Mike MacDowel

Mike MacDowel

13/9/1932

Fine sports car driver who joined the works Cooper team. Drove in one GP, the French in 1957, handing his car over to Jack Brabham mid race. Went on to become a successful hill climb driver winning the British Championships in 1973 and 1974.

MacDowel was born in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England. He was a keen amateur driver in sports cars.

In 1955 he scored 10 wins and 5 second places with his 1172 cc Lotus, which earned him a place as a works driver in the Cooper sports car team in 1956.

In 1957, after success with their sports cars, he moved to a single seater Cooper in their first World Championship races in 1957 and made his only F1 Championship appearance at the French Grand Prix at Reims. Apparently he didn't like the circuit as he found the apex of the corners difficult to see. However mid race Jack Brabham's car developed problems and Mike had to hand over to him.

Later in the year he did finished second in the non-championship Grand Prix de Paris at Montlhery.

After a period away from competition he returned to race in hill climbs in 1968, winning the RAC championships in 1973 and 74 with his 5-litre Repco Brabham BT36X. In 1973 he set what was then the course record at Shelsley Walsh at 28.21 seconds.

He continued racing well into his 60s and was still competing in hill climbs in the early 1990s.

He still attends historic racing festivals.

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