Bobby Rahal: flying the US flag in F1

Jun 01, 2022, 04:00 AM

As a young racer growing up in America in the 60s, Bobby Rahal idolised people like Phil Hill, Dan Gurney and Mario Andretti - drivers who had made it across the Atlantic to drive in Formula 1. He dreamt of doing the same; of travelling to Europe to race at the circuits he'd read about in magazines and going wheel to wheel with his racing heroes. After making a name for himself on US road circuits and putting in some stand-out performances in Formula 3, that F1 opportunity came in 1978 when Walter Wolf offered Bobby a seat alongside Jody Scheckter at the US and Canadian Grand Prix. They were the last two races of the season and, sadly, they would be the first and last races that Bobby would contest in Formula 1. Although his time at the top was brief, Bobby’s legacy lives on as one of a handful of American drivers to have made it to F1. In this episode, Bobby addresses the need for more US drivers on the grid and he winds back the decades to reveal the passions that fuelled his love of European motorsport, his journey to F1 and what really happened at those two races back in 1978. 

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