2019: 110th Anniversary of the birth of John Wyer (1909-1989)


From: December 11, 2019
To: June 11, 2020
1 car is counted for this anniversary

John Wyer was an English automobile racing engineer and team manager. As team manager and team owner, Wyer won the 24 Hours of Le Mans several times. His first victory came in the 1959 edition, in his tenth anniversary as Aston Martin team manager, along with Roy Salvadori and Carroll Shelby, win with the DBR1. The team also won the 1000 km Nürburgring over three consecutive years. In 1963 he left Aston Martin for Ford Advanced Vehicles (FAV) In 1964. The Ford GT40 program was handed to compete against Ferrari, with the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans victory being the most famous, as well as 1967. When Ford closed the project after the 1967 season, John Wyer and John Willment formed J.W. Automotive Engineering Ltd (JWA). With backing from Gulf Oil and their team manager J-O Bockman, Wyer created the Ford-powered Mirage M-1, a prototype that won the 1967 1000 km Spa. Wyer won the World Sportscar Championship for Ford (GT40) in 1968. The superior power of the 5000cc V8 allowed them to win on fast tracks, and especially at Le Mans two years in a row in 1968 and 1969. As it was obvious that the GT40 would finally become obsolete after 1969, Wyer switched to the new Porsche 917. Wyers' team even became the factory's main partner and was a major factor in developing the wedge-shaped Kurzheck tail of the 1970 917K which made the car much more stable than the original 1969 version. Battling with the works Ferrari 512's and the other Porsche team, backed by Martini Racing and led by Vic Elford, the JWA Gulf-Porsche 917's, earned many victories in 1970 and 1971, including the Spa 1000 km, but not at Le Mans. In 1972, Wyer adopted the new 3.0 L regulations and started building Gulf-Mirage prototypes once more, using a Formula One Cosworth DFV engine. The successful F1-engine was considered unsuited for endurance racing as vibrations took their toll after several hours, so modifications had to be made. After three years of trying, Jacky Ickx and Derek Bell finally achieved Wyers' last win at Le Mans, in 1975. He is mainly associated with cars running in the light blue and orange livery of his longtime sponsorship partner Gulf Oil.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Wyer

 

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