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Joakim_Bonnier

Joakim Bonnier

Joakim "Jo" Bonnier (January 31 1930 - June 11 1972) was a Swedish sportscar racing and Formula One driver who raced for various teams.

Career

Early life

Jo Bonnier was born in Djurgården, Stockholm, to the wealthy Bonnier family. He spoke six languages. His parents hoped that he would become a doctor. His father, Gert, was a professor of genetics at the University of Stockholm. Many members of his large family were in the publishing business, and it was his aspiration to join them for a while. He attended Oxford University for a year, studying languages. He then went to Paris, France planning to learn about publishing.

First competition

Bonnier began competitive racing in Sweden at 17, on an old Harley-Davidson motorcycle. He returned home to Sweden in 1951 after his Paris trip. He took part in several rallies as the proud owner of a Simca.

Formula 1 driver

He entered Formula 1 in with a Maserati. Bonnier's racing career almost ended in September 1958 at a race at Imola, near Modena. He debuted a 1,500 Maserati and moved up through the field following a bad start. Bonnier passed Luigi Musso and was gaining on leader Eugenio Castellotti at around two seconds per lap. Bonnier lost control when another car pulled directly into him while negotiating a fast corner. His Maserati struck a large rock at the edge of the road and catapulted. The other driver went underneath him as he turned over and over in the air. While he was upside down the crash hat of his competitor made contact with his. Bonnier's Maserati landed on its side before skidding 75 feet and headed into a ditch. He came to a stop there against a pole. Bonnier was thrown out. He suffered a concussion, several cracked ribs, and a broken vertebra. Nothing remained of his car aside from a pile of smoking junk.

His greatest achievement in F1 was taking victory for BRM in the 1959 Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort, when the notoriously unreliable car worked well for once (Dan Gurney and Hans Herrmann had bad crashes after brake failures). He also won the 1960 German Grand Prix with a Porsche 718, a race held for Formula 2 in preparation for the rule change of 1961. Bonnier was one of the driving forces behind the Grand Prix Drivers' Association.

Despite his win for BRM, Bonnier did not drive for many works teams throughout his career, with only one-offs as a replacement driver for Lotus, Brabham and Honda. After his debut in a works Maserati, he then drove for his own Joakim Bonnier Racing Team and for Mimmo Dei's Scuderia Centro Sud in the late 50s, before finding a spot in the BRM and Porsche teams.

After Porsche quit Grand Prix racing at the end of the 1962 season, Bonnier switched to Rob Walker Racing Team, the only privateer that had scored wins in World Championship events, where he drove Coopers and Brabhams, scoring few points.

In 1966 he reformed his own team as Anglo-Suisse Racing Team (later to be renamed Ecurie Bonnier), but his interest in F1 gradually diminished. His last full season was 1968, in which he traded his old Cooper T86 for an also old McLaren. He raced occasionally in F1 until 1971.

Alongside F1, Bonnier also took part in many sports car races. He won the 1960 Targa Florio, co-driving a works Porsche 718 with Hans Herrmann, and in 1962 took a Ferrari 250 TRI entered by Count Giovanni Volpi to top honors in the 12 Hours of Sebring, sharing the car with Lucien Bianchi. In 1963 he was once again winner at the Targa Florio, with Carlo Mario Abate in another works Porsche 718.

Sports car racer

1964 was his best year in sports car racing, where he co-drove a Ferrari P entered by Maranello Concessionaires with Graham Hill, taking a 330P to second place in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and to a win at Montlhery, while a 12 hour race in Reims also gave him a first place in a 250LM.

He then won the 1000km Nürburgring in a Chaparral in 1966 (with Phil Hill), his last win in a major sports car event, but still managed to snatch victories in the minor 1000 km of Barcelona at Montjuïc in 1971 (with Ronnie Peterson), and the 4 Hours of Le Mans in 1972 (with Hughes de Fierlandt). By then, he had taken to managing his team, entering several cars in World Sportscar Championship events, and taking a backseat to driving. Nevertheless he was involved in an accident in Le Mans in 1972 when his Lola-Cosworth T280 collided with a Ferrari Daytona driven by a Swiss amateur driver Florian Vetsch. His car was catapulted into the trees and he was killed.

