a really nice car to drive. It’s just that you can’t expect to be running up front with the Clarks or the Brabhams in a three-year-old car. But we couldn’t afford a new one, so that was that.

Did you come close to having any more GP outings?

No, not really. My next event was a non-championship race at Enna. After Silverstone, we discovered a crack in the frame which was a worry. Well, at Enna the car went off without any assistance; just turned left. I was left sitting there with the basic tub and not much else. Somehow, Bob managed to find the parts to  rebuild the car as we desperately needed the start money. I was aching all over and had fashioned a crutch out of a branch to hobble around with. I was black and blue. We made the start, but at the second corner, it did the same thing again and got horribly out of shape. That was the beginning of the end for me in single-seaters. I’d liked to have carried on but I had a family and a mortgage and I was never going to get rich driving for Bob, so I thought ‘What next?’.

Hence the move into saloon cars with the works Mini Coopers…

Absolutely. During my Cooper FJunior days, I had built cars at the factory down in Surbiton and got to know Ginger Devlin. I was at Silverstone testing the GP car when Cooper was trying out the Mini. I asked if I could have a go and went quite well. That in time led to a contract, a retainer, start money…

Any regrets on changing disciplines?

None whatsoever. I had a wonderful time racing the Minis. It’s nice to have been a GP driver, if only briefly, but that I’m remembered as a saloon car driver is fine with me.

You may also like

Related products