Michael Johnson "Mike" Parkes ( * September 24, 1931 in Richmond, Surrey, England; † August 28, 1977 in Riva presso Chieri, Italy ) was a British racing driver and engineer. He started in the 1960s and at the beginning of the 1970s, to Formula 1 and sports car racing.
Mike Parkes ' father was a former chairman of the company Alvis. Parkes was born into a world of cars and motor sports. He was educated as an engineer at the Rootes Group in Coventry. He was employed there until 1962, until his professional racing career began. 1955 developed Mike Parkes and Tim Fry the Hillman Imp, which should be only one study. 1957 Parkes got an invitation from Lotus in Le Mans to be a test driver. Beginning of the 1960s, he went over all of motorsport, to Ferrari in 1966 hired him as an engineer and test driver to replace John Surtees.
Since 1962 started Parkes on Ferrari 250 GTO and prototypes from Ferrari in the World Sports Car Championship. Until 1967, he finished in this endurance race with its respective partners five times the first, eleven times the second and three times third place.
1966 and 1967 he drove six Formula 1 race for Ferrari. In his first Formula 1 start at the French Grand Prix in Reims, he finished second behind Jack Brabham. Another second place he could reach after starting from the pole position at the Italian Grand Prix in the same year.
In 1967 he drove in 5th place in the Grand Prix of the Netherlands. In the Belgian Grand Prix, he crashed hard in the first round at the BLANCHIMONT when he lost control on a track oil and possibly sustain serious leg injuries when the following accident. He ended his career. Despite only six driven Grand Prix, of which he was able to finish only three, he collected a total of 14 world championship points.
Mike Parkes went to his recovery for three years no race. During this time he became friends with the Swiss team owner George Filipinetti and switched to the Scuderia. There he worked on the technology and its management in the Scuderia. In 1970, he tried it with the Scuderia Filipinetti again with the racing. Success came from but.
At that time, he built up the C128 Filipinetti Fiats. He also developed a Fiat 128 Stradale Filipinetti, which the Fiat group had planned as an exclusive race car in road-going version. However, this was never produced. At the urging of Fiat, he developed early in 1973 then the Filipinetti Fiat X1 / 9, which was presented at the Geneva Motor Show. After the sudden death of Georges Filipinetti and the subsequent closure of its Scuderia Parkes was hired by Lancia. There he largely developed the technique of the Lancia Stratos.
1977 accident Parkes died in a traffic accident in Riva presso Chieri near Turin.