Jackie Oliver

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Not to be confused with Jack Oliver (disambiguation).
Jackie Oliver
Jackie Oliver 1969 kl.JPG
Born (1942-08-14) 14 August 1942 (age 72)
Formula One World Championship career
Nationality United Kingdom British
Active years 19671973, 1977
Teams Lotus, BRM, McLaren, Shadow
Races 51 (50 starts)
Championships 0
Wins 0
Podiums 2
Career points 13
Pole positions 0
Fastest laps 1
First race 1967 German Grand Prix
Last race 1977 Swedish Grand Prix
24 Hours of Le Mans career
Participating years 19681969, 1971
Teams J.W. Automotive
Best finish 1st (1969)
Class wins 1 (1969)

Keith Jack "Jackie" Oliver, (born 14 August 1942 in Chadwell Heath, Essex) is a British former Formula One driver and team-owner from England. He became known as the founder of the Arrows team as well as a racing driver, although during his driving career he won both the 24 Hours of Le Mans race and the Can-Am championship.

Driving career[edit]

Oliver began a long career in motorsport in 1961, driving a Mini in British club saloon racing. He then upgraded to a Lotus Elan and entered GT racing, scoring some excellent results, and then having a difficult time in Formula Three, where his natural speed was blighted by mechanical failures.

Nevertheless, for 1967 he was drafted into the Team Lotus Formula Two team, which also saw him making his Grand Prix debut in the F2 class at the German Grand Prix, where he came 5th overall and won the F2 class. In 1968 he was called up by Colin Chapman to take over the works F1 seat for Team Lotus after the death of Jim Clark. His contract did not include an F2 drive. In discussions with Tony Rudlin, a failed racing driver, at that time responsible for running the Herts and Essex Aero Club for ex-world motor cycling champion, Roger Frogley, a deal was struck to run in the club's colours. Lotus supplied and ran the car, supplied the mechanics and generally acted as competition managers while Rudlin was team manager. The F2 team was reasonably successful although not running full Team Lotus spec. At the end of the year the team was invited to compete in the four races making up the Argentine Temporada. The Herts and Essex Team finished third overall in the series. The F1 season would turn out to be difficult, with Oliver struggling for finishes. He led the British Grand Prix until an engine failure, and would only finish twice, his best result being 3rd place at the season-closing Mexican Grand Prix.

With Jochen Rindt signing for Lotus for 1969, Oliver was out, switching to BRM. He was to suffer disappointing two years at the Bourne team, which would effectively kill off his Grand Prix career. In two years he would muster just four finishes, with his only points scores being 6th place in the 1969 Mexican Grand Prix, and 5th in the 1970 Austrian Grand Prix. However in 1970 he led much of the Race of Champions holding off Stewart and was a strong third for most of the Dutch and British GP. The poor result in the Austrian GP which Team boss, Lou Stanley thought he should have won, saw the best car go to Rodriquez from then on, but Oliver still led some laps at the slipstream Italian race. Stanley described Oliver, as 'good, but not nearly as good as he thought' [1] The majority of his other races saw the BRM break down. Most pundits and sponsor, Yardley were surprised and disappointed after Oliver was sacked by BRM. Jackie Stewart, judged Oliver a very good GP [2] and Can Am driver.[citation needed]

His best results in these seasons would come from endurance racing, in John Wyer's Gulf Ford GT40, winning the 12 Hours of Sebring and 24 Hours of Le Mans events with Jacky Ickx in 1969, and the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 1000 km Monza in 1971 with Pedro Rodríguez.

In 1969, he would debut in CanAm, initially for Autocoast[3] in the TI-22, and then for Don Nichols' Shadow team. 1971 saw him out of a full-time Formula One drive, though he had three drives in a third McLaren. 1972 saw him concentrate mainly on CanAm with Shadow, though he would take a one-off drive for BRM at the 1972 British Grand Prix, where he retired.

For 1973, Shadow entered F1, and Oliver was nominated as team leader. The Shadow DN1 proved a difficult chassis, and once again his season was blighted by mechanical errors. However, in the Canadian Grand Prix he ran well, and many believe he actually won the race, but the lap charts were thrown into confusion by a rain shower meaning multiple pit-stops, and a staggeringly inept deployment of a pace car by the organisers. As it was, Oliver was classified 3rd, his only points finish of the year.

