DRIVERS: RONNIE BUCKNUM

Name: Ronnie Bucknum
Nationality: United States of America
Date of birth: April 5, 1936 - Alhambra, California
Date of death: April 14, 1992

Bucknum's is possible the strangest story in contemporary Formula 1 racing history. He started racing in 1956 and won Sports Car Club of America titles in 1959, 1960, 1962 and 1964, scoring 44 wins in 48 races. He was then plucked from obscurity after Honda engineers saw him racing a Porsche 904 at Sebring and he was chosen to debut Honda's new Formula 1 car in the 1964 German Grand Prix following the somewhat convoluted logic that since the Japanese company did not have any motor racing experience it made sense to have a driver of corresponding status. He scored his only World Championship points at Mexico City in 1965 where he finished fifth, eclipsed by teammate Richie Ginther's outstanding victory. Bucknum went on to race a Carroll Shelby GT40 to third place at Le Mans in 1966 and competed in Indycar racing, winning the 1968 Michigan 500. He died from the after-effects of diabetes at the early age of 56.

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