Ivor Bueb

Full Name:
Ivor Leon John Bueb
Born:
6th June 1923
East Ham, London
Died:
1st August 1959 (Aged 36)
Clermont-Ferrand, Auvergne, six days after crashing in the F2 race
Nationality:
British
Most recent race (in database):
Biography

This large and colourful character stands out as a twice winner of the Le Mans 24 Hours and as one of the most successful Welsh drivers in the history of the sport. Ivor Bueb raced in five Grands Prix and was a skilled rally driver for Sunbeam. He was a popular and respected all-rounder.

Formula 3 career

"Ivor the Driver," as he would be christened in the press, was a humorous garage owner who started racing a 500cc Formula 3 Iota in 1952. It was with a Cooper-Norton that his performances grew increasingly impressive two years later. Rewarded with a place in the works team for 1955, his 500cc success was all-the-more notable due to his large frame being a disadvantage in those light, nimble machines.

Sports cars and Formula 1

Bueb also drove his first international race that year – the ill-fated 1955 Le Mans 24 Hours. He partnered Mike Hawthorn in a works Jaguar D-type but their victory was overshadowed by the worst accident in the motor racing history when over 80 spectators were killed after "Pierre Levegh’s" Mercedes-Benz crashed into the crowd.

He also tried his hand in Formula 1 in 1947 and his GP debut at Monaco behind the wheel of a works Connaught was followed by an eighth place finish in the British GP with Gilby Engineering’s Maserati 250F. Bueb was a fine sports car driver and particularly adept when racing at night. He won at Le Mans for a second time in 1957 with Ron Flockhart and an Ecurie Ecosse Jaguar D-type.

The Welshman counted a couple of GPs among his 1958 outings, including driving Bernie Ecclestone’s Connaught at Silverstone. He also drove a private Lotus 12-Climax in Formula 2 and a Lister in sports car races. He joined the British Racing Partnership for 1959 but Bueb was killed driving the team’s F2 Cooper T51-Borgward in the Trophée d’Auvergne at Clermont-Ferrand.