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Racing without a drivers licence


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#1 ADC_28

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Posted 24 December 2005 - 01:15

My question to the forum (and it's my first question, so be gentle) is who, if anyone, has competed in a grand prix without a drivers license.

I believe Anthony Davidson won the FF festival without holding a UK drivers license and I was wondering if anyone had competed at the top level and still had to cadge a lift home.

Did anyone get banned and still compete?

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#2 LittleChris

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Posted 24 December 2005 - 11:44

Ron Haslam rode at high level in bikes without having a road licence as I recall. Eventually he had to take it and fortunately passed !

#3 petefenelon

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Posted 24 December 2005 - 11:50

I seem to recall that at one point being banned from driving on the road
lost you your RAC competition licence - but that Stirling Moss did
several races on a US licence while he was banned in the UK. This may be
entirely wrong, though!

#4 JSF

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Posted 24 December 2005 - 12:01

That is still the case pete.

Colin McRae lost his UK road licence, so had to use a Monaco licence to get his FIA competition licence, during Rally GB his co-driver had to drive the road sections as he was banned from UK roads.

#5 Twin Window

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Posted 24 December 2005 - 12:19

Originally posted by ADC_28

My question to the forum (and it's my first question, so be gentle) is who, if anyone, has competed in a grand prix without a drivers license.

Mike Thackwell. Two years later his was still using a [very badly] forged road licence!



Did anyone get banned and still compete?

Apparently you can't even participate in track days at Brands or Snetterton if you're banned - I learned this just last night, funnily enough.

#6 JSF

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Posted 24 December 2005 - 13:08

You cant at any UK circuit.

#7 ADC_28

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Posted 24 December 2005 - 13:15

Thanks for all the replies.

In terms of the trackday license issue, I think some circuits and trackday companies are more strict than others.

I remember when I was 15 doing a bike trackday at Lydden and no one checking my license (or lack thereof).

But, anyway, interesting about the Monaco fiddle. So if one of the current F1 crop were to be caught speeding in a country that can take their license away (unlike when Montoya was caught in France and just got a hefty fine) would there have to be much legal skullduggery to allow them to compete?

#8 Catalina Park

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Posted 24 December 2005 - 13:23

Australia used to have the rule about "No road licence = No race licence" but it was removed a while back.
If my memory is right, Alan Jones lost his UK road licence but raced with a USA licence.

#9 Ray Bell

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Posted 24 December 2005 - 13:48

Leading to the Enno Buesselmann situation, of course...

#10 Kpy

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Posted 24 December 2005 - 13:59

Originally posted by petefenelon
I seem to recall that at one point being banned from driving on the road
lost you your RAC competition licence - but that Stirling Moss did
several races on a US licence while he was banned in the UK. This may be
entirely wrong, though!

Entirely right, I think. Didn't it involve the Mersey Tunnel and a Triumph Herald?

#11 Twin Window

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Posted 24 December 2005 - 14:21

Originally posted by JSF

You cant at any UK circuit.

Apparently you can at Silverstone and Donington; my newly-banned mate Fat John has been making enquiries.

#12 Catalina Park

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Posted 24 December 2005 - 14:21

Originally posted by Ray Bell
Leading to the Enno Buesselmann situation, of course...

I don't know that one. :

#13 Fiorentina 1

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Posted 24 December 2005 - 16:04

Well, now drivers are getting younger and younger. There's a kid named John Edwards racing Formula Renault who is only 14. He raced Skip Barber 2-Liters in the states when he was 12! :eek: I raced that series almost 10-years ago, and the youngest was 16, a kid from Brazil name Antonio Pizzonia. But 12, is insanne! The kid won races, now he's in Europe with support from Red Bull.

#14 bigears

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Posted 24 December 2005 - 16:15

I recall reading in a recent Autosport magazine that current Champcar driver, Nelson Phillippe's brother Richard Phillippe drove a Champcar in a test sessionat Putnam Park.

He is 15 years old! :eek:

#15 JSF

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Posted 24 December 2005 - 16:19

Originally posted by Twin Window
Apparently you can at Silverstone and Donington; my newly-banned mate Fat John has been making enquiries.


Donington require you to present a road licence or MSA competition licence on their trackdays. Silverstone did when i last used that circuit too.

#16 PRD

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Posted 24 December 2005 - 17:09

Originally posted by Kpy

Entirely right, I think. Didn't it involve the Mersey Tunnel and a Triumph Herald?


