Former Grand Prix driver Ingo Hoffmann is celebrating his 59th birthday today!
Despite his German-sounding name, Hoffmann is actually a Brazilian, whose hopes of a long and prosperous F1 career were dashed, courtesy of a disastrous spell with the Fittipaldi brothers’ Grand Prix team.
After achieving considerable success in Super Vee and tin-top racing in his homeland, Ingo travelled to Europe in 1975 and competed in the British Formula 3 championship.
He was called up to race for the Fittipaldi’s Copersucar team at the start of the 1976 season. He qualified on debut at Interlagos, but his next three appearances saw him fail to make the grid. The car was hit with all sorts of problems, and Ingo was very much a secondary consideration in light of the boss’ brother being the pilot of the sister car.
He had two more fruitless outings with the team in 1977, but then the team decided to withdraw its hopeless FD04 from competition, leaving Ingo to plough a career in Formula 2. Although championship success never came his way, he was a consistent frontrunner who deserved much more.
Returning to his native Brazil in 1979, he settled right back in to the tin-top scene, where he is one of South America’s most successful racers in the Brazilian Stock Car Championship, winning the championship title twelve times!
[Images via F1 Rejects, Globo]