44 years ago (RIP Pedro Rodriguez)

Discussion in 'Other Racing' started by YellowbirdRS, Nov 3, 2006.

  1. YellowbirdRS

    YellowbirdRS Formula 3

    Nov 9, 2005
    Full Name:
    At the beginning of the first practice session of the 1° Mexican Grand Prix, on 02 November 1962, at 17:00 happened the accident that claimed the life of Ricardo Rodríguez. It was his debut at the wheel of a Lotus 24, after a complete 1962 season for the Scuderia Ferrari: after his 2nd place in the F.2 Pau G.P. he obtained his first F.1 World Championship points in Belgium (4th place) and in Germany (6th place), and in the World Sportscar Championship he was 2nd overall (with the fastest lap) in the 3 Hours Daytona Continental in February, in a Dino 246SP with Phil Hill, and in May he won the 46° Targa Florio driving the same car, with Olivier Gendebien and Willy Mairesse. Then he shared the Dino with his elder brother Pedro in the Nürburgring 1000 Kms - retired - and at Le Mans - retired. On 21 October 1962, just two weeks before the tragedy, Ricardo and Pedro Rodríguez won the 1000 Kms of Paris at Montlhéry in a Ferrari 250 GTO for Luigi Chinetti's N.A.R.T.
    After this race he was free from the engagements with Ferrari, and he wanted at any rate to partecipate (and to win) his first hometown F.1 G.P. When he was 14 y.o. he had won the first Mexican motorcycle G.P. now he was 20 and had the will to win the first Mexican F.1 G.P.
    At 17:00 on 02 November 1962 Ricardo had finished his first reconnaisance lap, stopped his car in the pits and then re-started. While approaching the Peraltada bend, the last 180 degrees turn of the circuit, at about 140 km/h, he lost control of the Lotus that slided, overturned and cought fire. Rodriguez was ejected out of the car and fell into the asphalt. He died during the transport to the hospital, for broken skull and neck. According to other F.1 drivers, eye-witness of the accident, he arrived too fast near the bend and perhaps he had too little knowledge of his new car.
    After the accident, his brother Pedro immediately announced his retirement from racing. Some months later he changed his mind and retraced his steps.

    Ricardo Rodríguez was born in Mexico City on 14 February 1942, just two years after his brother Pedro, sons of a wealthy family. When he was 7 y.o. he started his racing career in motorcycle races, when he was 14 he won the 1st Mexican motorcycle G.P.
    In 1957 he passed to racing cars, sharing the wheel with Pedro: at the beginning they had an Osca 1500 Sport, then a Porsche 550RS in which Ricardo won his class at Riverside and at the Nassau Trophy. During the following season he had a great accident at Mesdakdale and destroyed the Porsche, and then he arrived au Mans to race the 24 Hours in a Ferrari for the N.A.R.T. of Luigi Chinetti, business agent for Ferrari in USA, but the organizators refused him to race because he was still under age. So Jean Behra replaced him in the team with Pedro.
    In 1959 the Rodríguez' brothers raced a works Osca 750 Sport in USA and finally Ricardo had his debut au Mans - retired. The following year, in a Ferrari Dino 196S for N.A.R.T. they arrived 7th at the Targa Florio, and retired at Sebring and at Nürburgring. For the 24 Hours of Le Mans Pedro drove a works Ferrari 250TR, so Ricardo shared his N.A.R.T. 250 TR with André Pilette: the fiery Mexican and the aged and expert Belgian arrived 2nd overall!
    At the end of the season Ricardo again with Pedro arrived 2nd in the 250TR at Nassau Trophy, behind Dan Gurney.
    While campaigning in Europe in 1960, Ricardo Rodriguez raced also some F.Junior races and in January 1961 he won at Mexico City his first single-seater race, driving a Cooper F.Junior.
    In the 1961 World Sportscar Championship he drove again the Ferrari 250TR for the N.A.R.T. and this was perhaps his best season: Ricardo with Pedro were 3rd at Sebring, 2nd overall in the Nürburgring 1000 Kms and retired au Mans (Ricardo signing the fastest lap of the race), dominating all the races. At the end of the year they won the 1000 Kms of Paris at Montlhéry in a Ferrari 250 GT SWB, and for the following season the Scuderia Ferrari signed on Ricardo to drive F.1 and sportscar races.
    During his brief and intense career Ricardo Rodriguez had five F.1 starts, his best result was 4th, his best qualifying was 2nd.

