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More often seen in 500cc Formula 3, Jan Flinterman’s international racing career lasted for just one weekend during which he and Dries van der Lof became the first Dutchmen to start a world championship Grand Prix.
An original Dutch Grand Prix driver
Flinterman started racing a nimble F3 Cooper-BSA in 1950 and was added to the entry for the 1952 Dutch GP at Zandvoort to ensure local interest. Placed in an Escuderia Bandeirantes Maserati A6GCM, he qualified 15th but retired after just seven laps. It seems that the organisers wanted him in the race for as long as possible for Flinterman took over Chico Landi’s sister car and eventually finished in ninth position.
Fighter pilot and career in aviation
He was better known in aviation circles however. Flinterman was in the Royal Dutch Air Force at the start of World War II before flying Spitfires in the Royal Air Force later on. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in May 1944 for bravery in the skies over Paris.
Flinterman flew Meteor jets after the conflict before returning to the Dutch forces once more and reaching the rank of Major. Having commanded the country’s fighter pilot school for a time, Flinterman then worked in civil aviation and became Managing Director of Amsterdam-based airline Martinair in 1968.