Bob Bondurant

Robert " Bob" Bondurant (* April 27, 1933 in Evanston ) is a retired American automobile racing driver.

Bob Bondurant began his motorsport career as a teenager. He drove in the early 1950s motorcycle dirt track racing and moved in 1956 to four wheels. A used Morgan was his first race car. So really take off his career came in 1963. According to the overall victory in the West Coast Production Car Championship in 1963 on a Chevrolet Corvette Carroll Shelby became aware of him. Shelby, always in search of fast young talent, gave him a contract for work.

Four times the American was at the 24 Hours of Le Mans at the start. For its first participation in 1964 he achieved his best result. Together with Dan Gurney on a AC Cobra he was fourth in the overall standings and won the big GT class up to 5000 cc. In 1965 he was again the driver team of Shelby and had share in the profits of the Sports Car World Championship. In Le Mans, however, he went for Rob Walker at the start. The Ford GT 40, which he shared with Umberto Maglioli, fell after 29 laps with engine failure.

In the same year he also made ​​his first appearance in Formula 1 Luigi Chinetti gave him a Ferrari cockpit and Bondurant celebrated as a substitute for John Surtees at the U.S. Grand Prix debut, he finished with the ninth.

A successful Formula 1 career seemed possible when he reached fourth place in 1966 with the first World Cup points at the Grand Prix of Monaco. But his driving style rather predestined him for the long sports car racing as for the short Grand Prix events. He was known as a reliable pilot who dealt gently with the material and was able to maintain his pace over long distances. What he lacked was the basic speed, distinguishes the Grand Prix pilots. So his Formula 1 career in 1966 ended after just nine races.

He drove on successful sports car racing and changed in 1967 in the CanAm series. However, a serious accident ended the season prematurely. Bondurant retired from racing and set up a racing school.

In 1971, he was making a comeback as a racing driver, drove CanAm race again and was in five NASCAR events at the start. Always committed in Riverside, was his best finish in the most popular U.S. racing series where the 18th place overall.

In 2003 he was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the American motorsport.

Le Mans results