Today marks the 55th birthday for American driver Kevin Cogan, who contested two Formula 1 Grands Prix between 1980-1, failing to qualify either a RAM-Williams or Tyrrell in his respective outings. But the Californian is much more famous for a bizarre series of accidents in his subsequent IndyCar career…
Having shown huge potential without winning a race, Cogan was signed to the Penske team for 1982 and broke the then-lap record qualifying for the Indianapolis 500, beaten to pole only by his team-mate Rick Mears.
But by the end of race day, Cogan was out of favour with many a fan and IndyCar figure after he triggered a multi-car accident on the warm-up lap that took out AJ Foyt and Mario Andretti.
After four winless seasons with Penske, he was fired from the team and joined Patrick Racing and won the 1986 race at Phoenix, and also narrowly missed out on winning the Indy 500.
Cogan had a monster accident during the 1989 Indianapolis 500 when he spun and hit the end of the pit wall, obliterating his car. He another another accident in the 1991 race – breaking his arm and leg – and finally retired at the end of 1993.
[Original image via Racing Sports Cars]