Today former Grand Prix driver and sports car racer Geoff Lees turns 61 years old!
A driver whom many regarded to be among the most professional in the business, Lees had the talent without ever getting a proper crack at the top flight of open-wheel motorsport. This was despite his success in virtually every other championship category he has competed.
A Formula Ford champion in the 1970s, Lees moved quickly into Formula 3 before moving into the Aurora F1 series and Can-Am. He also won the Macau Grand Prix twice.
In between all of this, he took his Grand Prix opportunities when they came about, but he was often saddled with less than competitive (or familiar) machinery and it was a supreme effort to just to qualify for a race. In his fourteen World Championship appearances – which occurred sporadically between 1978 and 1982 – he made the qualifying cut just five times.
Taking the 1981 Formula 2 championship crown wasn’t enough to propel him into F1 full-time, and so Lees moved to Japan where he carved out a successful career in TOM’s Toyota sports car team.