    Ricardo Rodríguez was inducted into the Salón de la Fama of the Confederación Deportiva Mexicana besides his brother Pedro in 1978.


    Nuremberg: A Sunday 30 Years Ago. Remembering Pedro
    Taken from the biography "The Rodríguez Brothers" soon to be published
    by Carlos Eduardo Jalife Villalón
    July 8, 2001

    Editors Note: Pedro Rodríguez, the great Mexican driving champion, died 30 years ago July 11, 1971. He was perhaps the fastest driver we ever saw in the rain, more dominant than even Ayrton Senna, and he did it not only in F1 cars, but also in Sports cars. This week we remember him.
    In Nuremberg Germany, the second Sunday in July is race day, just like Memorial weekend at Indy or mid-June weekend at Le Mans. It is a long held tradition and although nowadays we see the DTM Touring cars, there were times when faster cars would run there.

    30 years ago this Sunday, the Nuremberg 200 Miles was run, a race belonging to the Inter-Series championship for Group 7 cars, the continental equivalent to Can-Am. The organizers tried to get Pedro Rodríguez to race, he was a box office magnet at the time, but couldn't get him to agree until Herbert Müller, a Swiss driver who owned 2 Ferrari 512 prototypes -bought from Steve McQueen after he finished filming his Le Mans movie- said he would try.

    The Mexican driver, 31 years old, was recently crowned as driver champion for a second consecutive year in the World Makes Championship running for the John Wyer Automotive team, using the brutal 5-liter Porsche 917K, having vanquished Ferrari and Alfa completely. Pedro had scheduled a Can-Am race for BRM but his car wasn't ready and when Herb called he was looking at a rare free weekend.
    Herb, who ran the Sicilian Targa Florio with Pedro a few months ago, offered one of his Ferraris. Pedro agreed but asked for a retainer because he knew his name would strengthen the box office take enormously. The organizers agreed to give him a payment of over 5,000 dollars and Pedro simply announced to his teams he would race at Nuremberg. Nobody really objected, nor Wyer nor BRM, because they had nothing planned for him and they knew Pedro considered a non-racing weekend as something akin to torture.

    Pedro went alone to Paris, left his Porsche 911 in a friend's house and then went to Germany, arriving Friday night to the hotel Müller reserved for him. In Nuremberg he checked the circuit, the Norisring, during Saturday practice. It's an easy track, good for high top speed since it resembles an inverted 'L' with hairpins on either end, one very wide and the other extremely narrow, measuring 3,940 meters (2.455 miles).

    Probably its most interesting feature is the old, slowly decaying, concrete stands -where Hitler would supervise the marching nazi youths a few decades earlier. The track runs in front of these stands and behind too, making a small 'S' turn which has a bridge allowing access to the stands right at the "S" corner. It is an extreme track, high speed in the straights and heavy braking in the hairpins, medium speed average, no problems. After first practice in his 512M, Pedro was delighted with the car and said "With this one, let's see someone dare to beat me" and his old love for Ferrari shone again.

    Among the drivers, there are some famous names and some drivers he has lapped time and again in Sports car races: one is his former teammate Leo Kinnunen with a Porsche 917 spyder -who would say before practice begins that "the 'S' turn with the bridge is stupidly dangerous"; Müller in his 512M; Peter Gethin who had lost his Can-Am seat to Peter Revson but has a McLaren run by Sid Taylor for Castrol; Chris Craft with a McLaren M8E from Ecurie Evergreen of Alain de Cadenet; Jo Bonnier in his Lola T220; George Loos in another M8E with an 8.1 liter engine; Teddy Pilette in another M8E belonging to team VDS, new mount after crashing an M8C at Zolder; and some other minor drivers.

    When word gets out that Pedro was there and he will start in the front row, ticket sales boom and the extra money taken easily covers Pedro's retainer. That night at dinner with some drivers, Müller among them, Pedro would say: "It is a pity there's no rain. Rain makes driving more fun and more dangerous too" and he knows that under the rain nobody in the world comes close to him.

