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Racing without a drivers licence


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#51 D-Type

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Posted 24 July 2009 - 22:26

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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A school friend of mine passed his private pilot's licence before he got his driving licence. He ended up as chief training pilot with Cathay Pacific

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#52 Graham Clayton

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 04:57

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.

 

Slightly off-topic, but I was watching on Youtube Fangio's demonstration at Sandown during the 1978 Australian Grand Prix. As he was sitting on the grid prior to the "demonstration" run, one of the commentators said that Fangio still held a valid Formula 1 licence, despite not having driven competitively in a Formula 1 car for 20 years.

 

Were competition licences given in perpetuity to drivers back in the 1950's? When did this practice stop?



#53 ellrosso

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 09:48

South Australia's licence age was 16 years back in the 60's from memory and John Walker (Elfin 600, Lola T332 etc) started racing at that age in an early model Holden (according to an Autosportsman profile on him - 1969).



#54 Michael Ferner

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 10:11

Slightly off-topic, but I was watching on Youtube Fangio's demonstration at Sandown during the 1978 Australian Grand Prix. As he was sitting on the grid prior to the "demonstration" run, one of the commentators said that Fangio still held a valid Formula 1 licence, despite not having driven competitively in a Formula 1 car for 20 years.
 
Were competition licences given in perpetuity to drivers back in the 1950's? When did this practice stop?


By 1978 we had the infamous "super licence", which was given to "graded drivers", which included all world champions of the last five years. So, evidently the commentator got that wrong.

#55 Vitesse2

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 10:24

If 'El Chueco' still held an Argentinian national competition licence then that would have theoretically allowed him to drive in Mecánica Argentina Fórmula Uno ...

 

#56 LotusElise

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 15:31

I read that Ricardo Rodriguez was too young for a road licence for much of his short career. It has been claimed somewhere that he tried to enter Le Mans at 14 - surely this is an exaggeration or a mistake?



#57 Michael Ferner

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 16:14

I don't think so. This is a bit outside of my area of interest, so others need to confirm, but I'm sure he was winning international races at 15, so it's not unthinkable that he did try to enter Le Mans a year earlier.



#58 LotusElise

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 16:38

It is quite disconcerting how Ricardo Rodriguez and his career trajectory were highly unusual at the time, but are now almost the norm for F1 drivers.

 

There must be whole armies (Cadet forces?) or Charlies and Ollies and Jacks out there, and the occasional Alice of course  ;) , who got their racing license before their road license. 



#59 Tim Murray

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 17:01

We used to have several Rodriguez experts on TNF (including the author of their official biography, Carlos Jalife) but sadly they all seem to have left us. I don't have the official biography, but other sources say that the first time Ricardo tried to enter Le Mans was in 1958, when he was 16. His entry was turned down because of his age, so Pedro had to find someone else to drive with him.



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#60 Catalina Park

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 05:54

By 1978 we had the infamous "super licence", which was given to "graded drivers", which included all world champions of the last five years. So, evidently the commentator got that wrong.

The commentators got a lot of things wrong at that event. I am amazed when people quote anything that was said at that meeting as a fact. (It was a demo, they weren't really racing, yes I know the commentary said they were racing....)

#61 JtP2

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 11:13

There have been cases where drivers have raced or tried to without a competition licience or while it was suspended.



#62 seldo

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 12:33

There have been cases where drivers have raced or tried to without a competition licience or while it was suspended.

And some without a road licence either....

#63 reynard883

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 08:11

A school friend of mine passed his private pilot's licence before he got his driving licence. He ended up as chief training pilot with Cathay Pacific

I'm sure I know who this is too. Now a club racer?



#64 eldougo

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 08:22

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.

 

That licence banning system worked  really well !!!!!. He then won the next GP at Monaco , :stoned: were there a will there a way  :up:



#65 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 08:27

The commentators got a lot of things wrong at that event. I am amazed when people quote anything that was said at that meeting as a fact. (It was a demo, they weren't really racing, yes I know the commentary said they were racing....)

Yeah, Jonesy sitting on a Porsche instead of in it. With the door off or open!



#66 Tim Murray

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 08:53

That licence banning system worked really well !!!!!. He then won the next GP at Monaco , :stoned: were there a will there a way :up:

It didn't affect his racing at all, as he had an American national racing licence which enabled him to maintain his international racing licence. He raced at Goodwood the weekend after the court case where he lost his road licence. The only problem he had was finding someone to drive him around when he was in the UK.

#67 LotusElise

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 10:32

IIRC Richard Burns was in the process of having his British road traffic license revoked at the time of his enforced retirement.



#68 D-Type

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 11:37

I'm sure I know who this is too. Now a club racer?

Not that I know of.  Stuart is past retirement age and was not that interested in racing when i knew him so on both counts is unlikely to be going club racing