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Notable losing-streaks


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#1 ryan86

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 22:58

A discussion elsewhere about how there is comparatively few winners in GP racings. Indeed during my near 27 years alive, there's only been 33 winners and half a dozen or so of those had their final win before I became interested in the sport. Which got me thinking, despite these the majority of the field being relatively high achiving in their field, some of them don't actually win much in their career or go through years and years of not standing on top of the podium of any event, especially now they do very little extra-curricular activities.

For instance, the last time Nick Heidfeld finished any race in 1st place was back in July 1999 at an F3000 event in A1 GP. A decade or so toiling away in the midfield of GP racing produced 8 2nd places, but no wins.

In the autumn of 1985, Michele Alboreto was dreaming of World Championship glory. The next time he won a race appears to be Le Mans in 1997, over 11 years later.

I'm sure a large majority of competitors, especially in club events, may never win a race in their entire "careers", or guys that used to compete at the back of NASCAR or BTCC for season after season, so I'm wondering, any notable streaks for drivers that got near the top of the racing tree, but didn't actually win anything for long periods.

Edited by ryan86, 03 April 2013 - 23:00.


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#2 Ray Bell

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 23:21

I hope we don't hear too much about Chris Amon here...

Winner of the 1969 NZ and Australian Grands Prix etc.

Wasn't Riccardo Patrese a long-time non-winner? Jo Bonnier?

#3 ryan86

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 23:48

Bonnier appears to have had many sportscar victories during the 60's.

Patrese has a 6 and a half year gap between S. Africa 1983 and San Marino 1990, which I believe is the largest gap between GP victories. I don't think he competed or won in anything else during that period.

Edited by ryan86, 03 April 2013 - 23:48.


#4 arttidesco

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 00:43

Patrese has a 6 and a half year gap between S. Africa 1983 and San Marino 1990, which I believe is the largest gap between GP victories. I don't think he competed or won in anything else during that period.


Despite driving for BMW and Alfa Romeo powered F1 teams Ricardo had a regular ride with Lancia in their Group C team winning the shortened Spa 1000kms in 1985 with Mauro Baldi and "Brilliant" Bob Wollek.

PS forgot Ricardo also won the 1984 Kyalami 1000 kms with Alessandro Nannini in the Dunlop shod '84 Lancia LC2  ;)

Edited by arttidesco, 04 April 2013 - 00:48.


#5 Barry Boor

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 05:52

I seem to recall starting a thread many years ago called 'Yes, but did he actually win anything?'

You'll find it here.

#6 ryan86

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 20:28

Despite driving for BMW and Alfa Romeo powered F1 teams Ricardo had a regular ride with Lancia in their Group C team winning the shortened Spa 1000kms in 1985 with Mauro Baldi and "Brilliant" Bob Wollek.

PS forgot Ricardo also won the 1984 Kyalami 1000 kms with Alessandro Nannini in the Dunlop shod '84 Lancia LC2 ;)


Thanks. :)

Maybe not a front-running driver, but de Cesaris win anything after 1980?

#7 Les

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 22:50

Nick Heidfeld won a Formula 3000 race at the A1/Osterreichring in 1999. To date it was his last win...

#8 arttidesco

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 23:33

Thanks. :)

Maybe not a front-running driver, but de Cesaris win anything after 1980?


First pole for an Alfa Romeo in Formula One at Long Beach in 1982.... since 1952.

Holds record for most Championship Formula One starts, 208, without a win.



#9 Andretti Fan

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 01:48

Dick Simon started 183 champcar races without a victory. Not sure, but off the top of my head I'm not aware of his winning any sportscar, atlantic, F5000 or other races during his career,

#10 jcbc3

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 05:35

I always found it fascinating that Mark Webber got to F1 without ever winning a championship in any category. And still hasn't.

