Johnny Claes  Belgium

World Championship Career
Year Car Race Start Won Pod Class Best Pole Front Best Lap Hat Pts Pos
1950 Talbot-Lago 6 6 0 0 4 7 0 0 14 0 0 0 -
1951 Talbot-Lago 7 7 0 0 4 7 0 0 11 0 0 0 -
1952 Gordini, Simca-Gordini, HWM 5 4 0 0 3 8 0 0 19 0 0 0 -
1953 Maserati, Connaught 5 5 0 0 1 12 0 0 10 0 0 0 -
1955 Maserati, Ferrari 2 1 0 0 1 11 0 0 16 0 0 0 -
Total 25 23 0 0 13 7 0 0 10 0 0 0
Race Circuit Date
First race British Grand Prix Silverstone May 13, 1950 Race results
Last race Dutch Grand Prix Zandvoort June 19, 1955 Race results
Profile

Johnny Claes raced in Formula One between 1950 and 1955 under the Belgian flag but was born in Fulham and educated at Lord Williams's School, Oxfordshire. He started by racing his own Talbot Lago under the team name Ecurie Belge and recorded some impressive results for a privateer. He later traded the Talbot for a Gordini and eventually a Connaught, but almost always raced in the Ecurie Belge colours. He occasionally drove for works teams, including Gordini and Maserati, but never improved on his best result of seventh. Arguably his greatest achievement came in 1954 when he won his class at Le Mans driving a Porsche RS Spyder alongside co-driver and Belgian compatriot Pierre Stasse.

Claes was also a talented trumpeter, and before taking up racing professionally, he played in several jazz bands and released a record in his own group called the Claepigeons. He continued to race up until a year before his death from tuberculosis in 1956.

Laurence Edmondson

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