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#1 smarty

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Posted 27 November 1999 - 09:07

I was looking at the Autocourse F1 Annual of '93, there I noticed in the small CART section that Emerson Fittipaldi was 47 years old and Mario Andretti was 53. Both were still driving and successful. It seemed so strange to me when compared to today's F1. Only young drivers are able to compete today and elders are forced to quit. Maybe it can be explained by the difference between F1 and CART.

Question came to my mind that who were the oldest drivers in the history of F1? Were they also successful? Who were the latest oldsters in the history? anyone in '80s or '90s?

many thanks,

smarty

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#2 Uncle Davy

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Posted 27 November 1999 - 09:28

Not sure of the oldest F1 driver, but Fangio stands out as being successful late in life (relatively speaking), winning his fifth WDC at the age of 46.

CART has undergone a dramatic shift in participant demographics since 1993...I think that the international exposure it received when The Nige jumped ship from F1 attracted a larger audience as well as the attention of a new generation of drivers (and sponsors) who saw CART as an alternative, or a stepping stone, to F1.
As a result, CART became more competitive and less of an old road racers' retirement home. The Old Man of CART (since Bobby Rahal retired and Scott Pruett has moved over to NASCAR) is Michael Andretti, at the tender age of 37!


#3 Joe Fan

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Posted 27 November 1999 - 09:39

Here are the top ten oldest drivers to start a Grand Prix:

1) Louis Chiron 55 years 292 days 1955 Monaco GP
2) Philippe Etancelin 55 years 190 days 1952 French GP
3) Arthur Legat 54 years 232 days 1953 Belgian GP
4) Luigi Fagioli 53 years 21 days 1951 French GP
5) Adolf Brudes 52 years 292 days 1952 German GP
6) Hans Stuck 52 years 260 days 1953 Italian GP
7) Bill Aston 52 years 127 days 1952 German GP
8) Clemente Biondetti 51 years 319 days 1950 Italian GP
9) Marcel Balsa 51 years 206 days 1952 German GP
10) Louis Rosier 50 years 273 days 1956 German GP

Here are ten of the oldest drivers to win a Grand Prix:

1) Luigi Fagioli 53 years 21 days 1951 French GP
2) Guiseppe Farina 46 years 277 days 1953 German GP
3) Juan Manual Fangio 46 years 42 days 1957 German GP
4) Piero Taruffi 45 years 219 days 1952 Swiss GP
5) Jack Brabham 43 years 339 days 1970 South African GP
6) Nigel Mansell 41 years 96 days 1994 Australian GP
7) Maurice Trintigant 40 years 199 days 1958 Monaco GP
8) Graham Hill 40 years 91 days 1969 Monaco GP
9) Clay Regazzoni 39 years 312 days 1979 British GP
10) Carlos Reutemann 39 years 35 days 1981 Belgian GP



[This message has been edited by Joe Fan (edited 11-27-1999).]

#4 Don Capps

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Posted 27 November 1999 - 11:15

Remember these refer to only CHAMPIONSHIP events....not to GP events outside the WDC.

------------------
Yr fthfl & hmbl srvnt,

Don Capps




#5 Keith Steele

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Posted 28 November 1999 - 07:43

Well since I dont know, I will go ahead and ask. Which generation of Hans Stuck is racing in the ALMS? I see Joe Fan has Hans Stuck listed as the winner of an event in 53'. Are these two father and son?

#6 Don Capps

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Posted 28 November 1999 - 08:51

Keith,

Correct about father & son:

Hans Stuck, Sr. started racing in 1924 and ran his last race in 1963. He won the 1934 German GP for Auto Union as well as the Swiss & Czech races. In 1935 he won the Italian GP. He died in 1978

Hans Stuck, Jr. won the Endurance Drivers' Championship in 1985 & 1986 and Le Mans in 1986 & 1987. He drove for March in 1974-1976 when they were generally a shamble. Then he did Brabham in 1977 after Carlos Pace was killed (light aircraft crash), Shadow 1978, and ATS in 1979. In my opinion he was just snake-bit. Wrong place at the wrong time.