    Early Sunday morning, Pedro sends a telegram to México, to his dad -Don Pedro- in which he says: "Run today at Nuremberg; call after the race". He arrives at the Norisring, signs many autographs and spends time watching the ambiance and checking his rivals.
    The race is to be run in two 100 miles heats so there was no need to stop for refueling in the heats. He is sure he will win, the Ferrari 512M is very fast, and when the time of the start draws near he meets with Müller to talk tactics. A real simple plan: take the lead and win. He also meets Kinnunen; time has mellowed the rough relationship left when Leo left JWA, and after wishing each other luck and predicting their own victory, they agree on dinner after the race with the loser paying the bill. Pedro is happy, it is a minor race he should win easily, unlike the hard racing he usually has in his schedule, and this could be a well-paid racing holiday.

    The cars line up for the start and when Pedro gets the flag he immediately takes the lead. No trouble staying in front and each lap his margin over second place is larger. On this track 41 laps make 100 miles and by lap 5 Pedro is already passing backmarkers.

    By lap 11 Pedro, still in the lead, followed by Kinnunen and Craft, gets to the narrow hairpin and catches German driver Kurt Hild on the way to the 'S'. Suddenly his car goes out of control, crashes against the wall at great speed, twisting spinning and hits the concrete stand coming back to the side of the track and catching fire in a couple of seconds.

    Here there are several versions. Some people suggest the Ferrari lost a wheel due to poor maintenance, theory supported when they find the wheel about 250 meters from the crash, too far to get there just by the impact. Others suggest that while lapping the backmarker, who didn't watch his mirrors and accidentally cut across him, sending him to the barrier. Hild's white Porsche certainly touched Pedro's car when he was spinning but it was a minor contact after the initial crash. Hild would later say: "I saw Rodríguez approaching and ran to the right so he could pass (on the left). t was a normal passing situation happening about 400 meters (1/4 mile) from the crash. I was doing about 220 kilometers per hour (138 mph) and when the accident happened I was about 120 meters behind the Mexican" and in his car there are no other signs of action, although it would be possible Pedro could have swerved to miss him and lost control when the wheel broke due to material fatigue; or maybe the wheel got loose after the impact but nobody remembers seeing it bounce afterwards, so there's no way to tell the cause of the accident.

    His Ferrari catches fire and a brave Marshall -named Helmut Schlosser- gets close to fight the fire while the cars go by at racing speed a few meters from him. The Marshall puts out the fire helped by some other track marshals, he and two of them suffering burns, one of them serious ones.

    Two minutes elapsed before the rescue team opened the car and they have to carry Pedro because he has lost consciousness, he is burned all over, wet with fire fighting foam and with various fractures all over the body. The first doctor to take care of him tries to keep him alive and will bring him back 3 times in the rush to the hospital when Pedro's heart stops. A bit after they arrive, his heart stops for the fourth time and there's no way to bring him back this time, although the medical team tries for a long time.

    Pedro is dead and the news slowly spreads around the world. People cry for him everywhere and his body is received in Mexico by a crowd of hundreds of thousands who will take him to his resting place where he will meet brother Ricardo, almost nine years later. He's gone, leading until the last second of his life. 30 years later, his place rests empty, his shoes have not been filled

