March 21, 2023

F1 podium finisher Reine Wisell dies aged 80 – Motorsport. com

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The Swede drove for the works Lotus, BRM and March teams before a career that started so promisingly faded away, and he slipped into the shadow of his close contemporary plus longtime rival Ronnie Peterson.

Born in 1941 he began his career within saloon cars in 1962. He graduated to F3 in 1966, scoring a couple of local wins with a Cooper in his first season.

In 1967 this individual switched to a Brabham, winning the Swedish title. The previous year he had given Swedish karting star Ronnie Peterson, two and half years his junior, some racing instruction at Karlskoga. By 1968 they were both  driving  F3  Tecnos, although initially Wisell was a step ahead and focusing on the international scene.

Simply by 1969 Peterson had made the step up and the particular two became keen rivals, notably in Monaco, where Peterson came out within top  after a famous battle. That year Wisell also did some sportscar race with the Chevron.

It was Peterson who made it to F1 first, racing a private March from early in 1970. However Wisell would eventually  land  the bigger opportunity. That 12 months he raced for Sid Taylor within F5000, scoring three late-season  victories  plus finishing seventh in the  Guards  championship.  

The particular wins raised his profile, and  after Jochen Rindt’s death from Monza and the subsequent departure through Team Lotus of John Miles, Wisell was called by Colin Chapman in order to partner Emerson Fittipaldi, who himself had contested only three grands prix with that stage.

The Swede’s first race was on Watkins Glen, where he or she qualified eighth, one second off Fittipaldi. In the closing stages Pedro Rodriguez’s BRM ran out associated with fuel handing victory to Fittipaldi in only the Brazilian’s fourth start – while Wisell earned third on their debut.

Reine Wisell drives the Lotus 72C on his way to third in the 1970 U.S. Grand Prix at Watkins Glen, his F1 debut.

Reine Wisell drives the That lotus 72C on his way to third in the 1970 U. S. Grand Prix at Watkins Glen, his F1 debut.

Photo by: David Phipps

He’d done enough in order to earn a full-time seat Lotus chair alongside Fittipaldi in 1971. He was  an  encouraging fourth within the first race in South Africa and might go upon to finish sixth in France, fourth within Austria, plus fifth in Italy.   In F2 he won the Pau GP within a Lotus, but  it was a largely disappointing  F1  season and he was replaced for 1972 by Lotus F3 star Dave Walker.

Wisell moved  instead  to BRM as part of an expanded multi-car Marlboro-backed line-up, but with other drivers being drafted in and out, he  was dropped for  several races. At the end of the particular year he was known as back to Lotus in order to replace the lacklustre Walker for the particular last two GPs. Nevertheless there has been no seat for 1973 as Peterson got the job.

By now Wisell’s single-seater career had been losing momentum. In 1973 he  rented a March  for his home Great Prix but failed to start, and he then drove Mike Beuttler’s car in the particular French GP. He furthermore scored the famous F2 victory with regard to GRD in the Nurburgring in April, while running Dunlop tyres on the front plus Firestones on the rear.

However he would make only one more DOCTOR start, in a works 03 at Anderstorp in 1974, before their F1 career fizzled away. Wisell never quite came to terms with the fact that will Peterson experienced become one of the particular superstars of the sport.

He would certainly continue to  compete  within GTs and touring vehicles, and did a lot of race in Chevrolet Camaros. He made four starts from Le Mans between 1969 and ’74, and latterly his highest profile appearances were in the Spa 24 Hours, where he last competed within 1981. Subsequently he was also seen in historic racing.

Having walked away from the sport, Wisell spent his later years in Thailand, plus from there he would make occasional visits to the paddock with the Malaysian GP.

Wisell with Lotus founder Colin Chapman, Zandvoort 1971.

Wisell with Lotus founder Colin Chapman, Zandvoort 1971.

Picture by: Jesse Phipps



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