Record updated 14-Nov-06
Robert Brett Lunger is a former Formula One driver from the USA. A former US marine who served with distinction in Vietnam, his raced mainly privateer cars, which he could well afford as one of the heirs of the DuPont family. He participated in 42 grands prix, debuting on August 17, 1975. He scored no championship points.
Robert Brett Lunger was born in Wilmington, Delaware. Heir to the vast wealth of the DuPont family, Lunger started racing in 1965 with a Corvette, later graduating to Can-Am with a Caldwell-Chevrolet. Racing purly for fun his sport was put on hold by the war in Vietnam.
He joined the US Marine and served with distinction in the Vietnam War with one of the elite reconnaissance squadrons which operated on the front line and even behind the enemy lines. While there Brett saved the life one of the sons of the owner of Liggett and Myers, the tobacco company that made Chesterfield and L&M cigarettes.
On his return in 1971, he went straight into the big-engined sports cars in CanAm and then into Formula 5000, finishing third in the L&M championship.
For 1972 Brett continued in F5000 Stateside and also headed over to Europe to race in Formula 2 with a works-supported March 722, however he had better fortune racing in America.
Lunger continued to race in F5000 on both sides of the Atlantic until 1975, when he made his F1 debut on August 17, 1975 as James Hunt's team mate taking part in three races with Hesketh Racing.
In 1976 he joined Surtees for a full season before starting 1977 with Bob Sparshott, entered under the name of his sponsor, Chesterfield Racing. After three races he switched from his March 761 to a McLaren M23 but without any improvement in results.
He stuck with the McLaren M23 in 1978 and also tried an M26, now entered by Sparshott's racing outfit, BS Fabrications. After a one-off drive for Ensign at the end of the season, Lunger moved on to sports car racing.
He competed in a total of 34 Grands Prix without scoring any points and is probably best remembered for the role he played in helping to rescue Niki Lauda from his flaming Ferrari at the Nurburgring in 1976.
Still a competitive individual, he now competes in marathons and cycling events.