DRIVERS: WOLFGANG VON TRIPS
Name: Wolfgang von Trips
Date of birth: May 4, 1928 - Cologne
Date of death: September 10, 1961 - Monza
Nicknamed "Taffy" by Mike Hawthorn for reasons which have been lost in the mists of motor racing history, this dashing young German count had been raised on the family estates near Cologne where his family lived in conditions of genteel, faded elegance. This Robert Redford lookalike earned a stormy reputation for erratic driving early in his career, but shrugged aside that reputation as a crasher into the 1961 season when he won the Dutch and British Grands Prix in commanding fashion in his factory Ferrari 156. von Trips started the '61 Italian GP at Monza poised on the verge of winning the World Championship. Catastrophically, he collided with Jim Clark's Lotus on the second lap of the race, his Ferrari flipping up into the air and slamming into the retaining fence behind which spectators were tightly packed. von Trips and 14 race fans were killed as a result.