#11 john aston

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 06:42

Hmm- I think there are plenty of drivers who only really found their real potential when they got into a GP car- Damon Hill, Nigel Mansell and Jean Alesi to name but three. All of whom were on the radar but had not come over as special(and yes- I think Alesi was just that ). And then you have the Jan Magnussen and Dave Walker syndrome- stellar(copyright M Brundle ) lower down and underwhelming at the top.

Edited by john aston, 08 April 2013 - 06:43.


#12 Ray Bell

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 06:47

Originally posted by jcbc3
I always found it fascinating that Mark Webber got to F1 without ever winning a championship in any category. And still hasn't.


He did win races, though...

And he's won in F1 too. I think this is the first time 'championships' have been mentioned in this thread.


#13 Duc-Man

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 08:37

I might be mistaken...
Didn't Niki Lauda win one of his worldchampionships without winning a single race that year?
Not winning doesn't equal losing or being not succesful.

Reading the title I thought more about drivers with lots of bad luck and DNFs.

#14 Tim Murray

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 08:53

I might be mistaken...
Didn't Niki Lauda win one of his worldchampionships without winning a single race that year?

No. His three championships were won with 5, 3 and 5 wins respectively. No-one has yet become World Champion without winning at least one race in doing so.

#15 arttidesco

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 09:00

I might be mistaken...
Didn't Niki Lauda win one of his worldchampionships without winning a single race that year?
Not winning doesn't equal losing or being not succesful.

Reading the title I thought more about drivers with lots of bad luck and DNFs.


Niki won 5 races in '75 and '84 and 3 in '77 his Championship years.

Hmm- I think there are plenty of drivers who only really found their real potential when they got into a GP car- Jean Alesi


Won 3 races in the 1989 F3000 championship one more than Eric Comas with whom he was tied on points at the top of the championship.

Edited by arttidesco, 09 April 2013 - 10:47.


#16 Duc-Man

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 09:46

So I was mistaken then on Niki Lauda on winning.

I checked on this though: Volker Strycek and Eric van de Poele won their DTM titles without a victory in the season.

#17 Barry Boor

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 09:49

Perhaps in some instances, Bernie's medal method has some merit then.

#18 Ray Bell

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 10:19

Duc-Man, it was Keke Rosberg who almost won the title without winning a race...

He eventually got a win, however, but it was looking for all the world like he would get the championship without a victory.

#19 ensign14

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 10:21

So I was mistaken then on Niki Lauda on winning.

He might have won the British F2 championship in 1971 without a race-win. Certainly won the title.

Pedro Diniz never won a race in his entire career.

Some kudos to Dale Coyne - his first win came at something like his 550th attempt after 25 years. Michael Waltrip wasn't far off that.

James Hylton's NASCAR career after his Dega 72 victory went on fairly constantly to 1995 and then a one-off in 2007. Something like 300 races since his last win. Dick Brooks had 254 after his one win; as an owner Junie Donlavey had around 400.

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#20 Tim Murray

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 10:45

He might have won the British F2 championship in 1971 without a race-win. Certainly won the title.

1972, and he won at Oulton Park on Good Friday

#21 arttidesco

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 11:12

Some kudos to Dale Coyne - his first win came at something like his 550th attempt after 25 years. Michael Waltrip wasn't far off that.


It took Mikey 462 Cup races to break his Cup duck :smoking:



#22 E.B.

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 14:38

I might be mistaken...
Didn't Niki Lauda win one of his worldchampionships without winning a single race that year?


He did win the 1984 title without winning any pole positions - maybe that is the reason for the confusion?

I think Denny Hulme was the only other world champion that didn't win a pole in his title season.


#23 lustigson

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 07:07

I distinctly remember Roberto Moreno winning the Cleveland CART race in July 2000, after lastly winning the Birmingham F3000 Superprix in 1988. That's roughly 12 years.

Same goes for Jos Verstappen who lastly took victory at Hockenheim in the 1993 German F3 final, and subsequently winning the South African A1GP round in January 2006. That's also some 12 years.

#24 Henri Greuter

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 07:28

I might be mistaken...
Didn't Niki Lauda win one of his worldchampionships without winning a single race that year?
Not winning doesn't equal losing or being not succesful.

