Jean-Pierre Wimille (40), the leading driver in the immediate post-war years, was killed when he crashed into a tree while practicing for the Argentinian Grand Prix


Friday 28th January 1949

Jean-Pierre Wimille (40), the leading driver in the immediate post-war years, was killed when he crashed into a tree while practicing for the Argentinian Grand Prix. Some said he was blinded by a shaft of sunlight coming between the trees, others that he had swerved to avoid a dog. It was the first time he had driven in a crash helmet. He won the 1947 Swiss and Belgian Grands Prix, and in 1948 the French and Italian, and was the leading driver of the season. In World War II came, following the Nazi occupation Wimille and fellow Grand Prix race drivers Robert Benoist and William Grover-Williams joined the Special Operations Executive, which aided the French Resistance. Of the three, Wimille was the only one to survive.


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