- May 07, 1952
- Not Active
Stanley Dickens is a former Swedish racing driver whose greatest success in a career was a victory at 1989 Le Mans 24 hours in a Sauber C9-Mercedes, together with Jochen Mass and Manuel Reuter. In the same year, he was the Japanese Sports-Prototype champion, repeating a triumph he achieved for the first time in 1988.
Step by step through single-seater competitions
Stanley Dickens was born on May 7, 1952, in Färila in central Sweden. He made his first racing steps in the early 1970s, entering the Formula Ford races. His best result was third place in the 1977 Scandinavian championship. After that, Dickens progressed to Formula 3, reaching second place in the Swedish championship.
His journey through the single-seater competitions continued over Sports 2000 class, where he was the 1981 European champion, and then to the Formula 2. Dickens concluded his single-seater career in 1983, focusing to touring car and sports car races.
Japanese racing debut in 1983
In November 1983, he was invited to race in Japan, which would later be his home for many years. Together with another Swedish racer Eje Elgh, Dickens was driving Dome RC83 at Fuji 500-mile race, finishing in the 7th place. In 1984, Dickens joined Autobacs Racing Team in the All Japan Endurance Championship.
Two disappointing visits to Le Mans
In June 1984, Dickens was supposed to race at Le Mans 24 Hours for the first time with Autobacs, but an accident during a practice ruined a plan.
In 1985, Dickens participated with different teams in the World Endurance Championship, without notable results. One more disappointing visit to Le Mans followed in June 1985 with Strandell Porsche team. The #97 Strandell 85 prototype broke after a qualifying, so Dickens didn't start the race again.
Successful partnership with Frank Jelinski
In 1986, Dickens joined Gebhardt Motorsport and gained some success. Together with Frank Jelinski in the #74 Gebhardt JC853, he won C2 class in the season-opening race of the World Sports-Prototype Championship at Monza. Later in the season, Jelinski and Dickens finished second overall at Fuji 1000 km race, driving the #19 Porsche 956 for Brun Motorsport.
In June 1986, Dickens finally started a 24-hour race at Circuit de la Sarthe, together with French drivers Pierre de Thoisy and Jean-Francois Yvon in the #74 Gebhardt. They didn't finish the race due to an accident.
1987 - DNFs both at Daytona and Le Mans
In 1987, Dickens was combining races with Gebhardt's car and Joest Racing's Porsche. In February, he debuted at Daytona 24 hours, not finishing the race. After a fourth place in the world championship's race at Monza with Porsche 962, Dickens went to Le Mans with that car. His co-drivers were Frank Jelinski, Hurley Haywood and Sarel van der Merwe. They retired with a broken engine.
1988 – championship title in Japan
In 1988, Dickens moved to Japan to race with From A Racing team in the Japanese Sports-Prototype Championship. His partner in the #27 Porsche 962C was Hideki Okada. After winning the season-opening race at Fuji Speedway in March, they won the summer race at Fuji and one more race at Suzuka, taking the championship title.
1988 Le Mans podium with Joest Racing
In Europe, Dickens joined Joest Racing in few races. He, Frank Jelinski and John Winter finished in the fifth place at Silverstone 1000 km race, driving the #8 Blaupunkt Porsche 962C. A month later, the same crew came to Le Mans in the #8 car, reaching a podium behind factory entered Jaguar and Porsche.
In 1988, Dickens participated in one more 24-hour race, joining IMC Toyota team at Spa. He was driving Toyota Supra but didn't finish the race.
One more championship title in Japan
The season 1989 started with Stanley's participation at Daytona 24 hours, where he was driving Porsche 962C for Torno-Momo team. The race ended with a vicious crash. Later in the season, Dickens was driving Porsche 962C for Advan Alpha Nova team, trying to defend his title in the Japanese Sports-Prototype Championship. And he succeeds, sharing a car with Kunimitsu Takahashi.
1989 Le Mans 24h victory with Sauber C9-Mercedes
In that time, it was clear that Dickens belongs to world's elite among endurance drivers, so he was hired by Peter Sauber to drive Sauber C9-Mercedes at 24 hours of Le Mans in June 1989.
The silver-liveried #63 Sauber, driven by Dickens, Jochen Mass and Manuel Reuter, won the race with five-lap advantage ahead of sister car #61, driven by Mauro Baldi, Kenny Acheson and Gianfranco Brancatelli.
Driving Porsche 962C exclusively in 1990
In 1990, Dickens continued with racing activities all over the world, from Japan over Europe to America, driving Porsche 962C for different teams. In the World Sports-Prototype Championship, he was driving for Joest Racing, sharing a car with John Winter. At Le Mans, they were joined by Bob Wollek. The Mizuno-sponsored #9 Porsche finished in the 8th place.
Unsuccessful return to Le Mans with Sauber
In 1991, Dickens was driving Porsche 962C in Japan and Lola Horag in European-based Interserie, recording one-off appearance with the Team Sauber Mercedes at 24 hours of Le Mans. His return to Circuit de la Sarthe with a German team wasn't successful.The #32 Mercedes-Benz C11, driven by Dickens, Jonathan Palmer and Kurt Thiim, failed to finish the race.
Last Le Mans attempt in 1996
It was Dickens' last fully active season and he temporary retired from racing. The return to race track followed in 1994, in the Phoenix's round of the IMSA Championship with Jim Downing's Kudzu prototype. In the following years, Dickens participated in different sports car competitions with different cars.
Last victories at Kyalami and Monza
In 2000 and 2001, some Swedish racers participated in races under the banner of the Sportscar Racing Team Sweden. Driving for the team, Stanley Dickens and Fredrik Ekblom won the race in the SportsRacing World Cup at Kyalami in November 2000. The team appeared at 2001 Daytona 24 hours, running a Lola B2K/40-Nissan, but they didn't reach the finish line.