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Exceptional pilot and automobile engineer who was born in Summit (New Jersey) the 18 from March from 1937 and hurt mortally in the morning of the Sunday 17 of August of 1975, while he realized the returns of warm-up for the Grand Prix of Austria, circuit of Zeltweg, on his March 751/Penske-Ford Cosworth nº 28 of formula l. One crashed against the barriers in the Hella-LichtKurve, starting 50 meters of guard-rail.

In his first participation of F1 (Canada 1971) arrived third party. In the following date (photo), it did not take part of the race (MV*)
A terrible accident in which one fractured the skull and the thorax, in that also a commissioner perished and who was caused by the failure of a tire. [The widow of Mark would demand to the GoodYear company, having won the lawsuit.] In principle, the injuries did not seem so serious; although shockado, Donohue left the conscious car; but, at noon, when they took the exit of the Great Prize, their companions already suspected that as soon as had possibilities of surviving.

His intimate friend Roger Penske flew to London to bring a prestigious neurosurgeon. Boarding school in the hospital of Graz, Mark was taken part of a clot in the brain by doctors Fritz Heppner and Karl Glertchi, but a cerebral hemorrhage passed away Tuesday 19 when experimenting, without to have recovered the conscience.

Delayed, Mark Donohue had begun its race of pilot to the 22 years with a Chevrolet Corvette of 1957 with which it obtained in his debut first of his 57 great victories, the Ascent to Rhode Island; it soon happened to lead a Elbe Courier, a Daimler SP250, a TVR, a Lotus XX, a Ford Mustang and Cobra, while it completed his studies of engineering in the university of Brown, where one graduated in 1959.

In 1961 it secured his first national title with the Elbe (champion SCCA amateur, in dispute with Peter Revson); in 1965 the titles are two (with the Mustang and Lotus XX B), being proclaimed better pilot of the year. At the end of their race, the accumulated national titles in sports club racing would be seven.

Mark training with a car of Dog-A.m. of 1967. That one year obtained the championship of the USRRC with Lola T70 (MV*)
Those first times, nevertheless, were very hard; Mark was its own carrier and mechanic, traveling without aid of circuit in circuit. But soon it knows Walter Hansgen (1919-1966), thanks to who professional pilot becomes and obtains his first official steering wheel for 1966: the one of a Ford prototype of Holman & Moody, that it pilots next to Walt in the tests of resistance of Daytona (3º) and Sebring (2º). Speedway Continental Daytona was its opening in the express and the first time that ran over the 200 M/h (320 Km/h).

In the funerals of its friend and Hansgen mentor, intimate with Roger Penske, another excellent pilot who finished retiring to form one escudería, and that same year it will be Mark runner-up in the first Challenge Dog-A.m. International 1966 to the steering wheel of a Penske/Lola T70-Chevrolet, after the official Lola of John Surtees, writing down itself a victory in Mosport. The association of both men would be remarkably fruitful.

Donohue, that got to be president of the Penske Racing Team, was champion USRRC in 1967 (Lola T70-Chevrolet: 5 victories on 7) and 1968 (McLaren M6A-Chevrolet: 6 victories on 9), runner-up TransAm 1967 and champion 1968 and 1969 (Camaro), specialty this last in which will continue shining like anybody (runner-up 1970 and champion 1971, with Javelin) and in which Mark gained 29 victories (10 on 13 in a single season, 1968), unequalled marks. In 1970, the AMC would remove to the market a version from denominated Javelin SST Mark Donohue Special (6,390 cm3, 340 HP) to make profitable their feats to the steering wheel of beautiful coupé, whereas Mark would be awarded with the Jerry Memorial Titus Trophy in 1971 and 1973.