That's correct- read about it in a Motor Sport acquired via e-bay. :up:

SM was grassed up for changing lanes in the Mersey Tunnel which was verboten and was banned for a short time. WB was incensed and wrote a furious editorial about the incident and included the name and address of the person who reported Moss to the authorities

Paul

#17 KJJ

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Posted 24 December 2005 - 17:31

Just to get the facts straight, Stirling was fined £10 for the Mersey tunnel incident which occurred on 13th August 1959. The 12 month ban was imposed by the Shropshire Quarter Sessions on 13th April 1960 for an incident of dangerous driving at Chetwynd, near Newport in Shropshire on 29th September 1959.

#18 scheivlak

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Posted 24 December 2005 - 18:14

Jan Lammers started racing at 16 - two years before he could get a driver's licence http://www.janlammer....pbaanindex.xsl

#19 scheivlak

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Posted 24 December 2005 - 18:35

Remembered some recent cases, searched around and found this one: http://www.thecourie...5E23770,00.html
"Fisichella, who has a special racing licence that will allow him to continue racing, is only the latest in a long list of Formula One drivers who have been unable to resist the urge to speed away from the track.

These include Colombia's Juan Pablo Montoya, Germany's Ralf Schumacher and Britain's Jenson Button. Before them, Nelson Piquet, Nigel Mansell and Derek Warwick also made the headlines for practising their driving abilities in the wrong place.

Perhaps the biggest offender in this category is France's Rene' Arnoux, who in January of 1987 was caught speeding at 242km/h in a 90km/h area."

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#20 Vitesse2

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Posted 24 December 2005 - 21:02

I'm pretty sure Pedro Rodriguez only had a Mexican motorbike licence at the start of his career: and didn't he lie about his age to get a racing licence?

ISTR some story about Jenson Button having to learn Melbourne from the passenger seat of a taxi, because he was too young to drive in Australia?

#21 Ray Bell

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Posted 24 December 2005 - 22:06

Minimum age for a licence in Australia is 17... I don't think any states have raised that...

Originally posted by Catalina Park

Originally posted by Ray Bell
Leading to the Enno Buesselmann situation, of course...



I don't know that one.


Knowing, as I'm sure you do, the predeliction the NSW Government has for dealing out speeding tickets and tallying up pointscores and depriving people of their driving licences, I'd have thought you'd understand...

Enno was so keen on racing that he never drove on the road. Just to maintain his driver's licence. His brother, Udo, drove him everywhere.

#22 Catalina Park

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Posted 25 December 2005 - 09:12

Which of the Kelly brothers was doing nasty things trying to take the lead at Bathurst in a Formula Ford in 1996/7 when he was about 15? (thinks, must be Todd because Rick still looks like he is 15)

#23 Ray Bell

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Posted 25 December 2005 - 10:11

Not sure which one it was, but he was young... very young...

One wag in the pits, watching it on the TV monitor, heard someone comment about how many chances he was taking. "Oh, he's young yet," he said, "he hasn't yet learned how bad hospital food is."

#24 petefenelon

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Posted 25 December 2005 - 13:03

Come to think of it, there's also the entire "T-cars" mess in the UK -- a formula (Sonny Howard spaceframe cars with vague saloon-car lookalike panelling and a sealed 1.6 engine) for zit-faced Formula Pushy Dad teenagers to learn bad racing habits and poor manners, while at the same time scowling at anyone trying to interview them.

I think Tom Boardman is the most notable graduate of it.

#25 Cirrus

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Posted 25 December 2005 - 14:05

Tom Pryce didn't have a road licence at the time of his F1 debut at the '74 International Trophy, if I'm not mistaken - he'd lost it through speeding.

It didn't stop him driving the Token Racing truck to Silverstone from Walton, though!

#26 Rainer Nyberg

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Posted 26 December 2005 - 15:17

Eddie Cheever must have been underage and licence-less when he raced in British F3 in 1975?

I don't know what the minimum age was in Italy in the 1970's though...

#27 D-Type

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Posted 26 December 2005 - 17:08

Originally posted by Rainer Nyberg
Eddie Cheever must have been underage and licence-less when he raced in British F3 in 1975?

I don't know what the minimum age was in Italy in the 1970's though...

Steve Small gives Eddie's birthday as 10 Jan 1958 so he would have been 17 in 1975, old enough to hold a British driving licence; whether he did have one is another question, though.

