DRIVERS: REINE WISELL

Name: Reine Wisell
Nationality: Sweden
Date of birth: September 30, 1941 - Motala

Some drivers are unlucky in that their careers coincide with other men who come from the same country or are faster. Reine Wisell might have been a big Formula 1 star had his career not have happened at the same time as that of his fellow Swede Ronnie Peterson. He might have made a bigger impact were it not for the fact that he found himself teamed with Emerson Fittipaldi.

Wisell was three years older than Peterson but their careers developed at the same time and by the end of the 1960s both were racing Formula 3 internationally. But in 1970 Peterson jumped straight into F1 and Wisell moved into Formula 2. Peterson was with March but in September 1970 the death of World Champion-elect Jochen Rindt in a practice accident at the Italian Grand Prix opened the door for Wisell. Team Lotus signed him up to be team-mate to another rising star Emerson Fittipaldi.

In his first race at Watkins Glen Wisell finished third but the achievement was overshadowed by the fact that it was young Fittipaldi's first GP victory. It was enough to impress the team however and Wisell was re-signed for the 1971 season but Fittipaldi emerged as the stronger driver and at the end of the season Wisell moved to the Marlboro-supported BRM team. At the end of the year he was recalled briefly to Team Lotus but thereafter he faded from the F1 scene and did only occasional F1 races in the 1973 and 1974.

Despairing of the single-seater scene, Wisell signed to drive a Porsche in the European GT series in 1975 and won the title. That same year he took part in touring car events in a Chevrolet Camaro. Eventually, however, he dropped out of topline competition and turned his attention to teaching advanced driving techniques to his fellow Swedes although he continued to take part in occasional historic races when he was offered the chance.

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