1974 saw Oliver concentrate on CanAm, taking the series title for Shadow. He was becoming more involved in the management side of Shadow, but would compete in Formula 5000 for the team for three seasons, and even briefly returned to F1, finishing 5th in the 1977 Race of Champions, and taking 9th in the Swedish Grand Prix.

Arrows[edit]

At the end of 1977 he left Shadow along with financer Franco Ambrosio, designers Tony Southgate and Alan Rees, and engineer Dave Wass to form the Arrows Grand Prix team, also taking the young Riccardo Patrese to the new team.

Arrows would become famous for having the longest losing streak in Formula One history, 382 races with no wins.[citation needed] However, the team would always have well-presented cars which would usually be competitive, if not front-runners, and would often give breaks to talented drivers - besides Patrese, Thierry Boutsen, Gerhard Berger, Marc Surer and Martin Donnelly would all drive for the team early in their career.

Oliver sold much of his stake to the Japanese Footwork Corporation in 1990, remaining as director, but the team failed to move forward and the company pulled out at the end of 1993 due to financial trouble. Oliver had his team back, but money was tight, and in 1996 he again sold most of his shares to Tom Walkinshaw's TWR group. Oliver remained on the board until 1999, when he sold his remaining shares.

Complete Formula One World Championship results[edit]

(key) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 WDC Pts.
1967 Lotus Components Ltd. Lotus 48 (F2) Cosworth Straight-4 RSA
MON
NED
BEL
FRA
GBR
GER
5
CAN
ITA
USA
MEX
NC 0
1968 Gold Leaf Team Lotus Lotus 49 Cosworth V8 RSA
ESP
MON
Ret
15th 6
Lotus 49B BEL
5
NED
NC
FRA
GBR
Ret
GER
11
ITA
Ret
CAN
Ret
USA
DNS
MEX
3
1969 Owen Racing Organisation BRM P133 BRM V12 RSA
7
ESP
Ret
MON
Ret
NED
Ret
FRA
GBR
Ret
16th 1
BRM P138 GER
Ret
BRM P139 ITA
Ret
CAN
Ret
USA
Ret
MEX
6
1970 Owen Racing Organisation BRM P153 BRM V12 RSA
Ret
20th 2
Yardley Team BRM ESP
Ret
MON
Ret
BEL
Ret
NED
Ret
FRA
Ret
GBR
Ret
GER
Ret
AUT
5
ITA
Ret
CAN
NC
USA
Ret
MEX
7
1971 Bruce McLaren Motor Racing McLaren M14A Cosworth V8 RSA ESP MON NED FRA GBR
Ret
GER ITA
7
CAN USA NC 0
McLaren M19A AUT
9
1972 Marlboro BRM BRM P160B BRM V12 ARG RSA ESP MON BEL FRA GBR
Ret
GER AUT ITA CAN USA NC 0
1973 UOP Shadow Racing Team Shadow DN1 Cosworth V8 ARG BRA RSA
Ret
ESP
Ret
BEL
Ret
MON
10
SWE
Ret
FRA
Ret
GBR
Ret
NED
Ret
GER
8
AUT
Ret
ITA
11
CAN
3
USA
15
14th 4
1977 Shadow Racing Team Shadow DN8 Cosworth V8 ARG BRA RSA USW ESP MON BEL SWE
9
FRA GBR GER AUT NED ITA USA CAN JPN NC 0

References[edit]

  • "DRIVER: Oliver, Jackie". Autocourse Grand Prix Archive. Retrieved 2007-09-11. 
  • "Jackie Oliver". Grand Prix Racing. Retrieved 2007-09-11. 
  • Widdows, R. 2007. Jackie Oliver: Nearly Man. Motor Sport. 83/4 (April 2007), 84-88
  1. ^ L. Stanley. Grand Prix. The Legendary Years.
  2. ^ T.Simon. Champion Year1970)
  3. ^ Stucker, Mike. "VintageRPM". Can-Am History of Shadow. VintageRPM. Retrieved 25 November 2014. 

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Pedro Rodriguez
Lucien Bianchi
Winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans
1969 with:
Jacky Ickx
Succeeded by
Hans Herrmann
Richard Attwood
Preceded by
Mark Donohue
Can-Am Champion
1974
Succeeded by
Patrick Tambay (1977)