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Rally to F1?


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#1 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 14:46

Can't see this mentioned on TNF so here goes...

Read with interest in Autosport magazine that Sebastien Loeb, the rally driver is all set to race in the last Grand Prix of the season at Abu Dhabi, if not before... become the oldest debutant for 14 years.

I have racked my brains & it is probably an easy one... but I cannot think who the last person to come direct from rallying to Grand Prix racing might have been - I can only think of those who have crossed paths in both fields (Sarrazin, Chaves, Richards, Todt).

I am being stupid or has there ever been anyone to precede Loeb or is he (if doing this race) unique?

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#2 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 14:48

The problem is he's done Le Mans at least once so you can claim him as a sportscar driver.

#3 David Beard

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 15:02

Yet another Sebastien!!!

This springs to mind...

Pull back to reveal the knee belongs to First Sebastien, an Australian in full Australian outback gear. We briefly hear a record of 'Waltzing Mathilda'. He is sitting in a very hot, slightly dusty room with low wicker chairs, a table in the middle, big centre fan, and old fridge.
Second Sebastien Goodday, Sebastien!
First Sebastien Oh, Hello Sebastien!
Third Sebastien How are yer Sebastien?
First Sebastien Bit crook, Sebastien.
Second Sebastien Where's Sebastien?
First Sebastien He's not here, Sebastien.
Third Sebastien Blimey, s'hot in here, Sebastien.
First Sebastien S'hot enough to boil a monkey's bum!
Second Sebastien That's a strange expression, Sebastien.
First Sebastien Well Sebastien, I heard the Prime Minister use it. S'hot enough to boil a monkey's bum in 'ere, your Majesty,' he said and she smiled quietly to herself.
Third Sebastien She's a good Sheila, Sebastien and not at all stuck up.
Second Sebastien Ah, here comes the Bossfella now! - how are you, Sebastien?
Enter fourth Sebastien with English person, Michael
Fourth Sebastien Goodday, Sebastien, Hello Sebastien, how are you, Sebastien? Gentlemen, I'd like to introduce a chap from pommie land... who'll be joining us this year here in the Philosophy Department of the University of Woolamaloo.
All Goodday.
Fourth Sebastien Michael Baldwin - this is Sebastien. Michael Baldwin - this is Sebastien. Michael Baldwin - this is Sebastien.
First Sebastien Is your name not Sebastien, then?
Michael No, it's Michael.
Second Sebastien That's going to cause a little confusion.
Third Sebastien Mind if we call you 'Sebastien' to keep it clear?




#4 ensign14

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 15:05

I have racked my brains & it is probably an easy one... but I cannot think who the last person to come direct from rallying to Grand Prix racing might have been - I can only think of those who have crossed paths in both fields (Sarrazin, Chaves, Richards, Todt).

Elford? Or even Fangio? Those Carreteras were far more like a modern rally than the reliability tests that passed for rallying those days...

#5 alansart

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 15:12

Yet another Sebastien!!!

This springs to mind...

Pull back to reveal the knee belongs to First Sebastien, an Australian in full Australian outback gear. We briefly hear a record of 'Waltzing Mathilda'. He is sitting in a very hot, slightly dusty room with low wicker chairs, a table in the middle, big centre fan, and old fridge.
Second Sebastien Goodday, Sebastien!
First Sebastien Oh, Hello Sebastien!
Third Sebastien How are yer Sebastien?
First Sebastien Bit crook, Sebastien.
Second Sebastien Where's Sebastien?
First Sebastien He's not here, Sebastien.
Third Sebastien Blimey, s'hot in here, Sebastien.
First Sebastien S'hot enough to boil a monkey's bum!
Second Sebastien That's a strange expression, Sebastien.
First Sebastien Well Sebastien, I heard the Prime Minister use it. S'hot enough to boil a monkey's bum in 'ere, your Majesty,' he said and she smiled quietly to herself.
Third Sebastien She's a good Sheila, Sebastien and not at all stuck up.
Second Sebastien Ah, here comes the Bossfella now! - how are you, Sebastien?
Enter fourth Sebastien with English person, Michael
Fourth Sebastien Goodday, Sebastien, Hello Sebastien, how are you, Sebastien? Gentlemen, I'd like to introduce a chap from pommie land... who'll be joining us this year here in the Philosophy Department of the University of Woolamaloo.
All Goodday.
Fourth Sebastien Michael Baldwin - this is Sebastien. Michael Baldwin - this is Sebastien. Michael Baldwin - this is Sebastien.
First Sebastien Is your name not Sebastien, then?
Michael No, it's Michael.
Second Sebastien That's going to cause a little confusion.
Third Sebastien Mind if we call you 'Sebastien' to keep it clear?



Nice one Bruce :)

#6 alansart

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 15:13

Elford? Or even Fangio? Those Carreteras were far more like a modern rally than the reliability tests that passed for rallying those days...


