Former Grand Prix driver Danny Sullivan will have the honour of kickstarting the 2013 roster of former racers to grace the FIA Stewards’ Panel as the drivers’ representative. It will be the fourth time that the American will serve in this capacity, and the first time that he has done so in Australia.
A former New York taxi driver, Sullivan (pictured above, right) moved to the UK and spent several years trying to fund his own climb up the motorsport ladder towards a top-flight career – picking up the occasional success and plenty of misfortune along the way.
After returning to the States, he achieved success in Can-Am in the early 1980s and suddenly his name was attracting attention: he finished third on his IndyCar debut for Forsythe Newman.
For 1983, he jumped into Formula 1 with Tyrrell, but it was a largely frustrating season. Just a fifth place at Monaco and second in the Race of Champions were all he could pick up in the way of meaningful results with the normally-aspirated 011 chassis.
The lure of IndyCars (now CART) brought him back to the USA after just a single year in F1, and he took three wins in 1984 before moving to Penske, where he took a famous ‘spin and win’ victory at the 1985 Indianapolis 500, making him part of American racing folklore. He won the 1988 IndyCar title, and remained in the series until a nasty crash at Michigan in 1995 ended his racing career.
Sullivan ventured into motorsport commentary before heading up Red Bull’s now-defunct American Driver Search program that promoted Scott Speed as the country’s most recent representative in F1.