November 10, 2006

Today In Automotive History

1965 : Irv the Swerve born in Northern Ireland

On this day, Formula One racer Eddie Irvine was born in Newtownards, Northern Ireland. In 1996, Irvine won a coveted place on the Ferrari team, racing alongside the likes of World Champion Michael Schumacher, but Irvine is also famous as one of the last of Formula One's most endangered species--the playboy racing driver. The popular bachelor, who maintains an impressive neutrality in regard to his British or Irish nationality, has not won a grand prix as of 1998, yet enjoyed seven career-podium finishes and reached a Formula One ranking of fourth in the world in 1998. Irvine got his start in racing at the young age of 17, competing in his father's Crossle FF 1600 Chassis, and by 1988 had worked his way up to British Formula Three series. 1990 saw him driving for the Jordan F3000 team, and he won his first race at Hockinheim that year, finishing third overall in the series. In the fall of 1993, Irvine made his Formula One debut driving for Sasol Jordan, and at the Suzuki racetrack in Japan he placed sixth, becoming the first driver since Jean Alesi to score points on a Formula One debut. In his first few years of Formula One racing, Irvine, a notoriously fearless and reckless driver, earned the nickname "Irv the Swerve." However, he also demonstrated enough driving potential to be offered the number-two position on the championship Ferrari team in 1996.

Posted by Quality Weenie at November 10, 2006 07:44 AM | TrackBack