George Follmer: The “Superhuman” Racing Driver
Born in Phoenix, Arizona, in 1934, George Follmer started racing in motorsport when he was already 25 years old. He took part in the most famous American automobile competitions, whose greatest success was the simultaneous conquest of the championship "Trans-Am" and "Can Am" at 1972. His reputation of a "bulletproof" man, given the harshness and danger of the competitions in which he participated, gave him the ability and resistance to join F1 in 1973, even though, already with 39 (!) years, mark that has never been surpassed since that date. But it was not a debut without story, and proof of this is the unusual fact that he scored points in the first race (6th place at South African GP), at the wheel of a debutant team´s car (Shadow), and also got a podium in his 2nd race (3rd place at Spanish GP). He returned in 1974 to the American championship "Nascar Winston Cup" and in 1977 to "Can-Am". In 1978 he suffered a serious accident in the circuit of Laguna Seca, in which he fractured a leg and underwent internal injuries. He returned a year after and got his last career victory in 1981 in "Trans-Am", on the same circuit where he almost lost his life. He then withdrew from the competition, but not forever. One more extraordinary comeback happened in 1986, when he raced at the 24 hours of LeMans, exactly twenty years after his first and, until then, unique participation in that competition. And once again he showed what fibre he was made of, reaching 3rd place overall in a Porsche 956. He continues to participate in the biggest race of all - the racing of a life, sharing his experience over the years, like the motorsport safety evolution that he witnessed, which can be seen next.