Alan Rees


written in early 1967

REES is a jockey-size answer to a Grand Prix car designer's prayer-except that no Grand Prix team., has so far given him a drive.

But it shouldn't be long now.

He drove for Team Lotus in the Formula Jr days, but was very much a second-place racer to Peter Arundell and you don't get much joy out of being No.2 on a one-car team. Now, at 28, he is probably the best non-graded driver around, and as team manager and No.2 driver in the Winkelmann Formula 2 team has made his presence felt on several occasions. He beat Jack Brabham in the F2 scramble at Reims in 1964 and in 1965 won the Enna GP in Sicily. In 1966 the powered; by Honda Brabhams cleaned out F2 racing but the Winkelmann Brabhams were always winning the race for places, Rees copping seconds at Reims when Hulme dropped out and at Rouen when Brabham retired.

This season a European championship is being run for non-graded drivers, and points and prize money make it, worthwhile for a works team to provide a promising up-and-comer with a works car. Rees' teammate Jochen Rindt won in a Winkelmann Brabham at Snetterton, Silverstone and Pau, with Rees right there placing third, second and third in the three races.

Rees is what you might call a teenyracer. He's 5 ft 4 in. tall in his John Surtees racing boots and weighs 140 lb after a big meal. And he's smart. He left Swansea University in 1960 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and History. He says he is managing director, accountant, deputy mechanic and No.2 driver of Winkelmann Racing. Which is one way of making sure the second driver in the team doesn't get the mechanical leftovers.

Roy Winkelmann, the team's sponsor, is a wide-awake merchant who pioneered a Brink's-typecash security system in England, then sold that, built a bowling alley, then tried a dabble in motor racing. This is where Rees came in, driving a Lola F-Jr and a.Lotus 23B sports car. Winkelmann is currently in America making and marketing a new idea in interior mirrors .

Rees began racing while he was still at the university, running a Lotus 11 sports car in 1959. He finished seventh the first time out, but three wins in club races brought parental approval and financial as~istance to buy an 1100-cc : Lola sports car for 1960, and at the latter ep.d of the season Eric Broadley loaned him a front-engined Lola F-Jr for a few races. His showing in these events was noted by Esso and Lotus, and for the 1961 season he turned out in a Lotus 20 F-Jr as a works-supported entry. He had wins at Crystal Palace and Goodwood but became well aware that it was "rather difficult trying to foot it with the pukka works teams. Colin Chapman was also aware of privateer's problems but he realized that Rees had the makings and signed him to drive works Juniors with Arundell and Bob Anderson. Which is where we joined the story.

Rees is a quiet young man who doesn't smoke, doesn't drink during the season unless 'provoked, and is a competition class rifle shot. Being not very high off the ground helps him to look unassuming, but nevertheless Mr. Rees is making his quiet presence felt.

Later: after being a team manager he:

in March 1969 he joined Robin Herd, Max Mosley and Graham Coaker to set up March Engineering. His job was to run the March F1 team which he did for a couple of years before joining Shadow as team manager. He remained with the team until the end of 1976 when he joined Jackie Oliver and a group of others in establishing the Arrows F1 team. He was the Arrows team manager until March 1991 when he became financial director. He sold his shares in the company to Tom Walkinshaw in 1996.

back to index

Author: ArchitectPage

Post 1945 Drivers