Brian Redman is a former British racing driver who was professionally active between 1959 and 1989, being known mostly as an endurance and sports car racer. He was a member of several factory teams, such were Chevron, Ford, Porsche, Ferrari or BMW.
Redman participated 14 times at 24 hours of Le Mans, with two class wins as the best results. He was most successful at Spa, where he won four times in 1000km race with three different manufacturers. He also won Daytona 24h and Sebring 12h, both races two times. In 1981, he won the IMSA GT Championship title.
In the open-wheel racing, Redman recorded 12 starts in Formula One between 1968 and 1974 with six different teams. He was the most successful in the American F5000 Championship, winning three consecutive championship titles between 1974 and 1976.
Starting a career with Morris 1000 Traveller Woody
Brian Herman Thomas Redman was born on March 9, 1937, in Burnley, Lancashire. He started racing in 1959 with Morris 1000 Traveller Woody. In the early 1960s, he was driving different machinery before gained the first notable success with Jaguar E-Type of Red Rose Motors, winning the Autosport Championship race at Oulton Park.
World Sportscar Championship debut in 1966
In 1966, he was driving for Red Rose both in the British Sportscar Championship (Lola T70 MkII) and British Saloon Car Championship (Alfa Romeo GTA 1600). In April 1966, he debuted in the World Sportscar Championship, driving the Ford GT40 at Monza 1000 km race, sharing a car with Richard Bond. A month later, together with Peter Sutcliffe, he participated in WSC race at Spa, where they finished in the fourth place. His third WSC race was the Nurburgring 1000 km, where he finished sixth.
Le Mans 24h debut in 1967
Redman continued to combine racing disciplines in 1967, competing for David Bridges in the European Formula 2 but also in endurance races with different teams and cars. He and Peter Sutcliffe returned to Spa with Sutcliffe's Ford GT, finishing in the sixth place.
In June 1967, Redman debuted at 24 hours of Le Mans, driving #62 John Wyer Automotive's Ford GT40 MkI together with Mike Salmon. They didn't finish the race. It was just first of many retirements for Redman at Le Mans. In total, Redman recorded ten DNFs in fourteen participations at Le Mans.
Later in 1967, Redman had some notable participations in endurance races, sharing a Ferrari 250 LM with Richard Attwood at Paris 1000 km (6th) or sharing a Mirage M1 with Jacky Ickx at Kyalami 9 Hours (1st).
Formula One debut on 1968 New Year's day
On January 1, 1968, Redman debuted in Formula One, driving Maserati-powered Cooper T81B for Cooper Car Company at the South African Grand Prix. After starting from 21st place, his race lasted for just four laps. He stopped because of an oil leak.
DNFs at Daytona and Sebring debuts
In February and March 1968, Redman debuted in two famous events – 24h Daytona and 12h Sebring. In both races, his partner in JW Automotive's Ford GT40 was Jacky Ickx. They were first on the grid at Daytona and second at Sebring, but didn't finish either one race.
After returning to Europe, Ickx and Redman won the WSC race at Brands Hatch. One more DNF followed at Monza in April before Redman returned to F1 car in May.
First and only Formula One podium
It was at Jarama Circuit, where Redman was driving factory-entered BRM-powered Cooper T86B. It was the first race after the death of Jim Clark, who lost his life in a non-championship F2 race at Hockenheim.
Redman was the 13th qualifier but he was one of five drivers who reached a finish line in a 90-lap race, taking his first and only F1 podium. He finishes in the third place, behind Graham Hill and Denny Hulme.
Victory and crash at Spa in two weeks
After scoring a podium in Formula One, Redman returned to sports car racing, finishing sixth at Nurburgring 1000 km with JWA Ford, which he shared with David Hobbs. Then followed one of his greatest wins, together with Jacky Ickx, at rainy Spa-Francorchamps. It was on May 26, 1968.
Two weeks later, Redman returned to Spa to drive for Cooper in Formula One race. In that time, the race took place on the 14.1km-long Spa circuit, which was extremely fast and dangerous. On lap 7, Redman went off because of broken suspension and crashed into a concrete barrier and parked cars. His Cooper caught fire but he escaped with broken right arm and minor burns. That year, he missed 24 hours of Le Mans, returning to the race track in October.
Joining Porsche and winning world's title in 1969
After spending few season with JWA/Ford, Redman joined another premium team for the 1969 endurance season – Porsche. He debuted with Porsche 908 at Daytona 24h, sharing a car with Vic Elford. They were fastest qualifiers but retired because of mechanical failure. One more retirement followed at Sebring 12h, where Redman was sharing a car with Jo Siffert.
After they returned to Europe, Siffert and Redman recorded four great wins at Brands Hatch, Monza, Spa and Nurburgring, but they failed at Le Mans, retiring after 60 laps. Later in a season, they won one more WSC race at Watkins Glen. With all those wins, Redman and Siffert secured the 1969 International Championship for Makes title for Porsche.
