Englishman David Hobbs – Hobbo to his friends and fans – is one of motor racing’s most remarkable all-rounders. In a 31-year driving career he raced in almost every imaginable category: endurance sports racers, touring cars, Formula 1, Formula 5000, Indycars, IMSA, Trans-Am, Can-Am and even NASCAR – he has done the lot. And on top of that, he has been a television commentator in America for nearly 40 years, bringing wit and wisdom to the screen most recently as part of NBC’s Formula 1 team. Now, at last, he has put down all his experiences in this highly readable memoir that will be welcomed by racing enthusiasts on both sides of the Atlantic.
• Early racing years: from his mum’s Morris Oxford in 1959 to Jaguars and a Lotus Elite – and coming to the notice of the racing world.
• Sports car speciality: Le Mans in 1963 with the Lola Mk6 GT followed by Lola T70 drives and finally the big break; two Ford GT40 seasons with John Wyer’s mighty Gulf-sponsored team bring a win at Monza in 1968 and third place at Le Mans in 1969 – and then a Porsche 917 Le Mans drive in 1970.
• Single-seaters: coming close to a Formula 1 breakthrough with Honda in 1968, but Formula 5000 in America is where success comes, as 1971 champion.
• Westward bound: the USA becomes his focus, with early highlights including fifth place in the 1974 Indianapolis 500 with a McLaren and leading the Daytona 500 NASCAR classic in 1976.
• Criss-crossing the Atlantic: returning to old haunts to take up opportunities, including racing Jaguar’s famously fragile XJ coupé in 1976 and many more Le Mans outings, topped with another third place in 1984 driving a Porsche 956.
• Another championship title: ever versatile, he becomes Trans-Am Champion in 1983 driving a Chevrolet Camaro and winning four races.
• Sports cars galore: racing all the way to 1990, in all sorts of machinery but majoring on those all-conquering Porsches of the period – 935s, 956s, and 962s.
Co-author: Andrew Marriott has spent his career in motorsport journalism, broadcasting, and sports marketing. He covered his first Formula 1 race for Motoring News at the age of 19 and over 50 years later he still reports from the Le Mans pitlane for US TV channel Fox Sports. He has often crossed paths with David Hobbs, reporting some of his early Lotus Elite races, documenting his Grand Prix and sports car exploits, and working on the same US broadcast team.
Title: Hobbo: The Autobiography of David Hobbs: Motor Racer, Motor Mouth
Authors: David Hobbs with Andrew Marriott
Foreword: Sam Posey
Publication date: April 14, 2018
Publisher: Evro Publishing Limited