A great friend and support of Richard’s F1, former Grand Prix driver Allen Berg is celebrating his 50th birthday today.
The last Canadian to compete in Formula 1 before Jacques Villeneuve came and left the F1 landscape, Berg started out racing karts in his native Calgary in the late 1970s, before making his open-wheeler debut at the age of nineteen in Canada’s Formula Ford Championship.
After finishing second in the championship, Allen moved to the Formula Atlantic championship, winning Rookie Of The Year honours, with his success there (and in Australia, where he won the Lady Wigram Trophy and the Formula Pacific Tasman crown) saw him offered a drive in the British Formula 3 championship in 1983.
It was a season famous for the ding-dong battle between Ayrton Senna and Martin Brundle, and Allen ran in the pack following this duo, winning once at Silverstone en route to finishing fifth in the championship. He stayed in the series the following year, this time taking over Brundle’s seat at Eddie Jordan Racing, and finished second overall to Johnny Dumfries.
But no drive further up the ladder was forthcoming until mid-1986, when he was called up to the little Osella squad. He qualified for nine races in the awfully slow car, but the departure of the Canadian Grand Prix from the 1987 calendar was the death-knell to further F1 ambitions.
After that, he carved out a successful motorsport reputation in a host of disciplines – earning particular acclaim racing in Mexico – before he hung up his helmet in the early 2000s and moved into team management.
He now owns and operates his eponymous racing school in his homeland, with the company also giving patrons the opportunity to hone their racing skills in the United States. Allen Berg Racing Schools remains one of the largest and most advanced in the industry anywhere in the world.
In the formative first few months of Richard’s F1 being in operation, Allen kindly afforded us one of our first ever exclusive interviews, and he remains a truly valued friend of our website. We take this opportunity to wish Allen a fantastic 50th birthday!
[Image via F1 Nostalgia]
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