Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Jo Ramirez, mechanic for the legends

Dan Gurney, Senna, Prost and Stewart were all people he worked for.

Wow. That is incredible.

He left Mexico in 1962 bound for Italy as he looked to pursue a motor racing career.

Ramirez came from the same Mexican town as the Rodriguez brothers - Ricardo and his brother Pedro - and although he had similar racing ambitions he did not have the money to achieve what they were able to.

He studied mechanical engineering at Mexico City University but dropped out to go to Europe in 1961, when the Mexican went to rent a factory Ferrari for the Italian GP at Monza in which Rodriguez sensationally qualified on the front row of the grid.

Through Ricardo Rodriguez, he managed to get a job as the Ferrari team’s ‘Gopher’ before taking a role with Maserati working in sport-prototype cars, then a job with Lamborghini.

 In 1964, he moved to England to work at Ford Advanced Vehicles and then secured a job with Dan Gurney’s Eagle F1 project. He secured his first F1 win at the Belgian GP in 1967.

After the F1 team closed down Jo spent three years with Gurney in the United States, working in CanAm, Indycars and TransAm racing but in 1971 he returned to Britain to work as chief mechanic for the John Wyer Automotive Gulf Porsche sportscar team.

During his 17 years at McLaren, he worked with Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost, Keke Rosberg, Gerhard Berger, Nigel Mansell, Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard winning 10 Drivers’ World Championships and seven Constructors’ Championships.

Jo Ramírez retired in 2001 after 40 years in the business.

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