Winning the 1969 Kanonloppet at Karlskoga
During 1969, Redman continued to drive Sid Taylor's Lola T70 in the British Sportscar Championship. With that car, he also participated in the Swedish Grand Prix, commonly referred as Kanonloppet, at Karlskoga circuit. He won the race, beating David Piper and Ronnie Peterson.
One more notable victory in 1969 was in the non-championship 500 km race at Nurburgring, where he was driving factory-entered Chevron B16.
1970 – victories at Daytona and Targa Florio
The season 1970 started with a victory at Daytona 24-hour race. Redman participated in a race with two cars, driving both #1 and #2 John Wyer Automotive's Porsche 917Ks. The #2 car, which he shared with Leo Kinnunen and Pedro Rodriguez, won the race. The #2 car, he was sharing with Jo Siffert, finished in the second place.
The next great victory followed in May. Jo Siffert and Redman won Targa Florio. It was a win on which Redman is most proud. Starting from pole position in the #12 Porsche 908, after 11 laps on the 71.8 km long circuit at public roads, Siffert/Redman beat teammates Rodriguez/Kinnunen.
Famous picture of victory at Spa
Later in the season, Siffert/Redman won two more races, at Spa and Osterreichring, to bring one more manufacturers' title to Porsche. A race at Spa is one in which one of the most famous pictures in a history of endurance racing was taken, with Siffert and Rodriguez entering wheel-to-wheel into Eau Rouge.
Unlike Spa, Siffert and Redman weren't lucky at 1970 Le Mans race, recording their second consecutive retirement. Later in 1970, Redman mostly competed with Chevron, scoring some notable wins (Spa 500 km, 3h Cape Town).
Unsuccessful F1 attempts in 1970
In 1970, Brian Redman returned to Formula 1 events but without starting in races. At South African Grand Prix, he appeared as a member of Rob Walker Racing Team, but his Lotus 49C was driven by Graham Hill. After that, Redman joined Frank Williams to drive his De Tomaso at Brands Hatch, but he didn't start again.
Finally, at 1970 German Grand Prix at Hockenheim, Redman sat into the F1 car but failed to qualify for the race with #25 De Tomaso-Ford.
Driving for Surtees at 1971 F1 South African Grand Prix
Redman finally gained some success in Formula One in March 1971, driving for Team Surtees at South African Grand Prix. He qualifies his #28 Surtees TS7-Cosworth to 17th place on the grid, but after a good run in the race, he finished seventh.
Switching to F5000 Championship in 1971
It was Redman's only F1 race in 1971. He continued to drive Porsches and Chevrons in sports car races but his main competition became the British F5000 Championship. He was driving McLaren M18 (Chevrolet) for Sid Taylor Racing. In eleven races, Redman scored two wins and five podiums, finishing fifth in the points.
Brian joined Ferrari in 1972
In November 1971, Redman scored his first victory with Ferrari, sharing the #6 Ferrari 312PB with Clay Regazzoni at 9 Hours of Kyalami. For the 1972 season, Redman became Ferrari factory driver. The next great result was 2nd place at Buenos Aires 1000 km, again with Regazzoni.
In May 1972, Redman scored his fourth victory at 1000 km of Spa with the third different manufacturer. This time, he was driving Ferrari 312PB together with Arturo Merzario. Later in a season, Redman scored one more WSC win, partnering Jacky Ickx at Osterreichring, bringing manufacturers' title to Ferrari.
Progressing in the F5000 competitions
While driving for Ferrari in endurance races, Redman continued to race F5000 cars for Sid Taylor Racing, both in the British and American Championship. Redman was using Chevron B24 and McLaren M10B cars, finishing as a runner-up in Great Britain (behind Gijs van Lennep) and fourth in the US.
Four Formula 1 races in 1972
As a versatile driver, Redman added four Formula One races to his CV in 1972, which was the biggest number of F1 races in one season. He was driving Cosworth-powered McLaren M19A for Yardley Team McLaren in three Grand Prix races – at Monaco, Charade Circuit and Nurburgring. He finished fifth in Monaco and Germany, ninth in France, collecting four championship points to finish 14th in the final standings.
A fourth F1 attempt was at the US Grand Prix at Watkins Glen in October, where he was driving for Marlboro BRM team. Starting 24th, he retired after 34 laps.
Winning with Ferrari at Monza
In 1973, Redman continued to drive for Ferrari in the World Championship. The highlight of the season was a victory for him and Jacky Ickx at Monza, driving a Ferrari in front of the Italian crowd. Ickx and Redman scored one more WSC win, at Nurburgring.
At Le Mans, Redman recorded his fourth retirement. He was sharing the #15 Ferrari 312PB with Jacky Ickx, they retired after 332 laps.
Formula One race with Shadow
Besides competing in endurance races and F5000, Redman finds a time to join Shadow Racing Team in Formula One. He debuted with a team at 1973 US Grand Prix at Watkins Glen, where he didn't finish the race and was disqualified because receiving outside assistance.
