DRIVERS: RUPERT KEEGAN

Name: Rupert Keegan
Nationality: Great Britain
Date of birth: February 26, 1955 - Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex

Rupert Keegan's father was the buccaneer airline boss Mike Keegan, who started out in the aviation business building Wellington bombers at Vickers and later served in the Royal Air Force, flying in the Berlin airlift. He then started his own aviation business called BKS Air Transport and eventually bought a number of other airlines including British Air Ferries. He was one of the pioneers of mass air transport in the United Kingdom.

Money was never a problem for the young Keegan and he began racing in 1973, winning his first race in a Ford Escort Mexico. Not long afterwards he moved into Formula Ford and by the end of 1974 was winning races, despite a tendency to crash. That year his father bought the Hawke racing car company and there was talk that Keegan would fund the construction of a BAF-Cosworth F1 car, designed by Adrian Reynard. It never happened but Reynard did eventually design a Hawke F3 car, though it was not a success. Keegan stayed with March winning the British Formula 3 championship in 1976, gaining himself the reputation of a junior James Hunt.

He tried his hand at Formula 2 in a Chevron but in 1977 went straight into Formula 1 with the Hesketh team. The team was fading and Keegan could not do much and the following year he was in even more trouble with Surtees. He then decided to switch to the Aurora AFX British Formula 1 Championship with Charles Clowes Racing, running an Arrows A1. He won the title and in 1980 tried to make a comeback in the World Championship with a RAM Racing Williams. In 1982 he tried again with the RAM organization but by then his chance had passed.

In 1983 he teamed up with former Hesketh team-mate Guy Edwards to race a Skoal Bandit Porsche 956 and finished fifth at Le Mans. After three seasons in sportscars Keegan decided to go to America and try his hand at CART. He took part in a handful of races with the Machinists Union team and then faded from the international scene. He now lives in the United States.

Print