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His name was Siffert, Jo Siffert

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In October 2021, it will be 50 years since Jo Siffert died in an accident at Brands Hatch at the... more
His name was Siffert, Jo Siffert
In October 2021, it will be 50 years since Jo Siffert died in an accident at Brands Hatch at the wheel of his BRM. Born in July 1936, the Swiss started from scratch on two and three wheels before entering motor racing and Formula Junior in the early 1960s. With the logistical support of Scuderia Filipinetti, he initially competed in the World Championship as a freelance driver from the 1962 season.

From 1965 and until the end of 1969 (with Brabham, Cooper and Lotus) he drove for Rob Walker's team. Thus he achieved a historic victory in the 1968 British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch. He was the first Swiss to win a Grand Prix that counted towards the World Championship, and it was the last triumph for a private team. Siffert won on Lotus 49B ahead of the Ferraris of Chris Amon and Jacky Ickx.

As tireless as he was eclectic, Siffert also contested in Formula 2 (BMW, Chevron), in hillclimbs (with F1 cars), in the CanAm series (Porsche) and, above all, in long-distance racing between 1966 and 1971 for Porsche, where he was the top driver alongside Pedro Rodriguez. Apart from Le Mans, he collected victories (14 in total, including the very first of the mythical 917 in 1969) and podium finishes (9), enabling the Porsche works team to win the first of many more world titles in the sportscar championship.

In August 1971, when he was one of the five best racing drivers in the world according to the experts, he won an F1 race for the second time at the Austrian Grand Prix at the wheel of a BRM. But two months later, on Sunday 24 October, death befell him on the Brands Hatch circuit in a race that did not count towards the World Championship and was his 41st race of the season. Presumably due to a broken rear suspension, he lost control of the BRM P160 at high speed and it overturned and burst into flames. Trapped in the burning car, Jo Siffert suffocated. The following Friday, 50,000 people accompanied Jo Siffert on his final journey to his final resting place in the cemetery of Freiburg, his home town.

This especially richly illustrated book, with many previously unpublished photos, retraces the extraordinary career of an amiable man who achieved countless successes with great talent, great perseverance and a distinctive fighting spirit. The author takes us on a journey through the seventeen countries that were stations in his career and where he proved to be Switzerland's best ambassador, just as Roger Federer is today.

Technical details:
Publisher: Turbo Editions
Author: Jean-Marie Wyder
Format: 27.5 x 22.5 cm, Hardcover
Pages: 432
Photos: 610
Language: English, French
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