Occasional Grand Prix racer Mike Wilds will be celebrating his 66th birthday today!
Wilds was a regular on the Formula 3 and Formula 5000 scene, whose opportunity in F1 was all too brief to demonstrate his skills.
A former Firestone Tyres employee, Mike spent seven years in club racing before graduating to Formula 3 in 1972. Backed by Dempster Developments, he was soon winning races before opting to move into F5000 in 1974.
Mid-year. he was given the chance to try and qualify (sadly failing) a March 731 at Brands Hatch for the British GP, before he was picked up by Ensign for the closing rounds of the season, finally making the grid for the season-ending US GP only to lost precious laps having to pit to repair a fuel pump.
Invited to lead the BRM team in 1975, he last but two races before getting the chop, and he suffered more when he split with his long-time sponsor and having to rejoin F5000 once again, racing an ex-works Shadow in 1976.
Mike returned to the club racing scene once more in the late 1970s, although he would later suffering a leg-breaking crash in 1994 demonstrating Gilles Villeneuve’s Ferrari 312T at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Wilds now runs his own business teaching prospective racing drivers and helicopter pilots.
[Image via Best Pictures Of]