Retaking his file, in 1967 Donohue he is 4º in Le Mans (to 202 Km/h of average, sharing with Brushes McLaren a Ford Mk IV that gave many problems them), 1º of category and 3º overall in the 12 Hours of Sebring 1968 (with a Chevrolet Camaro! , making equipment with Craig Fisher, which made use to Welch/Johnson to take the other Camaro Penske 4º put), winner of the 24 Hours of Daytona 1969 (Lola T70 shared with Chuck Parsons), 7º in Indy 500 1969 (Rookie of the Year), 2º in those of 1970 (with fast return to 282 Km/h, on the Sunoco/Lola-Ford of Penske) and champion SCCA of formula 5,000 in 1970 (Lola T192). He proves formula NASCAR in 1971 and gains 200 Michigan and Pocono 500…

Mark Donohue conquered Indy 500 in 1972. Here putting next to its mother on the winner Sunoco McLaren (MV*)
In 1972 it won in legendary the 500 Miles of Indianapolis (McLaren M16B-Offy, to 263 Km/h) and conquered in 1973, in front of Follmer and Haywood, Dog-A.m. (Porsche 917-30TC), where either it had shone in 1966 (1 victory with Lola T70 and the subchampionship that either we know), in 1968 (victory in Bridgehampton with Penske/McLaren M6B) and in 1972 (another victory with 917 Penske/Porsche 10K of 850 HP). The same 1973, a new test in formula NASCAR with the stock to car Killing AMC nº 16, less powerful than its rivals (366 inches cubical instead of 427), was settled with a victory in Riverside 500, to 167.2 Km/h and before the best specialists (Bobby Allison, Ray Elder, Bobby Unser…); Mark led 138 of the 191 returns. Christian Moity considers most complete pilot him the USA of its time and for Alberto Mallo he is one of the best American pilots for all time. We say that he is one of greatest, without another adjective.

Indeed, no specialty could resist him in oval or ruteros circuits: tourism, sport, great tourism, prototypes of group 6 or 7, stock cars, single-seaters of 5,000 formula or Indy formula… Who other can be conceited to have beaten in some occasion to best of each specialty – as it beat to Foyt, Petty, Unser, Fittipaldi, Titus…?

Mark concentrate before taking part from a competition in the North American track of Elkhart Lake (MV*)
Of discreet character, modest and amiable (their colleagues nicknamed Captain Nice and Baby Phase to him), this súperdotado, logically, to the steering wheel became a fierce one, although without never stopping being “ (...) to very correct to driver, the ultimate professional ”, in words of Mario Andretti. But it is that, in addition, in Mark one second facet occurred: the one of engineer notable. In 1969, next to Paul VanValkenburgh, it had introduced the taking and data analysis by computer science, going ahead in nine years to formula l. Its Ferrari 512 Sunoco was far better that those of the first house, to the cost of 250,000 additional $ and in spite of the boycotting of the own Ferrari, according to the same Donohue in the book would relate that wrote he and VanValkenburgh, “ The Unfair Advantage ”.

Mark Donohue announced its retirement of the competition in November of ’ 73, after two week ends that had overwhelmed with 2 victories on a Porsche 917-30 (devoting Dog-A.m. champion) and other 2 with a Porsche Race RSR, before other eleven I roast world-wide (I IROC Series 1973-74, a new championship in his palmarés), to happen to carry out the position of director of the service of competition of Penske; its position of pilot was going to be occupied by its friend, companion and, sometimes, rival, Peter Revson (1939-1974). Nevertheless, before the attractiveness to develop a formula l (already it had had one first experience in the specialty), it would return to the circuits.