Vic Elford was the only one I could think of, but I don't know what came first, racing or rallying.

#7 sterling49

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 15:20

Vic Elford was the only one I could think of, but I don't know what came first, racing or rallying.



Rallying came 1st for quick Vic, with 7Oaks M.C. I look forward to Loeb in an F1 car, he is such a talented driver and might just surprise a few folks.

#8 D-Type

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 15:20

The first name that comes to mind is Vic Elford. He started in rallying and branched into sports car racing and GP racing but didn't make the direct transition.

Way back when there were a lot of drivers who both raced and rallied but not necessarily in the order rally then race.
I can think of:
Cuth Harrison - ERA and Ford Zephyr works driver
Stirling Moss - won a Coupe des Alpes en Or or en Argent
Peter Collins - did he win a Coupe des Alpes one year?
Mike Hawthorn - drove a Sunbeam in the Alpine Rally but didn't win a coup
Olivier Gendebien - Liege-Rome Liege or Tulip Rally I think
Louis Chiron - won a Monte after he had almost retired from racing
Jody Scheckter - I think he rallied in S Africa before coming to Europe
Jacky Ickx - Marathon de la Route (or was it only after it became 84 hours round the 'ring)
Tony Brooks - did a Monte in a London taxi as a gimmick
Paul Frere - Monte and Mille Miglia after it became a rally etc
Jim Clark and Graham Hill in that RAC Rally

And there are those who rallied after retiring from racing, Clay Regazzoni being a special case


#9 David McKinney

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 16:32

Johnny Claes and Ken Wharton were both international rally winners
(but they didn't go straight from rallying to GP racing either :) )

#10 Rob G

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 17:29

Wasn't there an eastern European rally driver who raced (or at least was entered for) a minor Grand Prix in the 1930s? For some reason the name Calcianu comes to mind. Maybe at a GP in Budapest? I'm on my lunch hour at work so unfortunately looking it up is not an option for me.

Edited by Rob G, 17 July 2009 - 17:31.


#11 Twin Window

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 18:10

From memory Eliseo Salazar was a rally driver prior to moving into single-seaters and eventually F1. Not only that, after F1 finished for him in '83 he went back to rallying and won the Chilean national championship then returned to F3000, WSC and latterly IRL.

#12 alansart

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 18:48

As an opposite, Martin Brundle did the RAC Rally (and stuffed it). Kimi Raikkonen and Valentino Rossi are doing the odd rally.

I think it's good that they are doing stuff out of the comfort zone :)

#13 David McKinney

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 19:25

Wasn't there an eastern European rally driver who raced (or at least was entered for) a minor Grand Prix in the 1930s? For some reason the name Calcianu comes to mind. Maybe at a GP in Budapest? I'm on my lunch hour at work so unfortunately looking it up is not an option for me.

No it was the other one, Petre Cristea
He won the Monte in a Ford V8, I think before taking up circuit racing. Was very successful with a BMW 328 in the late '30s
(Now I think of it, maybe Calcianu was part of the winning Monte crew too...)


#14 philippe7

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 19:28

Gérard Larrousse, who did the 1974 Belgian GP in the Bretscher/Finotto BT 42, could qualify (he started in rallying in 1961 ) although he didn't start in single seaters on that occasion, contrary to common belief, as he had raced in Formule France at an early stage of his carreer, in 1968 . And of course, he was an acomplished sportscar driver by the time he had this F1 try. His Formula 2 season in the Elf-2 was in 1975, after his F1 attempt.

Edited by philippe7, 17 July 2009 - 19:53.


#15 proviz

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Posted 18 July 2009 - 06:38

Lucien Bianchi certainly was an accomplished rally driver before making his F1 debut. He had raced sportscars though.

#16 Geza Sury

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Posted 18 July 2009 - 07:11

I think Alessando Nannini started his carrier in rallycars. Then he went to the racing school of Henry Morrogh to 'iron-out' his driving style before moving on to circuit races.

#17 RCH

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Posted 18 July 2009 - 09:15

The question arises, how does he qualify for a "superlicence"?

I don't think anyone in recent years has crossed directly from Rally to F1 without going via Sportscars (Elford and Larrousse) because they wouldn't have been allowed to without more lower level racing experience. I may be wrong but the only racing experience Loeb has is one Le Mans.

That's not to say he shouldn't do it, it will be interesting to see.

#18 Catalina Park

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Posted 18 July 2009 - 09:23

Jack Brabham did some trials in Australia in the fifties.

#19 Vitesse2

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Posted 18 July 2009 - 09:41

No it was the other one, Petre Cristea
He won the Monte in a Ford V8, I think before taking up circuit racing. Was very successful with a BMW 328 in the late '30s
(Now I think of it, maybe Calcianu was part of the winning Monte crew too...)

Cristea and Calcianu both rallied - let's face it, there wasn't much racing to be had in Romania in those days.

