31st of March – This is not a Formula 1 car, of course, but its history is quite an interesting one and realted to F1 in more than one way. Do you know what the deal is?
Kevin Cogan showed up in formula 1 with race winning credentials in US-Formula Ford and Formula Atlantic. His first taste of Formula 1 came in the 1980 Aurora F1 series, driving a Theodore Racing Wolf WR31. With the support of Teddy Yip he rented a RAM Williams FW07 for the Canadian GP that year but failed to qualify for the race. The next attempt in the 1981 US West GP at Long Beach with one of Ken Tyrrell’s cars didn’t fare any better. Cogan’s second DNQ put him out of business in F1, so he headed for Indycar racing. He only lost out to Bobby Rahal on the very last lap in what could have been a sparkling win at the 1986 Indy 500. He walked away from a huge crash during the 1989 Indianapolis 500 and broke his arm and leg in another accident during the 1991 Brickyard race. He finally retired from racing in 1993 and became a successful businessman.
Tim Densham joined Team Lotus as a design engineer in the 1980s as a mechanical engineering graduate from Lancaster Polytechnic under the great Colin Chapman. As well as a designer but soon became a race engineer and eventually assistant chief engineer in charge of Team Lotus research and development department. In 1990 he switched to Brabham and became chief designer for the BT61 project a year later. But the team folded, the new car never having been built. At the end of that year Densham joined Tyrrell as a design engineer and in 1998 he quietly moved on to the still new and secret Honda F1 operation. When the Japanese called the deal off, Densham was recruited to be chief designer at Benetton. He led the team which designed the Benetton-Playlife B200 and remained with the team after it was taken over by Renault Sport.
Jacobus Pretorius, better known as Jackie Pretorius, was a decendant of one of the earliest Dutch settlers and a famous family, besides being a South African racing legend in the 1960s and early 1970s. He was related to Andries Pretorius, who was instrumental in the creation of the Transvaal Republic and his son Martinus, who was the first president of the South African Republic and compiled the constitution and founded the city of Pretoria in honour of his father. His best season was handling the Team Gunston Brabham BT26A in 1971 and winning the championship races at Killarney and Natal’s Roy Hesketh circuit. He was called in at the 1973 SA Grand Prix by Williams for the final time to replace the injured Nanni Galli making it 4 appearances at the South African Grand Prix before returning to the local series with his ex-Motul Brabham. At the end of the year, at the age of 39, he decided to retire from the sport. He remained with Wynn Oil until his retirement after 34 years with the company. In 2003 he survived an assault to his Midrand home, sadly his wife Shirley was shot by the criminals. 6 years later he became the victim of a similar assault to his home at Glen Austin, a suburb of Johannesburg and passed away weks later in consequence of the injuries sustained.
Born: 22nd of November 1934 in Potchefstroom, South Africa:
Died: 31st of March 2009 in Johannesburg, South Africa, ageed 74.