Tuesday 9th March 1937
Born on this day, Brian Redman, a very successful British driver in sportscar racing and the World Sportscar Championship. He won the 1970 Targa Florio with a Porsche 908, the 12 Hours of Sebring twice, in 1975 with a BMW Coupé, in 1978 with a Porsche 935 and the Spa-Francorchamps 1000km race 4 times (1968–1970, 1972).
Redman drove for Shadow Racing Cars both in CanAm and in Formula One. He also appeared in McLaren, Cooper and Alfa Romeo cars.
He participated in 15 World Championship Grands Prix, debuting on 1 January 1968. He achieved one podium in the 1968 Spanish Grand Prix, finishing third in a Cooper-BRM behind Graham Hill in a Lotus-Ford and Denny Hulme in a McLaren-Ford. He then had an accident at the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps, crashing his Cooper-BRM at Malmedy corner; he survived with a broken arm. He scored a total of 8 championship points in his career, with two 5th places in 1972, at the Monaco Grand Prix and the German Grand Prix driving a Yardley McLaren.
He was offered various other Formula One drives, but did not particularly enjoy the atmosphere of F1 even in the 1970s, preferring sports car racing. He achieved spectacular success in this category of racing, particularly in 1969 and 1970 as a Porsche works driver; in 1970 he drove a Porsche 917K and a Porsche 908/03 with former works Aston Martin racing team manager John Wyer’s Gulf-sponsored team in 1970, winning a handful of races with Jo Siffert, including the gruelling Targa Florio in Sicily. The conservative Redman decided to retire from his dangerous profession, getting a job as a Volkswagen car dealership manager in South Africa in 1971. But this only lasted for 4 months, as he did not like the political atmosphere of South Africa; and he returned to his home county of Lancashire in Northern England. He didn’t have a drive; although Wyer contacted Redman and offered him a drive in the Targa Florio. After being asked by Wyer to start the race (because he did not want Siffert and Pedro Rodríguez (who had an intense track rivalry) on the dangerous and demanding track at the same time), Redman crashed his and Siffert’s Porsche 908/03 20 miles into the first lap and was injured. Thinking his career was finished, he then found himself signing a one-race deal to drive for Scuderia Ferrari’s sportscar team at the Kyalami 9 Hours race in South Africa that year. He and Clay Regazzoni won the race, and he then received a full-time offer from Ferrari for the 1972 season. He won a number of races (most notably his fourth Spa 1000 km race) and the Ferrari team won every race in the series that year except for Le Mans, an event they did not participate in. He also raced for Ferrari in 1973, winning the Nürburgring 1000km race with Jacky Ickx.
Redman then moved to the United States and then won the SCCA/USAC Formula 5000 Championship three times in a row from 1974 to 1976 against considerable opposition, including Mario Andretti and Al Unser, driving a Jim Hall/Carl Haas entered Lola, in 1975 and the Jackie Oliver, Shadow Dodge and Alan Jones, March 76A. But in 1977 he had a serious accident in his Lola F5000 car at the Mont-Tremblant circuit near St. Jovite; it took him 9 months to recover; but he returned to racing on a spectacular note by winning the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1978 driving a Porsche 935.He even drove one of two Group 6 World Championship 936 Porsche 2.1 turbo at Le Mans and Silverstone in 1979. Later in his career he achieved more success in endurance racing, winning the 1981 IMSA GT championship. His last year of professional racing was at the age of 52, driving for the works Aston Martin team in the 1989 World Sports Prototype Championship.
Redman now lives in Florida and is very active in historic racing. He drives a Porsche 908/03 for the Collier Collection and appears at the Goodwood Festival of Speed every year.