    His Record - Note his finishing average
    Year Race & Track Type Car Result Comments
    1949 National Youth Champ Cycling
    1954 National Champ Motorcycles 125cc
    1957 LA Times GP Riverside Sportscars Ferrari DNF International Debut
    1958 24 Hours of Le Mans Sportscars Ferrari 500TR DNF lap119 European Debut
    Nassau Trophy Sportscars Ferrari 250TR 58 2
    1959 24 Hours of Le Mans Sportscars OSCA 750 TN DNF lap32 w/ Ricardo Rodríguez
    Ferrari Only - Nassau Sportscars Ferrari 250TR/59 2
    500 K City of Mexico Turismo Volvo PV544 1800 1 Inauguración Pista
    G.P. Cuba Sportscars Ferrari 250TR/59 2
    1960 Targa Florio, Sicily Sportscars Ferrari Dino 196S 7
    24 Hours of Le Mans Sportscars Ferrari 250TRI/60 DNF lap22
    Nassau Trophy Sportscars Ferrari 250TR 58 2
    12 Hours of Sebring Sportscars Ferrari 250TR 58 3 w/ Ricardo Rodríguez
    1961 1000 K of Nürburgring Sportscars Ferrari 250TRI/60 2 w/ Ricardo Rodríguez
    24 Hours of Le Mans Sportscars Ferrari 250TRI/60 DNF lap305 w/ Ricardo Rodríguez
    G.P. Canada Sportscars Ferrari 250TRI/61 2
    1000 Km. Paris Sportscars Ferrari 250 GT SWB 1 w/ Ricardo Rodríguez
    Governor's Trophy Sportscars Ferrari 250TRI/61 1
    Nassau Trophy Sportscars Ferrari 250TRI/61 3
    24 Hours of Le Mans Sportscars Ferrari 246SP DNF lap174 w/ Ricardo Rodríguez
    1962 Double 400 Bridgehampton Sportscars Ferrari 330 TR 1
    G.P. Canada MoSportscars Sportscars Ferrari 330 TR 2
    1000 Km. Paris Monthlery Sportscars Ferrari 250 GTO 1 w/ Ricardo Rodríguez
    Continental 3 Hours Daytona Sportscars Ferrari 250 GTO 1
    1963 12 Hours of Sebring Sportscars Ferrari 330 TR 3
    24 Hours of Le Mans Sportscars Ferrari 330TR DNF lap113/115
    G.P. Canada MoSportscars Sportscars Ferrari 250P 1
    G.P. USA Watkins Glen F1 Lotus 25 Climax DNF lap 37 Debut F1
    International Trophy Nassau Sportscars Ferrari 250P 2
    Continental 2000K GT Ferrari 250 GTO 1
    1964 12 Hours of Sebring Sportscars Ferrari 250 GTO 7
    Double 500 Bridgehampton Sportscars Ferrari 275P 2
    G.P. Canada MoSportscars Sportscars Ferrari 330P 1
    1000 Km. Paris Monthlery Sportscars Ferrari 250 GTO 2
    G.P. Mexico F1 Ferrari 158 6 First Point F1
    BRDC Intnl. Silverstone F1 Lotus 25 4
    1965 24 Hours of Le Mans Sportscars Ferrari 365P2 7 Class Win
    12 Hours of Reims Sportscars Ferrari 365P2 1
    Bridgehampton 500 Sportscars Ferrari 365P2 2
    G.P. Canada MoSportscars Sportscars Ferrari 365P2 3
    G.P. USA Watkins Glen F1 Ferrari 1512 5
    24 Hours of Daytona Sportscars Ferrari 365P2 4
    1966 1000 K of Nürburgring Sportscars Ferrari Dino 206S 3
    G.P Rouen F2 Lotus 44 SCA 3
    Nassau Tourist Trophy GT Ferrari 275 GTB/C 2
    G.P. South Africa Kyalami F1 Cooper T81 Maserati 1
    1967 24 Hours of Daytona Sportscars Ferrari 330P3/4 3
    G.P. Monaco F1 Cooper T81 Maserati 5
    G.P. France Bugatti-LeMans F1 Cooper T81 Maserati 6
    G.P. England Silverstone F1 Cooper T81 Maserati 5
    GP of Madrid Jarama F2 Protos 16 FVA 7
    G.P. Mexico F1 Cooper T81B Maserati 6
    South Pacific Trophy, Australia Tasman BRM P261T 2.1 V8 2
    1968 12 Hours of Sebring Sportscars Ferrari Dino 206S 9
    Race of Champs, Brands Hatch F1 BRM P133 2
    BOAC 500 Brands Hatch Sportscars Ferrari 275LM 5
    G.P. Belgium Spa F1 BRM P133 2
    Rhein Pokalrennen Hockenheim F2 Tecno 68 FVA 4
    G.P. Holland Zandvoort F1 BRM P133 3
    G.P. Germany Nürburgring F1 BRM P133 6
    Gold Cup Oulton Park F1 BRM P126 4
    200 Millas Elkhart Lake Can-Am Ferrari P4 13
    G.P. Canada St. Jovite F1 BRM P133 3
    24 Hours of Le Mans Sportscars Ford GT40 1 w/ Lucien Bianchi
    G.P. Mexico F1 BRM P133 4
    500 Millas Brands Hatch Sportscars Ferrari 312P 4
    1969 1000 K of Spa Sportscars Ferrari 312P 2
    6 Hours of Watkins Glen Sportscars Matra 650 4
    G.P.Italia Monza F1 Ferrari 312/69 6
    200 Millas of Bridgehampton Can-Am Ferrari 312P 5
    G.P. USA Watkins Glen F1 Ferrari 312/69 5
    1000 Km. Paris Monthlery Sportscars Matra 630/650 2
    24 Hours of Daytona Sportscars Porsche 917K 1
    1970 12 Hours of Sebring Sportscars Porsche 917K 4
    BOAC 1000 Brands Hatch Sportscars Porsche 917K 1
    1000 K Monza Sportscars Porsche 917K 1
    Targa Florio, Sicily Sportscars Porsche 908/3 2
    G.P. Monaco F1 BRM P153 6
    G.P. Belgium Spa F1 BRM P153 1
    6 Hours of Watkins Glen Sportscars Porsche 917K 1
    G.P. Austria F1 BRM P153 4
    200 Millas Elkhart Lake Can-Am Ferrari 512S 7
    G.P. Canada St. Jovite F1 BRM P153 4
    200 Millas Donnybrooke Can-Am BRM P154 9
    G.P. USA Watkins Glen F1 BRM P153 2
    200 Millas Laguna Seca Can-Am BRM P154 5
    G.P. Mexico F1 BRM P153 6
    200 Millas Riverside Can-Am BRM P154 3
    1000 K Buenos Aires Sportscars Porsche 917K 2
    1971 24 Hours Daytona Sportscars Porsche 917K 1
    500 Millas Daytona NASCAR Chevy '69 13
    12 Hours of Sebring Sportscars Porsche 917K 4
    Gold Cup Oulton Park F1 BRM P160 1
    G.P. España Jarama F1 BRM P160 4
    1000 K Monza Sportscars Porsche 917K 1
    International Trophy Silverstone F1 BRM P160 4
    1000 K of Spa Sportscars Porsche 917K 1
    1000 K of Nürburgring Sportscars Porsche 908/3 2
    24 Hours of Le Mans Sportscars Porsche 917LH DNF lap 204 unbeaten Lap record
    G.P. Holland Zandvoort F1 BRM P160 2
    1000 K Austria Osterreichring. Sportscars Porsche 917K 1
    The author can be contacted at
  2. william

