Here at Badger GP we are, of course, focused on what is happening right now in grand prix racing, but we always have one eye on the past. As such we thought we’d take some time to remember Robert Walker – especially with him being commemorated at this year’s Goodwood Revival (amongst many other motorsport greats).
Who, what, when? They’re three of the most common questions when asked about something we’re unfamiliar with. Who? In short – Robert (aka Rob) Walker was the heir to Johnnie Walker – yes that Johnnie Walker, responsible for the fine whisky that sponsors McLaren today. As well as being related to the whisky man, he also had his own grand prix racing outfit, namely the privateer Rob Walker Racing team.
What? For those that don’t know already, privateer teams are a thing of the past, for this and teams of similar ilk didn’t build their own cars, they simply bought others and ran them under their name with their own drivers and engineers. It was quite a cost-effective operation that, if the rules allowed it, could also work today (now that’s a massive generalisation, because it probably wouldn’t work today at all – discuss in the comments!)
As for when, Walker himself passed away in 2002, but during his team’s time in F1 they did rather well – in fact the Rob Walker Racing Team were the first and last privateer F1 team to win a grand prix. The team started in F1 in 1953 and ran until 1970, during which time none other than Sir Stirling Moss, Jochen Rindt, Graham Hill and Jack Brabham all drove their cars.
All images © Sutton-Images.com
If you’re off to Goodwood this weekend, you should pay a visit to the Rob Walker Racing Bar where you’ll find some tasty Johnnie Walker whisky being served – straight and in cocktail form – for more info, see their Facebook page here. Also, Badger will at Goodwood on Sunday, you should pop by the Rob Walker bar for a drink and chat if you’re about!