KEEPING THE SPIRIT ALIVE SINCE 1999

Gregor Foitek
27/3/1965

Victory in the little known Swiss Formula 3 Championship in 1986 launched Foitek towards Grand Prix racing. A Formula 1 driver for two seasons, he is best remembered for his role in Johnny Herbert’s Formula 3000 accident in 1988.

423

Son of Karl Foitek, who raced a variety of sports cars from an Alfa Romeo Giulietta in 1957 to a Porsche RSR in 1973, Gregor followed in his father's footsteps. In 1986 with a Dallara F386-Volkswagen he won that curious anomaly, the Swiss F3 championship as well as a German F3 race at Erding. The Swiss series was uncompetetive and proved little as did his first season in F3000. He made a poor start to the season with a string of DNQs starting the season by retired his Markus Hotz-run Lola T86/50-Cosworth at Járama. So mid-season the wealthy Gregor switched teams to GA Motorsport, even managing to qualify third on the grid at Járama.

He remained with the team for 1988 and continued that form by winning from pole position at Vallelunga. But then came a worrying number of incidents which culminated in the crash at Brands Hatch where he came together with Johnny Herbert at about 150mph. Gregor's Lola was launched into a terrifying series of barrel-rolls from which he was fortunate to escape with no more than a fractured wrist. Herbert was not so lucky and hit the guard rail head on and suffered career threatening leg injuries. Foitek managed to finish seventh in the 1988 FIA F3000 Championship and graduated to F1 in 1989 with a EuroBrun ER188B-Judd. 

Moving into Grands Prix in 1989, he spent a fruitless time trying in vain to qualify the EuroBrun 11 times. He was then brought by Rial to drive for them in the Spanish Grand Prix however the rear wing fell off during qualifying causing an accident destroying his car. Gregor felt it prudent to immediately leave the team. 

For 1990 he took his money to Brabham and qualified in the USA and Brasil, but he was replaced by David Brabham. He moved to the Onyx team, which was on the way to oblivion as a Swiss gentleman by the name of Monteverdi took control. He finished seventh at Monaco but a series of DNFs and DNQs saw the team fold after the Hungarian Grand prix. All in all, it was a sorry mess and before long Foitek had disappeared from view.

That brought Foitek's F1 career to a close. He made selected sports car starts for Kremer Porsche during 1991 and two starts for Foyt Enterprises, A.J.Foyt’s Champ Car team, a year later, retiring from both races by mechanical issues. That completed Gregor Foitek’s international racing résumé and he then worked for the family’s garage business, Foitek Automobile, a Ferrari and Maserati dealership.