One of two one-time Grand Prix racers celebrating his birthday today is Robin Widdows, who turns 70 years old!
Born in Middlesex, Widdows was an Olympic-standard bobsled racer who found his interest in motorsport really cemented when he won the Autosport Class C championship in 1965.
He graduated to Formula 3 in 1966, and moved to Formula 2 – with the assistance of some backing from a consortium of friends – in 1967 in a Brabham BT23, with the highlight being a surprise win at the Rhine Cup at Hockenheim.
He moved to the Chequered Flag Racing team in 1968 – driving a McLaren M4A – and finished an outstanding second at Pau.
His one and only Grand Prix outing came at that year’s British Grand Prix with Cooper. After qualifying 18th-fastest of the 20 starters, he retired with ignition trouble.
He returned to Formula 2 in 1969 – winning the Lottery GP and finishing second at Reims – and also dabbled in a bit of sports car racing before he abruptly retired from racing mid-season in 1970.
Twenty years later, Widdows would suddenly return to motorsport as the representative for Formula 1’s official champagne supplier, Moet et Chandon, which supplied the bubble sprayed (and wasted!) until the end of 1997. He served in the role from 1992 until the end of the 1997 season.
[Image via F1 Rejects]