Moises Solana

Moises Solana

26/12/1935 - 27/7/1969

Mexican driver who competed regularly in his home Grand Prix between 1963 and 1968. He qualified a works Lotus 49 in seventh place for the '67 US Grand Prix. He was killed in a Can-Am McLaren whilst competing in a domestic hillclimb during the summer of 1969.

Moisés Solana was born in Mexic City. His father, Jose Antonio Solana, was friends with Etore Bugatti's son, Jean Bugatti, when he studied in France. He started making children's racing cars and build one for his brother, Ignacio. It was this car that Moisés first drove at the age of 2.

Solana became one of the top Jai-Alai players. Jai-Alai is the fastest ball game in the world in which a 125g-140g ball covered with goat-skin can travel up to 180 mph. The ball is placed into play and volleyed by players wearing a wicker cesta basket attached to their arm.

So good was Moisés that it provided him with the means to go motor racing, though he rarely competed outside Mexico.

In 1962 he arranged to drive a Bowmaker Lola in the non-championship F1 race there, but he rejected the car in practice, claiming it was not satisfactory. From then on he found the cars he drove acceptable, but was unable to score any worthwhile results, despite some excellent qualifying performances, which included seventh fastest for the 1967 United States Grand Prix.

Most of his sorties outside Mexico were across the border in USRRC races, but he did come to Europe once to race a Lotus 48 F2 car at the Madrid GP in 1967, when he finished eleventh. This was the first Grand Prix at the Jarama Circuit.

Solana was killed in 1969 while competing in the Valle de Bravo hill-climb when he lost control of his McLaren M6B, which crashed into a bridge and caught fire.

Moisés took part in more than one hundred races, including eight F1 Grand Prix.

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