Since its inception in 1950,Formula 1 has produced heroes as Ayrton Senna & Michael Schumacher, and feats aplenty. Some of other speed legends, however, have left us with some performances and records that have been somewhat unexpected.
Among those, one amazing case stands out, that of the F1 driver that was disqualified for being too slow. No other runner has managed to beat that record. The main character of this story was Victor Al Pease, a British-Canadian driver who attempted to compete in Formula 1 in the late sixties.
As expected, his lack of driving aptitudes meant he posed an actual danger to all other drivers on the track. His performances were met with a mixture of horror and laughter between 1967 and 1969.
Fortunately for the Formula 1 sport and for the spectators, his F1 career was cut short to two races in norteamerican country. Victor Al Pease was born in England but was naturalised Canadian and when he started racing, he had had no experience whatsoever behind the wheel of an F1 single-seater. Of course, he never ran for great squads as Ferrari or Mercedes.
Canada 1967: Lapped over 43 times!
His passion for the sport, however, allowed him to persuade Castrol to sponsor him to take part in a race in North American country. Victor Al Pease made his dream come true on board a humble Eagle Climax T1F who had been on the garage for half a year.
His debut took place on the 27th of August 1967 with the occasion of the Canadian GP at the Motorsport International Raceway in Ontario. Before his home crowd, he exhibited an extraordinary talent to race… slower than anyone had ever done before.
The data speaks for itself. At that first race, he was lapped over 43 times. Yes, incredible as it may seem, he lost that number of laps against the winner, the Australian Jack Brabham.
If it is true that weather conditions were adverse during the race, Victor Al Pease clocked an average speed of 69.4 km / h. Was he scared to get a fine, perhaps? Obviously, his wasn’t the dream debut he had hoped for at his country of adoption.
Canada 1969: Victor Al Peace´s best race
Despite the small setback of his unfortunate debut, the Briton-Canadian was not discouraged and was still convinced he had what it took to be an F1 driver. His master performance was yet to come.
Armed with great courage – or foolishness – and without any sense of ridicule, he tried again two years later. Victor Al Pease took the start on September the 20th at the Circuit of Mosport Park (Bowmanville) decided to make up for his previous attempt.
But it was not to be…and he ended up writing one of the most comic and unfortunate pages of Motorsport history. Right from the start, his rivals kept passing him and doubling him up over and over again. He nonetheless kept on posing a fierce and absurd resistance to all those trying to overtake him.
As a result of that incomprehensible defending of his position, he knocked several of those opponents out. The American turtle had become a very annoying obstacle when something unprecedented happened.
On lap 22, race marshals said enough was enough. They gave him the black flag for driving at an excessively low speed, putting the rest of the participants in danger.
Victor Al Pease certainly had a special skill…to drive slower than any other F1 driver ever had. After that event, he realized that Formula 1 was not his thing but he did not retire from racing. He continued to cultivate his driving skills in other minor racing categories in Canada.
Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame
As unbelievable as it might seem, Victor Al Pease did manage to have some success in other categories. Unexpectedly, a few years later he received wide recognition and several distinctions for his brilliant career at the North American nation.
In 1998, in fact, he was included in the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame. The light of this hero went out in 2014 when he was 92 years of age.
Images of Victor Al Pease: Wikipedia.