Parkes, Michael Johnson
(c) 'Who is Who' by Steve Small, 2000 Родился: 24.09.1931 Ричмонд, Суррей Умер: 28.08.1977 Рива-Прессо-Кьери, Турин, Италия Сезонов в Ф1: Лет в Ф1: 9 Гран При: Старты: 6* *не стартовал: 1 Победы: подряд: Подиумы: подряд: Поул-позиции: подряд: Первый ряд: подряд:
Рива-Прессо-Кьери, Турин, Италия
Сезонов в Ф1:
Лет в Ф1:
9 Гран При: Старты: 6* *не стартовал: 1 Победы: подряд: Подиумы: подряд: Поул-позиции: подряд: Первый ряд: подряд:
6* *не стартовал: 1 Победы: подряд: Подиумы: подряд: Поул-позиции: подряд: Первый ряд: подряд:
1 Победы: подряд: Подиумы: подряд: Поул-позиции: подряд: Первый ряд: подряд:
Born into a motoring family (his father was the chairman of Alvis cars), Mike first took to the circuits with an MG TD while working as an engineer with the Rootes group, and soon graduated to a Frazer Nash.
He started to race seriously in 1957 with a Lotus, bringing an invitation from Colin Chapman to act as reserve driver for the works team at Le Mans, and then became involved with David Fry's Formula 2 project, which was intended for Stuart Lewis-Evans. Apart from the occasional Libre success in minor events during 1958-59, the car was not really competitive and Mike failed to qualify it for the F2 class of the British GP at Aintree.
A few outings in Sir Gawaine Baillie's Lotus Elite during 1960 showed his potential but brought little by way of results, but his breakthrough came in 1961 when he raced for Tommy Sopwith's Equipe Endeavour in GT and Formula Junior events, and also handled Maranello Concessionaires' Ferrari GT, winning races regularly in all classes. The high point of his season was undoubtedly the Le Mans 24 Hours, in which he shared a Ferrari 3-litre Testa Rossa with Willy Mairesse to take a superb second place.
Although he began 1962 with a rare Formula 1 outing at Mallory Park, taking fourth place in the 1000 Guineas race in a Bowmaker Cooper, Parkes' immediate future remained in the sports and GT category. His superb form of the previous year was repeated with much the same machinery, his tally including a hat-trick of wins in one day at Brands Hatch. Another fine outing brought second place in the Nurburgring 1000 Km in the works Ferrari, and it was no surprise when he joined the Scuderia for the 1963 season as development engineer and reserve driver.
Over the next three seasons, Mike became one the world's leading sports car drivers, winning the Sebring 12 Hours and Spa 500 Km in 1964 - a season cut short by a testing accident - and the Monza 1000 Km in 1965. After John Surtees' sudden departure from the team, Mike was elevated to Grand Prix status and, with a special long chassis to accommodate his 6 ft 4 in frame, he took second place on his debut in the French GP and repeated the feat at Monza. His success in sports cars continued, Parkes winning the Monza and Spa 1000 Km in 1966, and finishing second at Daytona, Monza and Le Mans in 1967, a season which started with much promise when he dead-heated with Scarfiotti to share a win at Syracuse and then demolished the opposition in the International Trophy at Silverstone. However, disaster struck in the Belgian GP when he crashed his Ferrari and suffered serious leg injuries.
Mike continued in a management role at Ferrari while he recovered from the accident, and made a tentative return in the Paris 1000 Km in 1969, returning to the track in 1970 and 1971 for NART and Scuderia Filipinetti. Though he could not repeat his previous triumphs, Parkes produced some useful performances, including a superb drive to fifth place in the 1972 Targa Florio with Peter Westbury in the little Lola T212. He was then involved in the Fiat 128 touring car programme before moving to Lancia to help develop the Stratos. Tragically, Parkes was killed in a road accident in 1977 when his car was involved in a collision with a lorry.
(c) 'Who is Who' by Steve Small, 2000
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