DRIVERS: JO BONNIER

Name: Jo Bonnier
Nationality: Sweden
Date of birth: January 31, 1930 - Stockholm
Date of death: June 11, 1972 - Le Mans Circuit, France

The heir to the Bonniers Aktiebolag publishing empire, Bonnier was an international socialite, making his home in Switzerland long before it became the vogue. He started in Formula 1 in 1957 with a Maserati and his greatest claim to fame was to win BRM's maiden Grand Prix victory at Zandvoort in 1959. He was highly competitive in the early 1960s and won the German GP (a Formula 2 race) in 1960. That same year he won the Targa Florio in a Porsche partnered by Hans Herrmann and Graham Hill. He then won the Sebring 12 Hours in 1962 and the Targa Florio for a second time in 1963. He continued to race in F1 in private entries long after he was competitive, although he was one of the driving forces behind the Grand Prix Drivers' Association.

He was killed at Le Mans in 1972 when his private Lola-Cosworth T280 collided with a Ferrari Daytona driven by Swiss amateur Florian Vetsch and was catapulted into the trees.

Print