- February 05, 1956
- Not Active
Hector Rebaque is a Mexican former racing driver and team owner who recorded 58 participations (41 starts and 17 DNQs) in the Formula One World Championship between 1977 and 1981, driving for Hesketh, Parmalat Brabham and for his own Team Rebaque.
He also made one attempt at Indianapolis 500 and spent half of the season in the CART Indy Car World Series, driving for Forsythe Racing in 1982 and scoring a victory at Road America. Shortly after that win, he retired from racing.
Daytona 24h debut for 17th birthday
Born in February 1956, as a son of wealthy Mexican car dealer, Rebaque started his international racing career very early, entering the Daytona 6 Hours race at his 16th birthday. He and Guillermo Rojas were sharing the #58 Brumos Porsche 914/6, not finishing the race. A month later, Rebaque made a debut at Sebring 12 Hours in the same car.
In 1973, for his 17th birthday, Rebaque made a debut at Daytona 24 Hours, driving a Ford Escort RS 1600 in touring class. Next year, at the age 18, he made a debut at Le Mans 24 Hours, driving the #46 Porsche 911 Carrera RSR for Rebaque Rojas Racing Team. His co-drivers were Guillermo Rojas and Fred van Beuren Jr. They retired after 46 laps. In October 1974, a trio in the #15 Porsche 911 Carrera RSR won the Mexico 1000 Kilometers race, a part of the IMSA Championship.
Starting an open-wheel racing career in 1974
In 1974, Rebaque also started his single-seater career, traveling to Europe to drive a Chevron B27 for Fred Opert Racing in the British Formula Atlantic Championship. In 1975, he stayed with Fred Opert Racing, combining rides in the European Formula 2 and North-American CASC Challenge Series.
In 1975, participated again at Daytona 24 Hours in a Porsche 911 Carrera RSR, finishing in the ninth place. After one more season in open-wheel competitions, participating in Formula Atlantic and CASC Challenge Series in 1976, Rebaque progressed to Formula One in 1977.
Six attempts and just one F1 start with Hesketh
Rebaque joined Hesketh Racing in the seventh round of the 1977 F1 Championship, trying to qualify the #39 Hesketh 308E-Cosworth for the Belgian Grand Prix at Zolder. He was too slow in qualifying and didn't start the race.
The same situation repeated four more times later in the season, at Anderstorp, Dijon, Österreichring and Zandvoort. The German Grand Prix was the only race Rebaque manage to qualify for. He retired at Hockenheimring with a broken engine after twenty laps.
Entering F1 Championship with his own team in 1978
With no seats available for him in an F1 team for the 1978 season, Rebaque formed his own team and bought a very competitive Lotus 78-Cosworth. At the wheel of the #25 car, he managed to qualify for nine Grand Prix races but also failed to qualify for seven events.
He reached the finish line for the first time at the South African Grand Prix in the tenth place and then scored his first championship point with the sixth place at the German Grand Prix at Hockenheimring.
Ten starts in the 1979 Formula One season
In the 1979 F1 season, Rebaque was driving the #31 Lotus 79-Cosworth, recording nine starts and two DNQs. His best result was the seventh place at the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort. However, he wasn't satisfied with a car and ordered Penske-built copy of Lotus.
He named the car Rebaque HR1000 and participated in three Grand Prix events. He failed to qualify at Monza and Watkins Glen, making just one start at Circuit Ile Notre-Dame in Montreal. He finished the season without points.
Joining Parmalat Brabham in 1980
The team left the championship at the end of 1979. Rebaque sits out the first part of the 1980 F1 season, joining Parmalat Brabham team in the seventh round, the British Grand Prix, as a replacement for Ricardo Zunino. His teammate was Nelson Piquet who finished second in the championship that year and Brabham was third among the teams.
Driving the #6 Brabham BT49-Cosworth, Rebaque reached one championship point with the sixth place at the Canadian Grand Prix, finishing 20th in the final standings.
1981 – teammate to world champion Nelson Piquet
Brabham retained Rebaque in 1981 as a support to Nelson Piquet, who clinched his first championship title that year. Rebaque also had a good season in the #6 Brabham BT49C, scoring points four times.
His best result was the fourth place in three races (San Marino, Germany, Netherlands). However, with nine retirements and one DNQ, he finished just 10th in the points and the team finished second behind Williams.
Indy Car season with Forsythe Racing
Brabham didn't take Rebaque in 1982, giving a seat to Riccardo Patrese. The Mexican driver decided to try racing in North America, joining Forsythe Racing to drive the March 82C-Cosworth in the CART PPG Indy Car World Series.
He made five starts in the #32 car, winning the race at Elkhart Lake's Road America. He also participated at Indianapolis 500, a part of the USAC Championship, driving the #52 March-Cosworth. He finished 13th, completing 150 laps before stopping due to fire in the pits.
Retiring from racing at the age 27
A week after his victory at Road America in September 1982, Rebaque was injured in a crash during a test at Milwaukee Mile. He decided not just to pull out from Indy Car but also to retire from racing.
His last recorded race was the Race of Champions at Brands Hatch in April 1983. He was driving the #5 Fila Sport Brabham BT52-BMW, retiring after 14 laps due to tyre and suspension failure.