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Dave Walker

10th June 1941 (Age 79)
Sydney, New South Wales
Most recent race (in database):

Dave Walker was a tough Australian who started his professional life as an accountant. However, some early hillclimbing persuaded him to try his hand at motor racing. An initial move to Britain in 1962 proved ill-fated but he returned four years later to race an Formula 3 Merlyn before establishing himself in Formula Ford 1600 by the end of the decade.

Championship winner in the junior categories

He won the 1969 Les Leston British FF1600 Championship with a factory Alexis and that led to a works Lotus opportunity in F3 for the following season. He won the 1970 Lombank title and remained in the category a year later. With new 1600cc rules introduced for 1971, Walker won at Monaco and claimed both the Shell and Forward Trust British F3 titles.

Formula 1 with Lotus

Walker also made his Grand Prix debut in the 1971 Dutch GP at Zandvoort when driving the gas turbine Lotus 56B-Pratt & Witney. He qualified in 22nd position and was up to 10th when he flew off the road at Tarzan on the sixth lap of a promising run.

A fulltime Lotus driver during the 1972 Formula 1 season, it was an unhappy campaign for the Australian. While team-mate Emerson Fittipaldi became the youngest world champion so far, Walker failed to register a single points finish. The closest he came was in Spain while running seventh with three laps to go, only to run out of fuel.

His relationship with Lotus deteriorated with every retirement and lacklustre performance. Walker was dropped for the Italian GP after testing an Formula 2 car without Colin Chapmanā€™s permission. He returned for a final F1 appearance in the Watkins Glen finale but retired once more.

Subsequent career

A planned move back into F2 in 1973 with a DART Racing GRD 273-Ford did not happen when he broke his leg in a road accident while in London. He recovered sufficiently to make a couple of F2 starts during 1974. But after brief and unsuccessful forays in Formula 5000 and Formula Atlantic in North America, Walker retired at the end of 1975.

He settled in Queensland, Australia where he ran a marine charter company.

Championship seasons