The impressive Porsche 917/30KL of 12 cylinders, double I disturb and a considered power of 1,200 HP. It knew it to Mark to dominate (MV*)
And it would return to shine in them. Because the great qualities of Mark like technician, designer, probador and organizer have made forget (although not to all) that it was a magnificent formidable pilot of palmarés, since it has been seen. Another summit of its class to we found it the steering wheel in its debut in formula l, the Grand Prix of Canada celebrated under a deluge on the dangerous circuit of Mosport Park the Sunday 19 of September of 1971. On a McLaren M19-1 of team Roger Penske/Kirk F. White, Mark beat to Denny Hulme, to title of the mark and ex--champion of the world, as much in training as in race. Although in the USA one does not get used to running with rain, Donohue was able to finish in 3ª position in those infernal conditions, without yielding return to the aces Stewart and Peterson; a benefit that astonished the understood ones. On the other hand, the exhibition that offered with then – until more powerful vehicles of competition of History, the Porsche 917-30TC Dog-A.m. (1,100 HP or more on the track, 1,500 HP in the bank), forced the organizers to modify the regulation. With one of those 917, Donohue was milkshake, three weeks before its death, the world-wide record of fast return in track closed on the oval circuit of Talladega, obtaining 355.1 Km/h, and so it surpassed the effective mark of another one outside series, A. - J. Foyt (Coyote-Ford, 351.5 Km/h), but the official timekeepers were not present. Frustrated it will try, it again and, although already it had marched to the limit, is able to surpass itself again, obtaining 355.922 Km/h of average with a 400 end of Km/h in the straight lines.

Mark leading its AMC Javelin during the season of SCCA TransAm Championship 1971 (MV*)
A Prize Mark Donohue established in its memory was granted to Reinhold Jöst by its action with the sport Porsche in the world-wide championship of marks 1975. The permanence of that one gigantic man of the motor (figure of honor of the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America from 1990, the same year that Jim Clark) would have a continuity in the person of its son David Donohue, who, to the controls of a Dodge Stratus, would be winning from championship CART of Superturismos in 1997 (in front of Honda Accord of another pilot of illustrious last name, Peter Cunningham), having itself developed also of shining form in the world-wide championship ENTRUSTS GT with a Dodge Viper (1º, with Belloc, in the test of Watkins Glen 1999). But nor David (neither nobody the more) would obtain a similar accumulation of feats to which Mark Donohue had known to pile up - without giving great importance him in palmarés unique


The Nation: 18 of August of 1975
The Press: 18 of August of 1975; 21 of August of 1975
It presses (Bishop): 21 of August of 1975
Bugler: 21 of August of 1975
Freeway: 23 of August of 1975, pg. 18 and 19 (photo); 30 of August of 1975, pg. 16
Speed: 30 of August of 1975 (Bred Luis-Ramon), pg. 1 and 32
L´Automobile: Julio of 1972 (Charles G. Proche), pg. 71; December of 1973 (Christian Moity), pg. 90; September of 1975, pg. 91; September of 1976, pg. 96; December of 1976, pg. 91; March of 1977, pg. 93
Sport-Car: October of 1975, pg. 9; August of 1977, pg. 98; January of 1997 (Renaud de Laborderie/Jean-Claude Killy), pg. 14
William Boddy: pg. 268 and 269
The Country: 23 of August of 1982 (Ignacio Lewin), sports, pg. 4
Encyclopedia of the Car: volume 3, pg. 582
Nigel Roebuck: pg. 13
Rich Taylor: pg. 219
Burchkalter/Shed: pg. 219
Isenberg: Racing Cars: pg. 62
Henry Rassmusen: Corvette, pg. 70
Classic motor: December of 1997 (Orlando Rivers), pg. 51
It brushes Jones: pg. 40, 91, 144 and 251
David Tremayne & Mark Hughes: pg. 78
F1-50, pg. 47 (Mike Doodson)
E. and F. Verplanken
J. - F. Go'mez: volume 2, pg. 576
Rétro car: May of 2000 (Alain Caussade), pg. 104; February of 2003 (Alain Caussade), pg. 103
Classic & Sports Car: Julio of 2000 (Nigel Roebuck), pg. 117
The 8W Team (Matej Muraus)
Felix Teeth: (190201)
Autorace (P. Hamily)
Juan Walls (110602)
G.A. Engels (160802)
Spooky Coincidence (http://web.a-znet.com/~dave1w/midget01.htm (photo))

Photos: http://www.unfairadvantageracing.com/

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