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Yr fthfl & hmbl srvnt,

Don Capps




#7 Keith Steele

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Posted 29 November 1999 - 03:19

Thanks Don, I have been following Hans jr for years and hadnt known anything of his father. This place rocks! :)

#8 Duane

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Posted 29 November 1999 - 08:18

Wasn't Hans Stuck sr. also Auto Unions hill climb specialist - I remember reading he had a nickname like 'bergenmeister' or something like that!?


#9 Grano

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Posted 29 November 1999 - 08:55

About this age thing still. Do you think the races become too physical and the drivers loose out in reaction time so that affects them or do you just think its a motivational problem? I think it is more a motivational problem when a guy like Hill suddenly looses everything. I´d think that you physically could be up there with the best well into your 40´s at least. Any comments?

#10 smarty

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Posted 29 November 1999 - 22:39

Grano, I was thinking of the same question. I don't believe that racing is getting more physically demanding because race conditions (cars, tracks, safety regulations, etc.) were much difficult to adapt at older times. It's "at least" as same as the past. But motivation may be the key. As the drivers are able to make their wealth much earlier than the past, they also retire earlier, IMHO.

#11 FlagMan

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Posted 30 November 1999 - 00:38

Its probably got a lot to due with the additional work load that modern drivers have to submit too - much more testing, travelling, sponsor obligations etc. In the past most drivers just turned up and drove.
Of course they also found time to driver other things - like in the support races for the GPs - but that may have been the only way to make a living.


#12 arttidesco

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 18:48

Slightly off topic Paul Newman aged 80 raced in the 2005 24 hours at Daytona in a Crawford DP3 Q13 DNF with Sébastien Bourdais (F)/Cristiano da Matta (BR)/Paul Newman (USA)/Mike Brockman (USA)

http://www.racingspo...5-02-06-079.jpg

Notice the +1 next to the #79 in the picture of Paul Newman driving at in the Rolex 24 06 02 05


http://www.hershelmc...-car-August.jpg

Herschel McGriff, winner of the very first Carrera Panamerica in 1950, raced in a regional NASCAR series last year aged 81 coming in 13th ! And has plans to race one race this year :-)


John Fitch aged 92 recently got a credit in The Deadliest Crash (Documentary) as a stunt driver !

Drivers don't get old they bulk up tighter and drive even faster !

Edited by arttidesco, 20 May 2010 - 18:51.


#13 HistoryFan

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 17:32

Here are ten of the oldest drivers to win a Grand Prix:

1) Luigi Fagioli 53 years 21 days 1951 French GP
2) Guiseppe Farina 46 years 277 days 1953 German GP
3) Juan Manual Fangio 46 years 42 days 1957 German GP
4) Piero Taruffi 45 years 219 days 1952 Swiss GP
5) Jack Brabham 43 years 339 days 1970 South African GP
6) Nigel Mansell 41 years 96 days 1994 Australian GP
7) Maurice Trintigant 40 years 199 days 1958 Monaco GP
8) Graham Hill 40 years 91 days 1969 Monaco GP
9) Clay Regazzoni 39 years 312 days 1979 British GP
10) Carlos Reutemann 39 years 35 days 1981 Belgian GP


But what about if we also count Pre-war-GP-races?

Jules Goux perhaps was 48 when he won the European Grand Prix in 1926.

#14 David McKinney

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 17:41

41, according to Wikipedia

Chiron would have been 49 when he won the 1949 French GP

#15 Tim Murray

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 17:49

Ferdinando Minoia won the 1931 European Championship at the age of 47 (although of course not winning any of the races counting towards the championship).