#28 WGD706

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Posted 26 December 2005 - 18:54

Didn't David Loring have a problem being too young to drive/race in the US, so he went to Canada or the UK instead until he was old enough to get a licence in the States?

#29 Dracula

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 10:33

Evgeniy Novikov, 15 years old, has won last weekend rally Vyatka, first round of Russian Rally Cup of 2006! :up:

#30 Patrick Fletcher

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 11:25

Australian Super Bike Champ - Krusty Fergusson got his bike road licence last month - been racing since maybe 1998?
10 year old Oscar P. can do 70's at a track near by on 80cc Spanish Metrakit - good road R1 time is 62sec. - most of the day punters with the full road licence are around 75sec. to 100sec.
............. young Oscar has to wait another 7 years to be able to ride on a road. At this stage he just wants to race so I do not think that he is concerned.

#31 Ray Bell

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 11:47

Is that Ferguson or Fergusson?

#32 Patrick Fletcher

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 12:03

:blush: Fergusson - for sure, Ray

#33 Arturo Pereira

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 12:25

Juan Manuel Fangio got his 1st argentine drivers licence in the early ´60s.

#34 Ray Bell

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 12:43

Originally posted by Patrick Fletcher
:blush: Fergusson - for sure, Ray


Presumably related to Ian and Morrie?

Originally posted by Arturo Pereira
Juan Manuel Fangio got his 1st argentine drivers licence in the early ´60s.


Was there a reason for this? For instance, was there no standard licensing? Did he hold a road licence elsewhere?

#35 Arturo Pereira

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 14:02

Originally posted by Ray Bell


Was there a reason for this? For instance, was there no standard licensing? Did he hold a road licence elsewhere?


According to what Fangio said in the book he wrote with Roberto Carozzo, he learned to drive in the country in the late 20s, where driver licences´use was not very extended. He became very famous in the late 30s racing Turismo de Carreteras, next he participated in some of the late 40s Temporadas and then came Europe and 5 Drivers World Championships. When he returned to Argentina after his retirement from F1, he said he was stopped in the roads by the police sometimes, but after recognizing him as Fangio himself, I guess the policemen thought it was not a priority to ask him for a drivers licence but an autograph. Fangio said he had to get one when he had to visit Brazil in the early 60s.

#36 AlesiUK

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 15:58

Originally posted by ADC_28
[B]I believe Anthony Davidson won the FF festival without holding a UK drivers license [B]

Pretty sure that wasnt the case, Ant had his road license when he was 17 or 18 and didnt win the festival until 99 when he would be 20.

#37 Ray Bell

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 20:43

Originally posted by Arturo Pereira
According to what Fangio said in the book he wrote with Roberto Carozzo, he learned to drive in the country in the late 20s, where driver licences´use was not very extended. He became very famous in the late 30s racing Turismo de Carreteras, next he participated in some of the late 40s Temporadas and then came Europe and 5 Drivers World Championships. When he returned to Argentina after his retirement from F1, he said he was stopped in the roads by the police sometimes, but after recognizing him as Fangio himself, I guess the policemen thought it was not a priority to ask him for a drivers licence but an autograph. Fangio said he had to get one when he had to visit Brazil in the early 60s.


This means, then, that (providing he never obtained a driver's licence in some other country) he's always driven without a licence up to the early sixties?

Is it possible, however, that when he left Argentina he got one of those international licences?

#38 Arturo Pereira

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 20:48

This means, then, that (providing he never obtained a driver's licence in some other country) he's always driven without a licence up to the early sixties?



Right, at least if we talk about an Argentine licence.


Is it possible, however, that when he left Argentina he got one of those international licences?



I do not know but I doubt he would have been driving on European roads without a proper drivers licence.

#39 kayemod

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 21:23

Originally posted by Arturo Pereira
I do not know but I doubt Fangio would have been driving on European roads without a proper drivers licence.


Well, certainly no policeman was going to stop him and ask, ".... and who do you think you are, Nigel Mansell?"

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#40 Ray Bell

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 22:02

I think it's possible that he would have had an 'international licence'... and that this would have sufficed for his purposes during his life in Europe...

These licences are issued by the ACN, not by the governments. Ostensibly, you can't get one without an official licence, but those were different times (ie. more 'relaxed' times) and I can see it being possible that (a) it was commonplace for people in some areas not to have licences (as described by the quote from the book posted by Arturo), and (b) that the ACN wouldn't have worried about such a formality because they were sending their best man off to represent them.