Complete Formula One World Championship results

(F1 driver results legend 2) (Races in bold indicate pole position)
Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 WDC Points
1956 Officine Alfieri Maserati Maserati 250F Maserati Straight-6 ARG
MON
500
BEL
FRA
GBR
GER
ITA
Ret
- 0
1957 Scuderia Centro Sud Maserati 250F Maserati Straight-6 ARG
7
MON
500
FRA
PES
Ret
ITA
Ret
- 0
Joakim Bonnier Racing Team GBR
Ret
GER
1958 Joakim Bonnier Racing Team Maserati 250F Maserati Straight-6 ARG
MON
Ret
NED
10
500
BEL
9
GBR
Ret
POR
Ret
18th 3
Giorgio Scarlatti FRA
8
Scuderia Centro Sud GER
Ret
Owen Racing Organisation BRM P25 BRM Straight-4 ITA
Ret
MOR
4
1959 Owen Racing Organisation BRM P25 BRM Straight-4 MON
Ret
500
NED
1
FRA
Ret
GBR
Ret
GER
5
POR
Ret
ITA
8
USA
8th 10
1960 Owen Racing Organisation BRM P25 BRM Straight-4 ARG
7
18th 4
BRM P48 MON
5
500
NED
Ret
BEL
Ret
FRA
Ret
GBR
Ret
POR
Ret
ITA
USA
5
1961 Porsche System Engineering Porsche 787 Porsche Flat-4 MON
Ret
NED
11
15th 3
Porsche 718 BEL
7
FRA
7
GBR
5
GER
Ret
ITA
Ret
USA
6
1962 Porsche System Engineering Porsche 804 Porsche Flat-4 NED
7
FRA
10
GBR
Ret
GER
7
ITA
6
USA
13
RSA
15th 3
Porsche 718 MON
5
BEL
1963 Rob Walker Racing Team Cooper T60 Climax V8 MON
7
BEL
5
NED
11
FRA
NC
11th 6
Cooper T66 GBR
Ret
GER
6
ITA
7
USA
8
MEX
5
RSA
6
1964 Rob Walker Racing Team Cooper T66 Climax V8 MON
5
15th 3
Brabham BT11 BRM V8 NED
9
BEL
Ret
FRA
GBR
Ret
GER
Ret
Brabham BT7 Climax V8 AUT
6
ITA
12
USA
Ret
MEX
Ret
1965 Rob Walker Racing Team Brabham BT7 Climax V8 RSA
Ret
MON
7
BEL
Ret
FRA
Ret
GBR
7
NED
Ret
GER
7
ITA
7
USA
8
MEX
Ret
- 0
1966 Anglo-Suisse Racing Cooper T81 Maserati V12 MON
NC
BEL
Ret
NED
7
GER
Ret
ITA
Ret
USA
NC
MEX
6
17th 1
Brabham Racing Organisaion Brabham BT22 Climax Straight-4 FRA
NC
Anglo-Suisse Racing Brabham BT7 Climax V8 GBR
Ret
1967 Joakim Bonnier Racing Team Cooper T81 Maserati V12 RSA
Ret
MON
NED
BEL
Ret
FRA
GBR
Ret
GER
5
CAN
8
ITA
Ret
USA
6
MEX
10
15th 3
1968 Joakim Bonnier Racing Team Cooper T81 Maserati V12 RSA
Ret
ESP
22nd 3
McLaren M5A BRM V12 MON
DNQ
BEL
Ret
NED
8
FRA
GBR
Ret
GER
ITA
6
CAN
Ret
USA
Ret
Honda RA301 Honda V12 MEX
5
1969 Ecurie Bonnier Lotus 63 Cosworth V8 RSA
ESP
MON
NED
FRA
GBR
Ret
- 0
Lotus 49B GER
Ret
ITA
CAN
USA
MEX
1970 Ecurie Bonnier McLaren M7C Cosworth V8 RSA
ESP
MON
BEL
NED
FRA
GBR
GER
AUT
ITA
DNQ
CAN
USA
Ret
MEX
- 0
1971 Ecurie Bonnier McLaren M7C Cosworth V8 RSA
Ret
ESP
MON
NED
FRA
GBR
GER
DNQ
AUT
DNS
ITA
10
CAN
USA
16
- 0

References

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