Robin Widdows is a British former racing driver who was active during the 1960s. He raced with open-wheelers and sports cars. He made one start in the Formula One World Championship, recording DNF in the 1968 British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch.
Besides his short career in motorsport, Widdows also recorded a participation at Olympic Games, representing Great Britain in bobsleigh. By doing that, he became one of rare sportsmen to compete both in Formula 1 and Olympic Games.
Early years in F3, F2 and sports car races
Born in May 1942 in Cowley near London, Robin Michael Widows started his racing career in 1964, driving an MG Midget. Next year, he switched to Lotus 23-BRM ans scored many wins in national sports car events, even winning class title in the Autosport Championship.
In 1966, he moved to Formula 3, driving a Brabham BT18-Cosworth in national events. In 1967, Widdows made a step up to Formula 2, driving a Brabham BT23-Cosworth in the European F2 Championship and some non-championship events. He won the non-championship race at Hockenheimring. He also recorded one international start by joining Edward Nelson in his Ford GT40 at Spa 1000 Km.
Robin Widdows in the #16 Cooper at 1968 British Grand Prix
Formula 1 Championship debut in 1968
In 1968, Widdows switched to McLaren M4A-Cosworth in the European Formula 2 Championship, driving for The Chequered Flag team but without notable results.
In July 1968, Widdows recorded his only Formula 1 World Championship attempt, driving the #16 Cooper T86B-BRM in the British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch. He was 18th on the starting grid, retiring from race after 34 laps due to ignition problems.
In 1968, Widdows also participated in some sports car events. He joined Ulf Norinder at Nurburgring 1000 Km and Paris 1000 Km in a Lola T70-Chevrolet, recording DNFs in both races.
Robin Widdows at 1969 Le Mans race in the #35 Matra
Le Mans debut with Matra in 1969
In 1969, Widdows raced in Formula 2, Formula 5000 and sports car events. The highlight of the season was his victory in the Gran Premio della Lotteria di Monza in Bob Gerard's Brabham BT23C-Cosworth.
He rejoined Ulf Norinder in several sport car races with Lola T70-Chevrolet but also made Le Mans 24 Hours debut with Matra. He was sharing the #35 Matra MS630/650 with Nanni Galli, finishing in the seventh place. He had one more race with Matra in the US, sharing a car with Jean Guichet at Watkins Glen 6 Hours. Widdows ended a year with several starts in a Ferrari 350 P4 in South Africa.
Retiring from racing in 1970
In 1970, Widdows joined Alistair Walker Racing to drive a Brabham BT30-Cosworth in Formula 2. After just three starts in the Formula 2 European Championship and two in the non-championship races, Widdows decided to retire from racing.
Widdows was a member of the British Olympic Bobsled Team
Participating at Winter Olympic Games two times
Parallel to his racing career, Robin Widdows developed a career in bobsleigh racing, even participating in Olympic Games two times.
He was representing Great Britain at 1964 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria, Japan, and then again at 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble, France. He was a part of four-man bobsled crews. In 1964, one of his teammates was race car driver Andrew Hedges.
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