David Hobbs (racing driver)

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This article is about the former racing driver. For other people named David Hobbs, see David Hobbs (disambiguation).
David Hobbs
David Hobbs.jpg
Born David Wishart Hobbs
(1939-06-09) 9 June 1939 (age 77)
Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, England
Formula One World Championship career
Nationality United Kingdom British
Active years 19671968, 1971, 1974
Teams BRM, Honda, McLaren
Entries 6
Championships 0
Wins 0
Podiums 0
Career points 0
Pole positions 0
Fastest laps 0
First entry 1967 British Grand Prix
Last entry 1974 Italian Grand Prix
24 Hours of Le Mans career
Participating years 1962–72, 1979, 1981–85, 1987–89
Teams Team Lotus Engineering
Lola Cars Ltd
Standard Triumph
Maranello Concessionaires
John Wyer Automotive
Roger Penske/Kirk F. White
Equipe Matra-Simca
Grand Touring Cars/Ford France
EMKA Racing
John Fitzpatrick Racing
Joest Racing
Richard Lloyd Racing
Best finish 3rd (1969, 1984)
Class wins 1 (1982)

David Wishart Hobbs[1] (born 9 June 1939 in Royal Leamington Spa, England)[2] is a British former racing driver. Originally employed as a commentator for the Speed Channel, he currently works as a commentator for NBC and NBC Sports Network. In 1969 Hobbs was included in the FIA list of graded drivers, an élite group of 27 drivers who by their achievements were rated the best in the world.[3]

Hobbs currently lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with his wife, Margaret, with whom he has two sons, Gregory and Guy. In 1986, Hobbs opened a car dealership, David Hobbs Honda, in Glendale, Wisconsin, which continues to exist today, and for which he personally voices advertisements. His youngest son, Guy, worked for Speed as a pit reporter on their sports car coverage. Hobbs was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 2009.[4]

He is the grandfather of current racing driver Andrew Hobbs.

Driving career[edit]

Hobbs was born just months before the outbreak of World War II, and has a vast, 30-year history of international driving experience at all levels of motor sports, including sports cars, touring cars, Indy cars, IMSA, Can-Am and Formula One. He has participated in the Indianapolis 500 and the 24 Hours of Daytona. He made twenty starts in the 24 Hours of Le Mans race, finishing in 8th place at the first attempt in 1962, following with a pole position and a best finish of third (in 1969 and 1984) to his credit.

Hobbs was due to make his F1 Grand Prix debut for Tim Parnell Racing at the 1965 French Grand Prix at Clermont-Ferrand, but a serious road accident put him in hospital for three weeks.[5]

In 1971 Hobbs won the L&M 5000 Continental Championship driving for Carl Hogan out of St. Louis, Missouri, in a McLaren M10B-Chevrolet. He won five of the eight rounds that year at Laguna Seca, Seattle, Road America (Elkhart Lake), Edmonton and Lime Rock.[6] Twelve years later, he would claim the 1983 Trans-Am Series championship as well. He also made two NASCAR Winston Cup starts in 1976, including leading two laps at the 1976 Daytona 500[7] and drove a race in the 1979 International Race of Champions.

Television commentator[edit]

Hobbs provides commentary for Formula One and GP2 races (alongside Leigh Diffey and former Benetton mechanic Steve Matchett), the SCCA Valvoline runoffs, and parts of the 24 Hours of Daytona. He has also worked for CBS on its Daytona 500 coverage, working as both a colour commentator and a feature/pit reporter from 1979 until 1996, and then moved to Speed in 1996 working as a colour commentator and then moved to NBCSN in 2013.[8]

Other appearances[edit]

David Hobbs appeared in the 1983 comedy film Stroker Ace, playing a TV race announcer. Hobbs appeared in the Cars 2 movie, which premiered in June 2011, as announcer "David Hobbscap", a 1963 Jaguar from Hobbs' real life hometown in England.

Racing record[edit]

Complete Formula One World Championship results[edit]


Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 WDC Pts.
1967 Bernard White Racing BRM P261 BRM P60 2.1 V8 RSA MON NED BEL FRA GBR
Lola Cars Lola T100 BMW M10 2.0 L4 GER
1968 Honda Racing F1 Honda RA301 Honda RA301E 3.0 V12 RSA ESP MON BEL NED FRA GBR GER ITA
1971 Penske-White Racing McLaren M19A Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 RSA ESP MON NED FRA GBR GER AUT ITA CAN USA
1974 Yardley Team McLaren McLaren M23 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 ARG BRA RSA ESP BEL MON SWE NED FRA GBR GER AUT

indicates an entry with an F2 car.