    william F1 World Champ

    Jun 3, 2006
    Full Name:
    William Denoyelles
    An excellent post YellowbirdRS, very poignant, and a reminder that there were heroes before the Schumacher, Raikkonen and Alonso of today.

    I didn't follow Ricardo Rodriguez, and his demise came about at the same time the motor racing bug bit me. From what I have read and heard about him, he was 'special'. Jo Ramirez, his friend and former McLaren's chief mechanic, said that he was in the Senna's mould, and would have gone far. Him driving a Lotus at Mexico was due to Ferrari withdrawing its entry at the end of 62. Ferrari didn't have a good year, with a revolt among the staff, and poor result. Rodriguez fell snubeb, being refused a drive in his home GP. The Lotus was a private entry from RCC Walker, Moss' boss at time. When he crashed, Rodriguez was trying to regain pole position. He was unfamiliar with the car, under pressure, and probably overdid it. An accident, in these days, was often your last. There was a lot of fire in that young man, that could have been tamed with the years, but we will never know.

    Pedro Rodriguez, whom I followed, was different. He was at first in the shadow of Ricardo, and his talent became obvious much later. A protege of Luigi Chinetti, he had the fortune of that team. Usually last year car against the factory that was dominant. Still, he was invited in F1 several times for Lotus, and Ferrari. His breakthrough came, I think, when he joined Cooper-Maserati in F1 for a regular drive, and won for them in what was described as an 'difficult' car. The move to BRM put him among the fastest F1 drivers of the time, although he was usually let down by poor reliability and lack of organisation. His team mate Jo Siffert became his main rival, that would carry on much later.

    In endurance, he was usually among the front runners. In 68, with John Wyer deprived of 2 of his drivers through accidents (Jacky Ickx & Brian Redman), JWAE called upon him for the Le Mans race, to be partnered by Lucien Bianchi. Against all expectation, they won, destroying Rodriguez' reputation as a car breaker. Wyer would remember that.

    When he obtained the contract to race semi-factory Porsche in 1970, Wyer called Rodriguez in the team, where Siffert and Redman were his team mates. An unknown, and not very fast Finn, Leo Kinnunen was to be his partner. The rivalry between Siffert and Rodriguez intensified, and despite sharing the drive with a slower partner, Rodriguez won most of the time: during 1970/71, Rodriguez won 8 of the 14 endurance races he entered. There was not bitterness between them, but they usually traded paint on the track, and Siffert once joked: " The little Mexican bastard is trying to kill me!"