As an example, I know a man who never sat for a licence test. He went into the army during the war licenceless, but was soon driving Jeeps around. His CO realised that he never had a licence one day, but because he'd been satisfactorily driving Jeeps around for some time he simply wrote an army licence out for him. On his return to civilian life, he simply presented his army licence and obtained a civilian licence.

These things happened... there are many stories of licences being given to people under similar circumstances, I can even picture Fangio raising eyebrows when obtaining his 'international licence'... "And what is your driver's licence number?" "I don't have one!" "Oh... oh.. kay... well, you've got one now!"

#41 tintin

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Posted 30 December 2005 - 21:33

Originally posted by petefenelon
Come to think of it, there's also the entire "T-cars" mess in the UK...
I think Tom Boardman is the most notable graduate of it.


Tom Chilton is probably more notable - he became the youngest ever winner of a Touring car race in 2004 and youngest ever winner of an international sportscar race this year.

Of course Formula BMW puts underage drivers in single-seaters: The first FBMW race in the UK was won by Simon Walker-Hansell, who was 15 at the time.

#42 ghinzani

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Posted 06 January 2006 - 16:24

Alex Barros anyone? 15 when he started racing bike GP's (albeit 80cc class). I always was under the impression you could start racing (in the 70's/80's) in Australia and New Zealand at 15 (Formula Vee, FF etc), and at age 16 in Canada and France? I also believe 15 years old raced in Formula K in Mexico. I would probably guess similar young 'un's could slip by in places like Malaysia/Indonesia/India etc??

#43 petefenelon

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Posted 06 January 2006 - 17:09

Originally posted by tintin


Tom Chilton is probably more notable - he became the youngest ever winner of a Touring car race in 2004 and youngest ever winner of an international sportscar race this year.

Of course Formula BMW puts underage drivers in single-seaters: The first FBMW race in the UK was won by Simon Walker-Hansell, who was 15 at the time.


Must say that Tom C's always struck me as a "proper" racing driver, not a brat - nice chap and damn quick.

#44 Twin Window

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Posted 06 January 2006 - 17:11

Originally posted by ghinzani

I would probably guess similar young 'un's could slip by in places like Malaysia/Indonesia/India etc??

Are you Gary Glitter?

#45 ghinzani

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Posted 06 January 2006 - 17:27

Originally posted by Twin Window
Are you Gary Glitter?


Why, do you want 5 grand? :rotfl:

Seriously I'm sure I heard about some young kid racing in the FA championship in the late 70's against Albert Poon et al

#46 Berner

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Posted 06 January 2006 - 20:42

Pretty sure Greg Moore ventured from British Columbia to Quebec so he could run FF one year earlier.

#47 Don Speekingleesh

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Posted 06 January 2006 - 20:50

This fella is pretty young:

In October of 2003, John Edwards became the youngest licensed driver to compete in U.S. open-wheel road racing. Shortly thereafter, on January 17, 2004 John won his first race at Daytona International Speedway while competing in the Skip Barber Formula Dodge Race Series, an open-wheel road racing first; John was 12 years of age.


He's one of the Red Bull supported drivers now.

#48 Graham Clayton

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Posted 24 July 2009 - 04:39

Minimum age for a licence in Australia is 17... I don't think any states have raised that...


Brooke Tatnell started his sprintcar career at the Liverpool Speedway in Sydney in December 1987 at the age of 16.




#49 JtP1

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Posted 24 July 2009 - 10:18

I know of someone who regulaly did the Scottish 6 days motor cycle trial without a bike licence. He started competing when there was no capacity limit on riding a bike on a provisional licence. When they introduced capacity limits he just kept riding his 325cc bike and nobody thought to ask for a licence as he had been doing it that long. Someone even used a photo of him falling off on a section during the 6 days in a motorcycle book.

#50 Doug Nye

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Posted 24 July 2009 - 20:50

Several mentions have been made in this thread of racing drivers being too young to hold a licence to drive on the public road. A friend of our son is a first officer pilot with a leading airline, having qualified (very well) at the age of 22. While he is thus licensed to zoom 180-odd members of the paying public about the skies at up to 600mph in a 100-ton big silver bird, when he lands in foreign parts he is too young to be allowed to hire a car!

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