DRIVERS: BRIAN REDMAN
Name: Brian Redman
Nationality: Great Britain
Date of birth: March 9, 1937 - Lancashire
The son of a Lancashire grocery chain owner, Redman enjoyed an expensive education at Rossall School, an educational establishment which boasts conductor Sir Thomas Beecham, Leslie Charteris (the author of The Saint novels) and Aston Martinís Sir David Brown amongst its alumni. His father owned 24 grocery stores in Lancashire while his maternal grandfather had made a fortune as a manufacturer of mops. After three years at a catering college Redman had to do his National Service with the East Lancashire Regiment. When he left the army he went into the family firm but after three months his grandfather died and Redman was put in charge of the mop business. In the end the business was sold and Redman went into the garage business with Mike Wood, a rally navigator that he knew, but that too was short-lived and Brian went back to the family firm.
In 1959 he began competing, starting out in club races with a Morris Minor. He graduated to a Jaguar XK120 and finally made an impact driving an E-Type Jaguar which was owned by Red Rose Motors team owner Charlie Bridges. He won 16 out of 17 races. Bridges bought him a Lola T70 sportscar for 1966 and he began to make an impact at international level. That year he was third in the Grovewood Awards behind Chris Lambert and Jack Oliver. In 1967 he was offered a F2 drive by Red Rose Motors and made an immediate impression although it was in sports car racing that he scored his best result, partnering Jacky Ickx to victory for JW Automotive in the Kyalami Nine Hours at the end of the season. That earned him a drive with John Wyerís team in 1968 and sharing with Ickx he won at Brands Hatch and Spa. The year began with his F1 debut for Cooper at the South African GP.
He was then taken on by Ferrari to drive in F2 and did an impressive job at the Nurburgring. He was offered a works drive, which he declined. He finished fifth for Cooper in the Race of Champions and was a remarkable third in the Spanish GP. But at Spa he suffered a high-speed accident after a wishbone failure and he over vaulted the barriers. Redman suffered a serious break to his right forearm which required two steel pins. He was out of action for the rest of the year but returned at the start of 1969 as a driver for Porsche, teaming up with Jo Siffert and helping Porsche to win the title.
In the years that followed he won all the major sports car races except Le Mans with the Porsche and Ferrari factory teams, making occasional forays into F1 with Frank Williams, McLaren, BRM and Shadow. He was also hugely successful with Chevron sports cars. At the start of 1971, however, he was offered a job as marketing director of Richter Motors, a BMW dealership in South Africa and he decided to retire, albeit briefly. That year he won the Springbok sports car series and then returned to Europe to race in Formula 5000. Later that year driving a John Wyer Porsche on the Targa Florio he suffered a steering failure and crashed heavily, suffering burns to his face, neck and hands.
In the years that followed he became the big name in Formula 5000 with Jim Hall and Carl Haas and won the US title in 1974, 1975 and 1976. In 1977 he crashed a Lola CanAm at St Jovite and suffered a broken neck, sternum, ribs, shoulder and bruising of the brain. He was back in action at the start of 1978 and won the Sebring 12 Hours for Porsche. He would win at Daytona in 1981 and the same year he was crowned as the IMSA Champion. He continued to race well into the 1980s with Bob Tulliusís Group 44 Jaguar team in America and the factory backed Aston Martin team in Europe. In the 1990s he was involved in the Redman-Bright F3000 team.