    Two epic drives from Rodriguez: Brands Hatch 1000 km 1970 & Zwelteg 1000 km 1971.
    At Brands Hatch, Rodriguez in a Porsche 917 was in the lead in pouring rain, when the yellow flags came out following someone accident. Rodriguez was deemed to have kept running too fast, and was called in the pit to receive a 'talking to' by the Clerk of the Course. Rodriguez listened patiently, got the 'rollocking' and left the pit lane spinning the wheel for several hundred yards. By now, he was at the back of the field, and well angry - he maintained that he was not driving too fast under yellow. Well, with the red mist Rodriguez caught up with the back markers, then the rest of the field, and managed to retake the lead, and kept on driving like a man possessed. His won the race with a margin of FIVE LAPS to the second, under the rain!!

    At Zwelteg, Pedro was among the leaders, when he had to stop to change the battery. That took 6 minutes on the Porsche 917 before he got back in the race having lost 3 laps. His driving was terrific in the rain (again), and he retook the lead after a fight with Jacky Ickx (himself a 'rainmaster') and won!

    That was the kind of driver Pedro Rodriguez was. A fearless talented competitor who never, ever gave up, even against the odds. Stangely Rodriguez didn't fraternise much with other drivers, stayed in different hotels, and kept himself to himself. He was indifferent to Jackie Stewart's effort inside the GPDA to improve security on tracks. Deeply religious, Pedro Rodriguez was a fatalist who believed that 'death will come when your number comes up'. His passing hit me as much as Clark's death.

    I am wondering what he would think of your modern racing, with safe cars, sanitized circuits with run-off areas, constent media exposure, and your driving scrutinised all the time.

    Thanks again for stirring up all these memories of a time when cars were cars, and drivers, just that, drivers.
  3. speedy_sam

    speedy_sam F1 Veteran

    Jul 13, 2004
    Full Name:
    Cool read! Thanks for posting.
  4. YellowbirdRS

    YellowbirdRS Formula 3

    Nov 9, 2005
    Full Name:
  5. fluque

    fluque Formula 3

    Jul 30, 2004
    Above 2240m
    Full Name:
    Great posts and shocking pics. A totally different era...

    Pedro was for sure F1 rainmaster and arguably the top sports car racer of his time. It's said that his borther's early death really took a toll on his driving even though he won several GP's

    Ricardo died much too young.... (sort of like a Stefan Bellof). On his debut Grand Prix at age 19 Ricardo made probably the greatest rookie splash by putting his Ferrari on the front row out qualifying his teammates Richie Ginter and Graham Hill and just 0.1 sec behind von Trips who died in that race.

    By the way Jo Ramirez just presented his book that includes stories and anecdotes of 40 years of F1. He was a personal friend of the Rodriguez brothers and other greats like Senna. Sounds like good reading

    Jo Ramirez: Memoirs of a Racing Man
    Haynes Group
    ISBN: 1844252388

    La traduccion al español:
    Jo Ramírez, Mi vida en la Fórmula Uno
    ISBN: 970-770-261-3
  6. Rolando Díaz

    Jun 6, 2005
    Nice pics, as I scanned them in different days I guess you have followed my Ricardo Rodriguez posts ...

    Well, let me tell you that it wasn't easy to get these pictures, the first one I found it in the back side of a poster in some workshop, the second, inside a mexican racing book and the last one you can find it in the "Curva de la muerte" book written by Sara Cardoso the widow of Ricardo.

    By the way the topic name is wrong Ricardo was killed 44 years ago, not Pedro.

    Ps. I have uploaded some videos in youtube that include images from the Hermanos Rodriguez, try this link
  7. Senna1994

    Senna1994 F1 World Champ

    Nov 11, 2003
    San Clemente
    Full Name:
    Anthony Tonokaboni
    Excellent posts from all of the above. Never seen those pics, tragic.
  8. ferraripete

    ferraripete F1 World Champ

    thank you for posting this. the brothers were both heroic and both came to such a sad end. i too had never seen the pictures. i got the impression that there were few drivers that were actually fearless...i think pedro was one of them.