Complete 24 Hours of Le Mans results[edit]

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
1962 United Kingdom Team Lotus Engineering Australia Frank Gardner Lotus Elite Mk14 GT
286 8th 1st
1963 United Kingdom Lola Cars Ltd. United Kingdom Richard Attwood Lola Mk6 GT P
1964 United Kingdom Standard Triumph Netherlands Rob Slotemaker Triumph Spitfire P
272 21st 3rd
1965 United Kingdom Standard Triumph Ltd. Netherlands Rob Slotemaker Triumph Spitfire GT
1966 United Kingdom Maranello Concessionaires United Kingdom Mike Salmon Ferrari Dino 206S P
1967 United Kingdom Lola Cars Ltd.
United Kingdom Team Surtees
United Kingdom John Surtees Lola T70 Mk.III P
1968 United Kingdom J.W. Automotive Engineering Ltd. Australia Paul Hawkins Ford GT40 Mk. I S
1969 United Kingdom J.W. Automotive Engineering Ltd. United Kingdom Mike Hailwood Ford GT40 Mk. I S
368 3rd 2nd
1970 United Kingdom J.W. Automotive Engineering Ltd. United Kingdom Mike Hailwood Porsche 917K S
1971 United States Roger Penske
United States Kirk F. White
United States Mark Donohue Ferrari 512M/P S
1972 France Equipe Matra-Simca Shell France Jean-Pierre Jabouille Matra-Simca MS660C S
1979 United States Grand Touring Cars Ltd.
France Ford Concessionaires France
Australia Vern Schuppan
France Jean-Pierre Jaussaud
Mirage M10 S
121 NC NC
1981 United Kingdom EMKA Productions Limited Republic of Ireland Eddie Jordan
United Kingdom Steve O'Rourke
BMW M1 Gr.5 Gr.5 236 DNF DNF
1982 United Kingdom John Fitzpatrick Racing United Kingdom John Fitzpatrick Porsche 935/78 Moby Dick IMSA
329 4th 1st
1983 United Kingdom John Fitzpatrick Racing United Kingdom John Fitzpatrick
Austria Dieter Quester
Porsche 956 C 135 DNF DNF
1984 United Kingdom Skoal Bandit Porsche Team France Philippe Streiff
South Africa Sarel van der Merwe
Porsche 956B C1 351 3rd 3rd
1985 United Kingdom John Fitzpatrick Racing Austria Jo Gartner
United Kingdom Guy Edwards
Porsche 956B C1 366 4th 4th
1987 Germany Joest Racing South Africa Sarel van der Merwe
United States Chip Robinson
Porsche 962C C1 4 DNF DNF
1988 Germany Blaupunkt Joest Racing Belgium Didier Theys
Austria Franz Konrad
Porsche 962C C1 380 5th 5th
1989 United Kingdom Richard Lloyd Racing Sweden Steven Andskär
United Kingdom Damon Hill
Porsche 962C GTi C1 228 DNF DNF

Indy 500 results[edit]

Complete Bathurst 1000 results[edit]

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
1981 Australia JPS Team BMW Australia Allan Grice BMW 635 CSi 6 Cylinder & Rotary 113 7th 2nd
1982 Australia JPS Team BMW New Zealand Jim Richards BMW 635 CSi A 157 5th 5th


(key) (Bold - Pole position awarded by qualifying time. Italics - Pole position earned by points standings or practice time. * – Most laps led.)

Winston Cup Series[edit]


  1. ^ FIA Year Book of Automobile Sport 1975. Patrick Stephens Ltd. white p. 37. ISBN 0-85059-195-3. 
  2. ^ H. H. Pitt and M. N. Wicks, The Pitt Family of Payneham (Adelaide, 1977)
  3. ^ F.I.A. Year Book of Automobile Sport, P.S.L. Publications Limited., London, 1969.
  4. ^ "The Class of 2009". AutoWeek. Detroit, Michigan: Crain Communications. 59 (17): 62. 24 August 2009. ISSN 0192-9674. 
  5. ^ http://formula-one.speedtv.com/article/hobbs-the-north-american-swing/
  6. ^ Trenton Evening Times, 7 September 1971, Page 37.
  7. ^ David Hobbs 1976 Winston Cup Results – Racing-Reference.info
  8. ^ Hobbs, David (September 2012). "In Racing, Broadcasting: Timing is Everything". Road & Track. 64 (1): 94. 

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
John Cannon
US Formula A/F5000

Succeeded by
Graham McRae