Jo Bonnier Biography: Mr. Karl Jockum Jonas “Joakim” Bonnier was a Swedish Formula One and sportscar racing driver who raced for many teams. He was the first Swede to compete in and win a Formula One race.
Jo Bonnier Biography
Jo Bonnier Biography: Karl Jockum Jonas Bonnier was born to the wealthy Bonnier family in Stockholm. His father, Gert, was a genetics professor at the University of Stockholm, and many members of his large family worked in the publishing industry. He spoke six languages, and although his parents hoped he would become a physician, he once desired to join the family publishing business. He studied languages at Oxford University for a year before moving to Paris, France, to learn about publishing.
Jo Bonnier Wiki
|Date Of Birth||31 January 1930|
|Birth Place||Stockholm, Sweden|
|Died||11 June 1972|
Jo Bonnier Career
Onnier entered Formula One driving a Maserati in 1956. His racing career nearly ended in September 1958 during a race near Modena at Imola. He debuted a 1500cc Maserati and moved up through the field after a poor start, passing Luigi Musso. He was getting in on Eugenio Castellotti by approximately two seconds per lap when he lost control when another car drew directly into his path as they navigated a fast corner. His Maserati collided with a large rock at the road’s border and was launched. The other driver went underneath him as he rotated in the air, and their helmets collided while he was upside down. The Maserati of Bonnier landed on its side and slid 75 feet before entering an opening and stopping against a pole. Bonnier was thrown from the vehicle and sustained a contusion, multiple fractured ribs, and a fractured vertebra. His truck was destroyed.
His most outstanding achievement in Formula One was winning the 1959 Dutch Grand Prix for BRM at Zandvoort when the notoriously unreliable car performed well for the first time (Dan Gurney and Hans Herrmann crashed badly after brake failures). He also won the 1960 German Grand Prix with a Porsche 718, a Formula Two race conducted before the 1961 rule change. Bonnier was influential in the formation of the Grand Prix Drivers Association.
Despite his victory for BRM, Bonnier only drove for a few works teams there, serving as a replacement driver for Lotus, Brabham, and Honda on only a few occasions. In the late 1950s, after making his debut in a works Maserati, he drove for his own Joakim Bonnier Racing Team and Mimmo Dei’s Scuderia Centro Sud before joining the BRM and Porsche teams. After Porsche ceased Grand Prix racing after the 1962 season, Bonnier transferred to Rob Walker Racing Team, the only pirate to have won World Championship events, where he scored few points driving Coopers and Brabhams.
In addition to Formula One, Bonnier participated in many different car competitions. He won the 1960 Targa Florio co-driving a works Porsche 718 with Hans Herrmann and the 1962 12 Hours of Sebring co-driving a Ferrari 250 TRI entered by Count Giovanni Volpi with Lucien Bianchi. In 1963, he won the Targa Florio alongside Carlo Mario Abate in a second work, Porsche 718.
Bonnier acquired a McLaren M6B in 1968 to compete in the Can-Am series. In his debut at the Sweden Grand Prix in Karlskoga, Bonnier started in pole position, but an off-course excursion on the first lap caused him to finish second behind David Piper in a Ferrari 330P3/4. He then drove his McLaren in five Can-Am races, with his highest finish in Las Vegas, where he placed eighth. He was beset by mechanical issues for the majority of the season. However, he finished third in the M6B 200-mile race on Mt. Fuji. In 1970, he drove a Lola T210 to victory in the European 2-Litre Sports Car Championship, finishing with 48 points and the driver’s championship.