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Pete Lovely

Full Name:
Gerard Carlton "Pete" Lovely
11th April 1926
Livingston, Montana
15th May 2011 (Aged 85)
Tacoma, Washington State
Most recent race (in database):

This Seattle Volkswagen dealer also enjoyed a long and varied career as a popular amateur racing driver. His near 50 years in the sport included seven Grand Prix starts in the days when an enthusiast could buy an ex-works car and compete with the stars of the day.

He won the 1955 SCCA F Modified Sportscar Championship driving a Cooper-Porsche Special and was the inaugural winner at Laguna Seca two years later with Fred Armbruster’s Ferrari 500TR. With success at home, Lovely decided to race in Europe and joined Lotus to win his class at the 1958 Reims 12 Hours with Innes Ireland.

Formula 1 privateer

He entered the 1959 Monaco GP with a works Lotus 16-Climax before a hoped-for full campaign. However, he failed to qualify after the team’s transporter arrived late and restricted his track time. Lovely returned to America and made his championship debut 18 months later when 11th in the 1960 United States GP at Riverside with Armbruster’s Cooper T51-Ferrari.

His international career appeared over as Lovely concentrated on expanding his business although he did compete in Formula Junior and sports cars back home. He bought an ex-works Lotus 49B-Ford as the decade drew to a close and returned to the world championship for the last three GPs of 1969. Seventh in Canada and ninth in Mexico were the best results of his Formula 1 career although he was laps behind on each occasion.

Unsuccessful European campaign

Lovely took the car to Europe in 1970 but crashed at Paddock Hill Bend during the Race of Champions and was off the pace in all three GPs entered. He failed to qualify twice and was 11 laps behind in the British GP. It was a similar story in the United States GP where he was a DNQ once more. He modified a Formula 2 Lotus 69 to accept a Ford DFV engine for 1971 and raced in the Canadian and United States GPs but was unclassified in both.

He later ran a Can-Am team and continued to drive the Lotus 49B in historic races into his eighties.