Happy birthday to Pete Lovely, who celebrates his 84th birthday today!

Born Gerard Carlton Lovely in Livingstone, Montana, his claim to fame is being the first driver to win a race at Laguna Seca, doing so in 1957 driving a Ferrari.

Pete Lovely

Lovely competed in 11 Formula 1 World Championship Grands Prix, debuting in a works Lotus 16 at the 1959 Monaco Grand Prix, which he failed to qualify for.

He would make another appearance at the 1960 USA Grand Prix in a Cooper Ferrari, making the grid and finishing in 11th place.

It would be almost ten years before his next F1 outing, the 1969 Canadian Grand Prix, in which he ran with a privately entered Lotus 49B under the ‘Pete Lovely Volkswagen’ banner. He would finish the race in seventh place, his highest ever finish.

Indeed, Lovely would make the finish only one more time at that year’s Mexican Grand Prix, and the remainder of his F1 career resulted in non-qualifications or finishing outside the 90% classification cut-off.

After his retirement from F1 following the 1971 United States Grand Prix (pictured), Lovely continued to compete in motor racing until the 1980s.

To this day, Pete continues to restore vintage and historic cars, and is still seen at historic races.

Richard’s F1 wishes Pete a very happy birthday!

[Original image via Image Shack]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.