  9. Gatorrari

    Gatorrari F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Feb 27, 2004
    Full Name:
    Jim Pernikoff
    A very short piece of the Pedro Rodriguez crash at the Norisring was used in the opening of the TV series "Hawaii Five-O" for a number of years......
  10. Bmille1965

    Bmille1965 Rookie

    Jun 28, 2007
    Can anyone name any of the drivers inlining his coffin during Pedros funeral?
    One looks a bit like Fangio but cant be sure.
  11. rodolfo

    rodolfo Formula Junior

    Jul 18, 2007
    Yesterday would have been Pedro´s 67 BirthDay

    feliz cumpleaños Pedro

    I have never seen those tragic pictures...
  12. RP

    RP F1 World Champ

    Feb 9, 2005
    Bocahuahua, Florxico
    Full Name:
    Tone Def
    Incredible post Yellowbird. I remember this day, at the time I was in junior high, could only imagine the racing in this era by looking a my friend's father's Automobile Year. I remember when I became a photographer later inthe 70's, I would take photos, have them enlarged to 8X10, and hoping the driver would be alive the next time I saw him so I could get an autograph. Way too many were not.
  13. bjwhite

    bjwhite F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Mar 17, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    Full Name:
    Brian White
    Great post. I didn't know most of Ricardo's history until you posted that.

    I have a great DVD that I picked up at the Porsche museum in Stuttgart. It is a chronicle of the 1970 endurance car season that gives a race-by-race account of the entire season. It is mostly narrated by John Wyer, usually as an interview with him recollecting the events from his office/garage. In addition, there are some great short interviews with drivers including some appearances by Pedro and Jo Siffert. In addition, John Wyer's analysis and comparisons of the two drivers is very interesting....Pedro and Jo reflect on various races throughout the story.

    Anyway, it is absolutely an awesome DVD, a treasure in my collection. It is actually a two-part DVD...the first part chronicles the 1968 season. It's actually two old films brought together on DVD. The 1968 is a Ferodo promotion video (entitled "Never Start Something You Can't Stop") that concentrates on the Wyer Ford GT40 team's efforts to win the 1968 LeMans. Lots of great in-car footage included. The second film (of the 1970 season) is called "A Year To Remember".

    The combination DVD is entitled "The Gulf/Wyer GT40s and 917s in Action".

    I highly recommend picking one up if you can find it. It's EU region though and can't be played on American DVD players, although it works in all computer DVD players just fine.
  14. kraftwerk

    kraftwerk Two Time F1 World Champ

    May 12, 2007
    England North West
    Full Name:
  15. jknight

    jknight F1 Veteran

    Oct 30, 2004
    Central Texas
    Well done. Thanks for posting.
  16. arturo fregoso

    Apr 28, 2008
    #19 arturo fregoso, Apr 28, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    As a matter of fact, Pedro died while changing from his Sports Porsche official drive to Ferrari (the car he beat in 1970 at the Sports Championship...); Ricardo died while changing from his Formula 1 official Ferrari drive to Lotus.
    Ricardo´s back suspension cracked at a curve
    Pedro´s front suspension cracked at a curve
    Now both are together in Panteon Español, every year I visit them on January (Pedro´s birthday) and February (Ricardo´s birthday) and to keep them posted, I read them last year´s race by race of F1 Championship, as well as Le Mans, Daytona... their main races they liked to most.

    Here is a draw I made of the fatal ones and original drives.
    Another fetail:
    Pedro´s regular drive was blue, fatal one was Red
    Ricardo´s regular drive was red, fatal one blue
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
  17. 2000YELLOW360

    2000YELLOW360 F1 World Champ
    Owner Consultant

    Jun 5, 2001
    Full Name:
    Thanks for the post and pictures. It brought back memories. I followed F1 then, knew I'd never be able to race at that level, and decided to race bikes. Those two brothers were great, as I recall, Pedro was one of the best drivers at that level, and he was one of my heros.

  18. ProCoach

    ProCoach F1 Veteran

    Sep 15, 2004
    VIR Raceway
    Full Name:
    Pedro's drive at the 1970 BOAC 1000KM was the stuff of legends. Listening to Brian Redman talk about him gives me the shivers...
  19. James_Woods

    James_Woods F1 World Champ

    May 17, 2006
    Dallas, Tx.
    Full Name:
    James K. Woods
    Thanks so much for this post - you know, I had sort of blocked out the actual circumstances of the accident, and just assumed that it was in a minor race in a 917...because that was the car I always associated him with.