Reading the title I thought more about drivers with lots of bad luck and DNFs.



The two titles I recall being won by drivers without winning a single race are;

1958 Tony Bettenhausen and 1978 Tom Sneva becoming USAC champion (forerunner of CART).

Henri


#25 lustigson

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 07:30

The two titles I recall being won by drivers without winning a single race are;

1958 Tony Bettenhausen and 1978 Tom Sneva becoming USAC champion (forerunner of CART).

Henri


That's interesting, about Sneva. I see on Wikipedia that he did take 7 poles from 18 races. Only Ongais had more (8).

#26 Henri Greuter

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 09:22

That's interesting, about Sneva. I see on Wikipedia that he did take 7 poles from 18 races. Only Ongais had more (8).



Even more curious. I can't recall why but despite the championship, Sneva was fired after the 1978 season!


henri

#27 lustigson

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 09:34

Even more curious. I can't recall why but despite the championship, Sneva was fired after the 1978 season!


Curious, indeed.

Wikipedia — my source of choice for almost anything ;-) — has an interesting piece on why Penske fired Tom Sneva, quoting Robin Miller:

He was the first man to break the 200 mph barrier at Indianapolis and the first back-to-back national champion to be fired. He [...] managed to get sideways with A.J. Foyt, Johnny Rutherford and both Unser brothers during his career. Mechanics [...] wanted to strangle him because he was never satisfied with the chassis. [...] even though he captured the USAC title in '77 and '78, Penske didn't like drivers who thought outside the box or freely gave their opinion so he fired the national champion.



#28 arttidesco

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 10:49

Penske didn't like drivers who thought outside the box or freely gave their opinion so he fired the national champion.

Maybe The Captain thought one man in the team looking for the unfair advantage was enough ? :drunk:

#29 Jim Thurman

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 05:45

Dick Simon started 183 champcar races without a victory. Not sure, but off the top of my head I'm not aware of his winning any sportscar, atlantic, F5000 or other races during his career,

Though in his short track days, Simon was a winner in super modifieds. Since small ovals were often the route to larger series in that era, that counts as a "ladder" for the time.

#30 Jim Thurman

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 05:59

Curious, indeed.

Wikipedia — my source of choice for almost anything ;-) — has an interesting piece on why Penske fired Tom Sneva, quoting Robin Miller: Penske didn't like drivers who thought outside the box or freely gave their opinion so he fired the national champion.

That's a Readers Digest version and putting a positive spin on it. In other words, something from an induction speech. There was an outstanding magazine article on Sneva in the mid-90's where he bluntly admitted he had a big mouth and that was what led to his dismissal from Team Penske. He took full blame. He said he complained about things he thought the Penske team could improve on. He added that it wasn't until he drove for other teams that he realized Team Penske did even those things better than other teams.

Where's Nigel Beresford when you need him?

#31 Henri Greuter

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 07:26

That's a Readers Digest version and putting a positive spin on it. In other words, something from an induction speech. There was an outstanding magazine article on Sneva in the mid-90's where he bluntly admitted he had a big mouth and that was what led to his dismissal from Team Penske. He took full blame. He said he complained about things he thought the Penske team could improve on. He added that it wasn't until he drove for other teams that he realized Team Penske did even those things better than other teams.



Not so strange indeed. When Sneva was with Penske they had won Indy only once; '72 Donohue. It was just after he left that the boatload of Indy victories for Penske began: the hard work of the years before finally bearing fruit.
You might forgive Sneva for feeling things could be done better in his days but with hindsight.....

Another driver who really never understood what he had in hands was Gary Bettenhausen. Had he listened to Roger and gave up the dirt tracks etc.
But I fear that this comment will earn me the eternal hate of a number of dirttrack fans.....

Henri

Edited by Henri Greuter, 10 April 2013 - 07:28.


#32 Bob Riebe

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 22:00

Dick Simon won the 1969 Continental Divide Formula A race.