DRIVERS: DANNY SULLIVAN
Name: Danny Sullivan
Nationality: United States of America
Date of birth: March 9, 1950 - Louisville, Kentucky
From Louisville, Kentucky, Sullivan had a string of jobs in New York before being offered a 21st birthday present of a course at the Jim Russell Racing Drivers School at Snetterton in England. After that Sullivan moved to Formula Ford and then F3 before going home to the States when the money ran out. It was not until he was 30 that he finally became a winner in CanAm.
He was 32 when he made his CART debut with an impressive third place in Atlanta with the Forsythe-Newman team in 1982 and the following year he went back to Europe to join the Tyrrell team as sponsor Benetton wanted an American driver. As team mate to Michele Alboreto he made a big impression in the Race of Champions battling World Champion Keke Rosberg for victory but for most of the year, Sullivan struggled to score points.
By the end of the year he had decided to return to America and signed for the Domino's Pizza-sponsored Shierson team. By the midseason he was winning races, collecting three victories that year and ending fourth in the CART series. It was enough to get the attention of Roger Penske and Sullivan was signed to drive for Penske Racing in 1985. He won twice, taking the Indianapolis 500 after an incredible high-speed spin and the end of the year added another victory in Miami. He was once again fourth in the CART standings and went one place better in 1986 with wins at Meadowlands and Cleveland. That same year he made his acting debut on American TV in the popular show Miami Vice. The 1987 season was a big disappointment but the following year he took the CART title for Penske with four wins.
The 1989 season was disrupted by a big crash at Indianapolis which left him with a broken wrist but he returned later that year to win at Pocono and Elkhart Lake. The 1990 season was his sixth and last with Penske Racing but he ended the relationship on a high note, winning his last race for the team at Laguna Seca. He signed for Patrick Racing's Alfa Romeo team but that was a disappointment and he moved on to Galles-Kraco in 1992, won at Long Beach and added another win in 1993 at Detroit.
He could not find a CART drive in 1994 but kept himself busy with races in the DTM in Europe and shared a Porsche to third place in the Le Mans 24 Hours. In 1995 he tried to make a CART comeback with PacWest Racing but the results did not come and his season ended with a big crash at Michigan, which left him with a broken pelvis. After retiring from racing Sullivan moved to France, settling on the Cote d'Azur and in recent years has been heavily involved with the Red Bull Young Driver scheme to find a new F1 driver from the United States.