    I looked up a book at home last night on the 917, and again it reminded me of how scary these cars were to drive back in the day. It claims that Porsche factory preferred more sedate "endurance" drivers, while Gulf/Wyer really liked the hard chargers.

    Pedro was considered just about the most agressive of an agressive breed. And yet, they say that off the track he was very shy and would hardly raise his voice.

    BTW, my source also remembered the other lead 917 driver for Gulf/Wyer - Jo "Seppi" Siffert. He lost his life Oct. 24, 1971 - again, not in the Porsche 917, but in a pretty meaningless non-championship race driving an F1 BMW.

    We will not see their kind again.
  20. arturo fregoso

    Apr 28, 2008
    #23 arturo fregoso, May 1, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    I like to remember Pedro as the front driver he was.
    Even that this is a Ferrari chat, speaking about t5he Rodríguez biothers makes you talk about Porsche and Ferrari.
    Here I give you a what I had it on my PC screen for 2 years of Pedro at Daytona (in that American circuit a curve have his name).
    In 1971 Pedro had a trouble with his Porsche 917 LH (Serial Number 043). That car (called the Widow factory) had more than 580 ponnies under the hood (remeber: no traction control, no radial tires, no ABS... no aids to the drivers)... well the 918 had oil inside the tubular frame, a joint broke so Pedro´s car lost it to the point of making him leave the race (wich he strongly dominated and was by far the favourite to win it), but he didn´t left in blank: Pedro established to marks that still nobody can break today the Sarthe Circuit: Pole in a time of 3´13" and established the speed record at the "Ligne Droite des Hunaudieres" with more than 404 km/h: you can say that easily ...can´t you?.

    I any of you guys want to know more abouth the mexican brothers, buy Carlos Jalife´s book... in Motor Sport Magazine appeard the add I scanned and sent here, as well as I have the book cover here for you. Belive me, nobody knows more, and more accurately about the Rodriguez than Carlos, who is general Secretary of The Scudería Hermanos Rodríguez (the brothers former racing Team, now a Civil Association dedicated to be like a Honour Guard of mexican Motor Sport). If you want to see great pictures, they are in the book.
    By the Way, 2 year ago Brumm made 1000 scales of Pedro´s Ferrari 512 with the Scuderia aid.

    Well, it´s nice to see that the brothers are still missed.
    Best regards from Mexico City gentlemen.
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  21. arturo fregoso

    Apr 28, 2008
    #24 arturo fregoso, May 1, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    I wrote about Pedro on last post, now it´s Ricardo´s Turn. He was born on February 14, so his complete name is Ricardo Valentín Rodríguez de la Vega (In México we use firts our father´s last name and then our mother´s last name). So, gentlemen, please every february 14 send him a Valentine. The "Chamaco" (Kid in mexican spanish) was more less like a Gilles Villeneuve. When I talked to Jo Ramírez he told me that also: "Ricardo was like Gilles...". Fast, fearless, Natural, light blooded (making friends easily).
    If only he had a seat belt in November 1962.... (the picture attached is Ricardo kissing his father´s hand with his young brother Alejandro just before the fatal lap... like a goodbye).

    Let´s take this numbers 1 at Ricardo´s death in consideration:
    Ricardo was Mexico´s driver # ---- 1
    He was Running on Mexico´s Grand Prix # -----1
    He was Mexico´s Driver # -------- 1
    He died on November----- 1
    He was fighting position # ----- 1
    He was driving in Formula ---- 1
    The hour he died was around ----- 1 PM
    He was the Magdalena Mixhuca´s circuit death # -----1
    And still there are more # 1 around Ricardo´s Death... fate?

    Ricardo´s Helmet was Modena Yellow with the Prancing horse on the front, as the Scuderia Rodriguez badge (designed by Pedro & Ricardo when they were teens) have that yellow in Ferraris honour.
    Some day I´ll send you here images of Rodriguez Ferraris made by me... or the Ferrari 340 México than runned the Panamericana Race.

    Can anybody tell me wht Maserati called Mexico 1 of the line up models?
    Clue: It wasn´t because Surtees Victory here in 1966 with the Cooper Maserati T81

    Best Regards gentlemen,
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  22. rodolfo

    rodolfo Formula Junior

    Jul 18, 2007
    37 years since he passed away...

    Vaya con Dios Pedro.

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