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OBSCURE F1 A-Z: BILL VUKOVICH


In this 26 part series of posts I will be going through the alphabet and for each letter, a profile piece on an obscure driver - some you may have heard of before some you may never knew even sat in an F1 car let alone raced one. I have chosen a driver for each letter choosing them based on their surnames.

Bill Vukovich was an American racer who raced in Formula One for five years between 1950 - 1955. racing for teams including Kurtis Kraft, Trevis, Rounds Rocket and Maserati. The American racer entered just six races - starting five before his death in 1955. During the early years of Formula One the infamous Indy 500 was part of the calendar and this is where Vukovich found his success during his time in F1.

His first F1 entry was at the 1950 Indy 500 a race he wouldn't even start. However just three years later at the 1953 Indianapolis 500 Vukovich won his first F1 race an astonishing three minutes ahead of second placed man Art Cross.

His final win would come a year later at the '54 Indy 500 where he would finish just one minute clear of second place Jimmy Bryan.

In 1955 Vukovich entered the Indy 500 as the man to beat having won the two previous editions of the race. However Vukovich's luck changed after leading for 54 laps and with a 17 second gap to the car behind when he approached three slower cars which came together after he had passed them causing one to spin into the wall which caused a chain reaction of one of the other three cars to spin into the back of Vukovich's car which then caused him to hit the outside wall and become air born finally landing upside down on a row of parked cars and then bursting into flames. One driver stopped to try and save Vukovich but to no avail as the American racer was killed almost instantly being partly decapitated during the time his car was in the air. Bill Vukovich was 36.

During his five year F1 career Vukovich achieved;

3 Fastest Laps

1 Pole Postion

19 Career Points

2 Podiums &

2 Wins

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