In 1974 Formula One season, Redman participated in three Grand Prix race with Shadow. He finished seventh at Spanish Grand Prix at Jarama, then 18th at Belgian Grand Prix at Nivelles and finally he crashed out on the opening lap of Monaco Grand Prix.
Three consecutive F5000 Championship titles
In F5000 Championship, Redman switched his focus to America from 1973, driving Lola T330 for Jim Hall and Carl Haas. With five wins, he finished second in the points, behind Jody Scheckter. Next year, with the same team and similar car (Lola T332), Redman became the F5000 champion for the first time, beating Mario Andretti.
In 1975, Redman won his second SCCA/USAC F5000 title, driving Lola T332 and Lola T400 for Hall/Haas team. Mario Andretti was again Redman's closest opponent. The third title-winning season followed in 1976 when Redman beat Al Unser in the title fight.
Sebring and Daytona victories with BMW
While being a dominating driver in the American F5000 Championship, Redman competed in sports car races occasionally with different team and manufacturers (Autodelta/Alfa Romeo, NART/Ferrari, Penske/Porsche, Chevron).
In 1975, he was driving BMW for the first time, debuting with BMW 3.0 CSL at Daytona 24h. In the next race, the Sebring 12 Hours, he won the race with #25 BMW 3.0 CSL, sharing a car with Allan Moffat, Sam Posey and Hans-Joachim Stuck. In February 1976, Redman returned to Daytona with BMW, to finish an unfinished business. Driving the #59 BMW 3.0 CSL, he won the race. His co-drivers were Peter Gregg and John Fitzpatrick.
At 1976 Le Mans race, Redman had no luck. He and Peter Gregg came with BMW 3.5 CSL Turbo but retired after just 23 laps.
Spectacular return with Sebring and Le Mans wins
A serious accident with Lola T332 F5000 car at Circuit Mont-Tremblant in June 1977 slowed down Redman's career. His recovery lasted for nine months. His return in March 1978 was spectacular, he won the Sebring 12 hours with Dick Barbour's Porsche 935. Redman's codrivers were Charles Mendez and Bob Garretson.
In June 1978, he participated with the same car at 24 hours of Le Mans, reaching the finish line for the first time. He, John Paul and Dick Barbour were fifth overall and the winners in the IMSA +2.5 class.
One more Le Mans class win in 1980
Redman continued to drive Porsche cars in different competitions in 1979, including 24h Le Mans. In the #12 Essex Porsche 936, he and Jacky Ickx didn't finish the race.
Daytona win and IMSA GT Championship title in 1981
Redman's successful streak with Porsche continued in 1981, when he became the IMSA GT champion, scoring six wins during a season, both with Porsche 935 and Lola T600. The most valuable win was his second triumph at Daytona 24 hours. He was sharing the #9 Porsche 935 K3 with Bob Garretson and Bobby Rahal.
Three seasons with Group 44's Jaguar
In 1984, Redman joined Group 44 to drive Jaguar XJR-5 both in the IMSA GT Championship and at Le Mans. He finished sixth in the championship points. At Le Mans, he retired one more time, sharing a car with Doc Bundy and Bob Tullius. In 1985, a result at Le Mans was the same, with one more retirement. He shared a car with Hurley Haywood and Jim Adams. In the 1985 IMSA Championship, Redman finished in the seventh place.
In the 1986 IMSA season, Jaguar XJR-7 came, Redman finished in 15th place. At 1986 Le Mans race, he was a part of Silk Cut Jaguar crew in the #52 Jaguar XJR-6 LM, together with Hurley Haywood and Hans Heyer. They retired after 53 laps.
Finishing a career with Aston Martin
In 1987, Redman was back in a cockpit of Porsche, driving a Porsche 962 for Primus Motorsport in the IMSA GTP Championship, with third place at Sebring as the best result. In 1988, he finished second at Daytona 24h, driving #67 Busby Racing's Porsche 962 together with Bob Wollek and Mauro Baldi. At 1988 Le Mans, Redman was a part of Takefuji Schuppan Racing Team in the #33 Porsche 962C, together with Eje Elgh and Jean-Pierre Jarier. They finished in the 10th place.
Redman's last year of professional racing was at the age 52, driving Aston Martin AMR1 for the factory Aston Martin team in the 1989 World Sports Prototype Championship plus 24h Le Mans. His partner in WSPC races was David Leslie. At Le Mans, Redman was sharing a car with Costas Los and Michael Roe, finishing 11th overall.
Regular entrant in historic events and races
Although he retired professionally, Redman continued to appear occasionally in some races and became a regular entrant in historic events and races, such are Monterey Motorsports Reunion or Goodwood Festival of Speed.
In 1991, he started to organize Targa Sixty Six event for historic cars. The name of event honored his victory at Targa Florio and his race number while competing in F5000 Championship.