There was of course much more cross-over in the 30s - I'm not sure if Joseph Paul (for example) started in rallies or racing. René le Bègue was a leading rallyman too.


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#20 Fred Gallagher

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Posted 18 July 2009 - 10:47

Luigi Villoresi won the 1958 Acropolis Rally. Ludovico Scarfiotti led the same year's Rallye Sestriere until going off on the final test.

Fred

#21 thecako

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 14:05

Stephane Sarazin
From Minardi to Subaru and actualy he drive the Peugeot 908

Edited by thecako, 22 July 2009 - 14:07.


#22 LotusElise

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 17:19

The question arises, how does he qualify for a "superlicence"?

I don't think anyone in recent years has crossed directly from Rally to F1 without going via Sportscars (Elford and Larrousse) because they wouldn't have been allowed to without more lower level racing experience. I may be wrong but the only racing experience Loeb has is one Le Mans.

That's not to say he shouldn't do it, it will be interesting to see.


I think testing can count towards the set number of laps you're meant to have done. These things seem pretty discretionary anyway.  ;)

#23 Tim C 27

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 20:48

Rick Mears did off road Baja Desert racing before he became a great Indycar driver.

#24 Pete Lyons

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 01:48

Add two F1 world champions who at least tasted rallying: James Hunt did the Tour of Britain, a stage rally-plus-circuit races celebrity event, the same year I read notes for Denny Hulme. The Bear won us our class. James shunted a tree.

And don't forget the Millen brothers, Steve and Rod, who say they learned their incredible car control by chasing the best surf conditions on dirt roads back and forth across NZ.

#25 mikeC

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 08:05

Toivenen was going to.... :cry:

#26 Graham Gauld

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 09:33

Toivenen was going to.... :cry:



Don't forget Jim Clark did a number of rallies in his Sunbeam Talbot Mark III before he ever raced. I navigated for him on the MG Car Club Moorfoot rally in 1955 and he was co-driver to Billy Potts, his cousin, on the 1955 International Scottish Rally in an Austin Healey 100. He therefore had an internatinal rally licence before he had any racing licence. I have attached a photo I took of him with Billy on the event. It was also the first occasion Jim Clark ever drove a car at 100 mph.

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#27 William Hunt

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 12:35

Willy Mairesse started in rallying before he switched to sportscars and then single seaters; this I am very sure of.

#28 sportgrafica

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 16:27

Don't forget Jim Clark did a number of rallies in his Sunbeam Talbot Mark III before he ever raced. I navigated for him on the MG Car Club Moorfoot rally in 1955 and he was co-driver to Billy Potts, his cousin, on the 1955 International Scottish Rally in an Austin Healey 100. He therefore had an internatinal rally licence before he had any racing licence. I have attached a photo I took of him with Billy on the event. It was also the first occasion Jim Clark ever drove a car at 100 mph.

Posted Image


Navigating Jim Clark..what a great memories :-D :up:

#29 Kingsleyrob

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 16:44

Toivenen was going to.... :cry:

This memory jerker by mikeC led me to do a bit of Googling, and Wikipedia (copyright acknowledged) revealed the following interesting facts (or maybe fiction as far as the "It is often reported" bit goes)...

"Toivonen started his career in circuit racing and was also very competitive on tarmac. He raced successfully in two World Sportscar Championship events and achieved praise from Eddie Jordan, in whose Formula Three team Toivonen made a few guest appearances. In his Formula One test for March Grand Prix, Toivonen managed to lap over a second quicker than the team's regular driver. It is often reported that during the 1986 Rally Portugal, he drove his Delta S4 at the Estoril track, and recorded a lap time which would have qualified him in sixth poition at that year's Formula One Portuguese Grand Prix."

Thanks for the reminder mikeC!

Rob :wave:

Edited by Kingsleyrob, 26 August 2009 - 16:45.


#30 proviz

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 07:14

Quote: "In his Formula One test for March Grand Prix, Toivonen managed to lap over a second quicker than the team's regular driver. It is often reported that during the 1986 Rally Portugal, he drove his Delta S4 at the Estoril track, and recorded a lap time which would have qualified him in sixth poition at that year's Formula One Portuguese Grand Prix."

That is typical Wikipedia rubbish! I cannot go into detail without digging into old magazines, but it certainly was not suggested at the time that Henri might have beaten any target time (Boesel's?) in his F1 test. And none of the 1986 Rally Portugal stages took place over the Estoril circuit.
Still, Henri certainly did have potential. Eddie Jordan said in an interview that he was sure Henri would have become a GP-winner if he'd commited to F1.

Edited by proviz, 27 August 2009 - 07:16.


#31 Kingsleyrob

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 08:26

That is typical Wikipedia rubbish!

Thought it might be. I'm rather sad to say that I never automatically believe anything I read anywhere these days. Except on TNF of course... ;)  ;)

Rob :wave:


#32 proviz

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 10:24

Exactly...!