#16 Tim Murray

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 21:48

Here are the top ten oldest drivers to start a Grand Prix:

1) Louis Chiron 55 years 292 days 1955 Monaco GP
2) Philippe Etancelin 55 years 190 days 1952 French GP
3) Arthur Legat 54 years 232 days 1953 Belgian GP
4) Luigi Fagioli 53 years 21 days 1951 French GP
5) Adolf Brudes 52 years 292 days 1952 German GP
6) Hans Stuck 52 years 260 days 1953 Italian GP
7) Bill Aston 52 years 127 days 1952 German GP
8) Clemente Biondetti 51 years 319 days 1950 Italian GP
9) Marcel Balsa 51 years 206 days 1952 German GP
10) Louis Rosier 50 years 273 days 1956 German GP

Balsa's birthday is often listed as 1st January 1901, but our own ReWind and Richard Jenkins (among others) are agreed that it was really 1st January 1909. This would make him only 43 when he took part in the 1952 German GP.

#17 Stephen W

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 09:09

Wasn't Hans Stuck sr. also Auto Unions hill climb specialist - I remember reading he had a nickname like 'bergenmeister' or something like that!?


Also a master of wet weather racing.

#18 David McKinney

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 09:23

No more than most of his contemporaries, I would have thought, and not as much as Caracciola

#19 HistoryFan

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 14:57

New list of oldest GP winners also included non-championship races since 1906:

Luigi Fagioli (ITA) Frankreich GP 1951 (Alfa Romeo): 53 Jahre
Philippe Etancelin (FRA) Paris GP 1949 (Talbot Lago): 52 Jahre
Louis Chiron (MON) Frankreich GP 1949 (Talbot Lago): 49 Jahre
Benoit Falchetto (FRA) Picardie GP 1934 (Maserati): 48 Jahre
Juan-Manuel Fangio (ARG) Deutschland GP 1957 (Maserati): 46 Jahre
Giuseppe Farina (ITA) Deutschland GP 1953 (Ferrari): 46 Jahre
Louis Rosier (FRA) Albi GP 1952 (Ferrari): 46 Jahre
Piero Taruffi (ITA) Schweiz GP 1952 (Ferrari): 45 Jahre
Marcel Lehoux (FRA) Dieppe GP 1933 (Bugatti): 45 Jahre
Louis Wagner (FRA) Großbritannien GP 1926 (Delage): 44 Jahre


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#20 kayemod

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 15:30

No more than most of his contemporaries, I would have thought, and not as much as Caracciola


Agreed, and Rosemeyer wasn't far behind, especially so considering the cars he drove.


#21 David McKinney

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 16:27

I was going to throw him in as well, but he was better known as Nebelmeister to Caracciola's Regenmeister

And if you want to look at late '30s races in detail, you'll see Seaman could match Caracciola in the wet...


History Fan:
If' you're going to include non-championship non-F1 races, you'd better throw in Ken Smith, winner of the 2004 New Zealand Grand Prix at the age of 51

#22 Roger Clark

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 16:36

I think that Rosemeyer's Nebelmeister nickname came from his performance in the 1936 Eifelrennen, run in wet and misty conditions. Did he win any other races in poor conditions?

#23 Roger Clark

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 16:45

And if you want to look at late '30s races in detail, you'll see Seaman could match Caracciola in the wet...

On the basis of Berne 1938 perhaps, but inclined to go a little too fast for the conditions?

#24 David McKinney

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 17:21

... not until Spa

#25 Tim Murray

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 17:41

New list of oldest GP winners also included non-championship races since 1906:

Luigi Fagioli (ITA) Frankreich GP 1951 (Alfa Romeo): 53 Jahre
Philippe Etancelin (FRA) Paris GP 1949 (Talbot Lago): 52 Jahre
Louis Chiron (MON) Frankreich GP 1949 (Talbot Lago): 49 Jahre
Benoit Falchetto (FRA) Picardie GP 1934 (Maserati): 48 Jahre
Juan-Manuel Fangio (ARG) Deutschland GP 1957 (Maserati): 46 Jahre
Giuseppe Farina (ITA) Deutschland GP 1953 (Ferrari): 46 Jahre
Louis Rosier (FRA) Albi GP 1952 (Ferrari): 46 Jahre
Piero Taruffi (ITA) Schweiz GP 1952 (Ferrari): 45 Jahre
Marcel Lehoux (FRA) Dieppe GP 1933 (Bugatti): 45 Jahre
Louis Wagner (FRA) Großbritannien GP 1926 (Delage): 44 Jahre

Rosier repeated his victory in this race in 1953, at the age of 47.

