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Mike Parkes
Mike Parkes 1969 kl.JPG
Nationality United Kingdom British
Formula One World Championship career
Active years 1959, 1966-1967
Teams Fry, Ferrari
Races 7 (6 starts)
Championships 0
Wins 0
Podiums 2
Career points 14
Pole positions 1
Fastest laps 0
First race 1959 British Grand Prix
Last race 1967 Belgian Grand Prix

Michael Johnson Parkes (September 24, 1931 in Richmond, Surrey - August 28, 1977 nr. Turin, Italy [1]) was a British racing driver from England.

He participated in 7 Formula One World Championship Grands Prix, debuting on July 18, 1959. He achieved two podiums, and scored a total of 14 championship points. He also secured one pole position. Parkes was a London, England bachelor who worked as an automotive engineer when not racing cars.[2]


Sports car career

Parkes at 1965 1000km Nürburgring in front of Graham Hill, both in Ferraris

Willy Mairesse and Parkes came in second in the 1000km Nürburgring race in May 1962. Their Ferrari placed after the winning car of the same marque driven by Phil Hill and Olivier Gendebien. The race was 44 laps.[3] Parkes finished a mere car length behind Graham Hill in the 28th Royal Automobile Club tourist trophy race in August 1963.[4]Umberto Maglioli and Parkes drove one of the Ferraris which claimed the top five qualifying positions for the 1964 12 Hours of Sebring. The Ferraris were stocked with new power plants. Parkes was clocked at 3:10.4.[5] In the race Parkes established a speed record and completed the most miles ever for a winner. Parkes and Maglioli, working together for the first time, finished a considerable distance ahead of the Ferrari of Ludovico Scarfiotti and Nino Vaccarella.[2] Parkes teamed with Jean Guichet in a Ferrari to capture the 1,000 kilometer Classic of Monza, Italy in April 1965. Tommy Spichiger, 30, of Switzerland, died instantly on the 34th lap of the race when his Ferrari 365 prototype went off the track and burst into flames. Parkes and Guichet led from led most of the in their Ferrari prototype after taking the lead from John Surtees and Ludovico Scarfiotti.[6] Parkes and Guichot placed 2nd to Surtees and Scarfiotti in a 620 mile race at the Neurburgring in May 1965. The winning pair led the full 44 laps. It was a 4th consecutive victory for Ferrari.[7] Dan Gurney eclipsed the time of Parkes in the sole factory Ferrari in the final practice for the 1966 12 Hours of Sebring. The blue Ford was clocked at 2:54.6, 2 seconds faster than a lap run by Parkes the previous day. In a Ferrari P3 prototype, Parkes lap was so fast that none of the time-speed conversion charts would accept it. Parkes and Bob Bondurant started 2nd after Gurney and his co-driver, Jerry Grant.[8] Surtees and Parkes were in a Ferrari prototype in their victory in a 620 mile Monza sports car event in April 1966[9] Chris Amon and Lorenzo Bandini were triumphant in a 100 lap, 1,000 kilometer Monza race in April 1967. The drove a 4,000 cubic centimter Ferrari for an average speed of 122.30 m.p.h. Parkes and Scarfiotti placed 2nd with a 5:10:59.2. The winning time was 5 hours seven minutes, 43 seconds. The Ferraris were in front after the Chaparral of Phil Hill and Mike Spence had to make pit stops following the 17th and 18th laps.[10] Parkes competed in a 1,000 kilometer sports car race in Argentina in January 1971. He was paired with Joakim Bonnier in a 5,000 c.c. Ferrari entered and owned by the Swiss Filippinetti stable which maintained operations in Modena.[11]

Formula One competition

Parkes secured 2nd place in the 1966 French Grand Prix at Rheims driving a Ferrari. Jack Brabham won the race and his teammate, Denny Hulme, came in 3rd, in a Brabham Repco.[12] Parkes won an international Formula One race at Silverstone by one third of a lap over Brabham in April 1967. This event was the last prior to the 1967 European rounds of the Formula One World Championship, which began at the 1967 Monaco Grand Prix on May 7. The 52 lap race was the first Formula One contest for Parkes in his native country. He completed the 152.36 mile competition in 1:19:39.25 with an average speed of 114.65 m.p.h.[13] Ferrari Auto Works chose to enter two cars in the 1967 Syracuse Grand Prix. This was a Formula One race that did not count toward the Formula One World Championship. Parkes and Scarfiotti were assigned 1966 model single seaters.[14]

Parkes' Formula One career ended after he broke both legs in a crash at the 1967 Belgian Grand Prix, but he raced into the 1970s in sports cars. He was killed in a road accident in 1977.

Complete Formula One World Championship results

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 WDC Points
1959 David Fry Fry (F2) Climax Straight-4 MON
NC 0
1966 Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 312/66 Ferrari V12 MON
8th 12
1967 Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 312/66 Ferrari V12 RSA
16th 2
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Jack Brabham
BRDC International Trophy winner
Succeeded by
Denny Hulme

Automotive Engineering

Parkes worked for the Rootes Group from 1950 to 1962, initially as an apprentice. One of his roles at Rootes was as project engineer in the development of the Hillman Imp.

In 1963 Parkes joined Ferrari as development engineer for their road cars, notably the 330 GTC, and also as a GT sports car driver. Following his absence from work after his serious F1 accident, he returned to Ferrari in 1969 to find that the company partly under the control of Fiat and at that point decided to work for Scuderia Filipinetti as engineer as well as driver.

In 1974 Parkes took a job as principal development engineer for the Lancia Stratos.


  1. ^ Jenkins, Richard. "The World Championship drivers - Where are they now?". Retrieved 2007-07-29.  
  2. ^ a b Sebring 'Crasher' Swept By Ferrari, Los Angeles Times, March 22, 1964, Page B5.
  3. ^ Phil Hill Wins Neurburgring, Los Angeles Times, May 28, 1962, Page B6.
  4. ^ Datelines In Sports, Los Angeles Times, August 25, 1963, Page K5.
  5. ^ Ferraris Taking Over Top 5 Sebring Spots, Los Angeles Times, March 20, 1964, Page B7
  6. ^ Swiss Driver Dies at Monza, Los Angeles Times, April 26, 1965, Page B3.
  7. ^ Ferrari Pair Wins Race Marred by Driver Death, Los Angeles Times, May 24, 1965, Page B3
  8. ^ Gurney Roars 107 m.p.h. in Final Tineup, Los Angeles Times, March 26, 1966, A5
  9. ^ Datelines:Monza, Los Angeles Times, April 26, 1966, Page B3
  10. ^ Ferraris Run 1-2 at Monza, Los Angeles, April 26, 1967, Page C5.
  11. ^ Ferrari To Enter New Car In Argentine Race Jan. 10, New York Times, January 3, 1971, Page S6.
  12. ^ Brabham Wins Formula One Race at Rheims, Los Angeles Times, July 4, 1966, Page B6.
  13. ^ English Race Driver Wins In Ferrari, Los Angeles Times, April 30, 1967, Page I8.
  14. ^ Ferrari to Enter Two Cars at Syracuse, Los Angeles Times, May 17, 1967, Page C6.

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