DRIVERS: JACKIE OLIVER
Name: Jackie Oliver
Nationality: Great Britain
Date of birth: August 14, 1942 - Romford
Oliver began racing in 1961 at the age of 19 in a Mini and he then moved up to a Ford Mustang before trying a variey of other sports and touring cars. In 1966 he moved into Formula 3 with a privately-entered Brabham and later that year he was signed up as a Lotus works driver. In 1967 he appeared in two races with the Lotus F2 team while also sharing victory with John Miles in a Lotus 47 GT in the BOAC 500 at Brands Hatch.
In 1968 he became a regular F2 driver as Graham Hill's Lotus team mate but after Jim Clark was killed at Hockenheim, Oliver replaced him. He had accidents in Monaco and at the French Grand Prix but he led the British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch until his transmission failed. He finished off the season with a solid third place in Mexico.
Although Lotus replaced him with Jochen Rindt, Oliver found himself employment with a two-year contract at BRM. He was also signed up as a factory Ford driver in sports car racing and in 1969 won the Sebring 12 Hours and the Le Mans 24 Hours in GT40s. His F1 career was less successful with unreliable cars and internal politics at BRM. In the mid-season there was a reshuffle with Tony Southgate arriving from Eagle to head the chassis department and the result was the new P153 for the 1970 season. Sponsorship was found from Yardley and Oliver remained as team mate to Pedro Rodriguez. At Spa that year the Mexican scored the team's first win for four years but Oliver had less success. He survived a fiery crash in Spain but was dogged by reliability. He ran third in the British GP but his engine failed and his only decent result was fifth in Austria.
Out of F1 in 1971 he joined John Wyer Automotive Gulf Porsche sportscar team, partnering Rodriguez to victory at the Daytona 24 Hours. That year he also began racing for the UOP Shadow team in CanAm. In 1972 he helped launch the Shadow F1 team and stayed with it, winning the CanAm title in 1974 and competing in Formula 5000. When he retired as a driver in 1977 he had competed in 50 GPs.
He was business manager at Shadow until the end of 1977 when he led a breakaway group of management which established the rival Arrows F1 team. A lawsuit with Shadow cast a cloud over some promising early results and Arrows settled down to be a mid-grid team throughout the 1980s. At the end of 1989 the team was sold to Japan's Wataru Ohashi, the boss of the Footwork Group, but Oliver stayed on as part of the deal and in 1994 the team returned to his hands. Arrows struggled for money in 1995 and in early 1996 Rees and Oliver agreed to sell it to Tom Walkinshaw. He remained a shareholder until the start of 1999 when Walkinshaw organized a new consortium to buy him out.