#26 kayemod

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 19:54

... not until Spa


Dare I suggest that that comment is in rather dubious taste David?


#27 Ray Bell

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 22:26

Originally posted by David McKinney
.....History Fan:
If' you're going to include non-championship non-F1 races, you'd better throw in Ken Smith, winner of the 2004 New Zealand Grand Prix at the age of 51


You don't expect him to believe '61'?

Born August, 1942...

#28 David McKinney

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 05:48

Whoops - yes, 61

(This damned millennium has messed up my mental arithmetic on dates :lol: )

#29 Ray Bell

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 11:04

And they say Formula Ford is for young folk...

Whoops! Did I say that?

#30 ryan86

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 18:16

I wonder if at the time this thread was started they expected 2xWDC Michael Schumacher and 1st season rookie de la Rosa still be in F1 into their 40's.

And if last weekend was anything to go by, it's not inconceivable for Schumacher to take a leap up this table.

#31 Samas M.

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 14:58

And they say Formula Ford is for young folk...

Whoops! Did I say that?


Whoops - yes, 61

(This damned millennium has messed up my mental arithmetic on dates :lol: )



OK, not a Grand Prix winner but ...

Posted Image

Tommy Reid at Kirkistown on 26 May 2012. Not at the sharp end of the field any more but still far from last. Earlier in the day (before I arrived at the track unfortunately) he had been playing with the ex-works (Derek Daly/ICI) Chevron B42.

Posted Image

Quite a long time ago Tommy told me that having turned 65 he was embarassed to use his Ferrari to go and pick up his pension, so he went on his mountain bike instead! :cool:

Edited to add the quote that I really meant to put at the start! :blush:

Edited by Samas M., 04 June 2012 - 15:52.


#32 HistoryFan

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 11:06

Here are the top ten oldest drivers to start a Grand Prix:

1) Louis Chiron 55 years 292 days 1955 Monaco GP
2) Philippe Etancelin 55 years 190 days 1952 French GP
3) Arthur Legat 54 years 232 days 1953 Belgian GP
4) Luigi Fagioli 53 years 21 days 1951 French GP
5) Adolf Brudes 52 years 292 days 1952 German GP
6) Hans Stuck 52 years 260 days 1953 Italian GP
7) Bill Aston 52 years 127 days 1952 German GP
8) Clemente Biondetti 51 years 319 days 1950 Italian GP
9) Marcel Balsa 51 years 206 days 1952 German GP
10) Louis Rosier 50 years 273 days 1956 German GP


And with Non championship events included?

#33 arttidesco

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 12:28

About this age thing still. Do you think the races become too physical and the drivers loose out in reaction time so that affects them or do you just think its a motivational problem? I think it is more a motivational problem when a guy like Hill suddenly looses everything. I´d think that you physically could be up there with the best well into your 40´s at least. Any comments?


Grahams accident at the 1969 US Grand Prix resulted in two broken legs which led to Chapman, metaphorically, throwing his F1 career under the bus which might explain his sudden drop in performance, but it did not stop him from winning the Le Mans 24 hours in 1972 :smoking:


#34 E.B.

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 12:46

I'm thinking he might have been referring to Damon, especially given the date of the original post.


#35 kayemod

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 12:53

Grahams accident at the 1969 US Grand Prix resulted in two broken legs which led to Chapman, metaphorically, throwing his F1 career under the bus which might explain his sudden drop in performance, but it did not stop him from winning the Le Mans 24 hours in 1972 :smoking:


Colin Chapman gets blamed, usually wrongly, for a lot, but in the case of Hill Sr's legs, he had a good enough understanding of major injuries of this kind to know that Graham would only ever be a shadow of his previous self, and so it proved. He drove very well at Le Mans 72, but the physical requirements there are very different from those needed for a 90 minute plus Grand Prix.


#36 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 12:58

To address the Damon thing and age in general, I think drivers get tired. F1 is very stressful, mainly from the off-track stuff. Which is why I think you saw guys refresh themselves in CART, particularly in the 90s. Yeah it probably wasn't as talent-rich as F1(but it was awfully close at times) but more importantly they were enjoying their racing again.

And this thread isn't complete without a mention of Mark Martin. Whatever you may think of it, NASCAR is *not* easy and at age 54 Martin is still very competitive. And seriously fit.

#37 David Beard

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 15:23

Colin Chapman gets blamed, usually wrongly, for a lot, but in the case of Hill Sr's legs, he had a good enough understanding of major injuries of this kind to know that Graham would only ever be a shadow of his previous self, and so it proved. He drove very well at Le Mans 72, but the physical requirements there are very different from those needed for a 90 minute plus Grand Prix.


I'm sure Graham had gone well off the boil before his accident.

#38 kayemod

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 15:41

I'm sure Graham had gone well off the boil before his accident.


True, and he only ever went reasonable well afterwards at tracks that didn't require a lot of braking, legs are never the same again after that kind of trauma, the sensible thing would have been to retire, at least from F1.


#39 BRG

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 16:38

True, and he only ever went reasonable well afterwards at tracks that didn't require a lot of braking, legs are never the same again after that kind of trauma, the sensible thing would have been to retire, at least from F1.

6th place at Monaco 1970, when he could still barely walk, suggests that this may not be completely the case. I understand that there is a lot of braking, cornering, gear-changing and everything else at Monaco.

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#40 David McKinney

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 17:10

Perhaps he would have finished higher up if his legs had been 100%

#41 kayemod

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 17:15

6th place at Monaco 1970, when he could still barely walk, suggests that this may not be completely the case. I understand that there is a lot of braking, cornering, gear-changing and everything else at Monaco.



Well, sort of true, except that he was 5th not 6th. As was usual at Monaco in those days, not many finishers, and only two not very healthy ones behind Graham, who had himself been lapped.

#42 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 23:42

With the legs thing Mark Webber seems to have done ok after smashed legs.
Kenny Smith is still winning races at over 70,, in F5000. Never an easy car to hang onto. And is beating drivers occasionally nearly 50 years younger.
I am sure Mark Martin is older than that. And still on the pace.
And seldom a winner but Dud Lambert from South Australia was still competing until he was 84. In midgets and midget based categorys. He won the occasional heat!
And made the field at 80 for the Australian Speedcar Title, and finished. And he did all the prep on his cars himself. Though if he had not may have been faster! He started late at around 30. Just finished a little later!
There is many Aussie competitors that have been around a very long time. There is a thread on here about it.

#43 kayemod

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 08:25

With the legs thing Mark Webber seems to have done ok after smashed legs.


True, it doesn't seem to have slowed him down much, but it was 'just' one leg below the knee, and while he had metal rods & screws put in, I doubt if he suffered all that much long-term. It's the upper leg and knee injuries like Graham Hill suffered that usually end careers at the top level. Very few make a complete recovery from bad femoral breaks, your legs are just never the same again.


#44 uechtel

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 12:12

There may have also been some progress in medicine and not to forget in medical rehabilitations during the last decades.

Another example could be Johnnny Herbert. Good result "on paper" at the 1989 US GP could not cover the problems with his legs. He came back quite competitive, but only after a long time of regeneration.

#45 kayemod

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 12:34

There may have also been some progress in medicine and not to forget in medical rehabilitations during the last decades.

Another example could be Johnnny Herbert. Good result "on paper" at the 1989 US GP could not cover the problems with his legs. He came back quite competitive, but only after a long time of regeneration.


He did well considering how badly he was injured, but like the post Watkins Glen Graham Hill, he was at his best on circuits like Silverstone and Monza which require less heavy braking. I saw Johnny at an 'Audience With' a few years ago, and he told us that he still suffered quite a lot from leg pain and lack of strength, that was after he'd more or less retired.

Edited by kayemod, 22 May 2013 - 22:00.


#46 Bob Riebe

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 18:54

Steve Kinser 58

Sammy Swindell 57

Both still winning in sprint cars.