Bobsleds, Royal Air Force, Le Mans, Formula 1
|Full Name||Robin Michael Widdows|
|Used Name||Robin Widdows|
|Born||27 May 1942; Cowley; Hillingdon; Greater London; England|
|Measurements||178 cm / 80 kg|
Robin Widdows’ father, Commodore Charles Widdows, flew for the RAF during the war, and was a test pilot afterwards. Like Alfonso de Portago, Widdows also competed in bobsleigh, although the Spaniard had been the driver, while Widdows formed part of the crew.
Widdows was part of the second British four-man sled in 1964. Steered by Bill McCowen, they ended up in 13th place, just behind the first British sleigh. A week before, two of the crewman of Britain I – Tony Nash and Robin Dixon – had won the gold medal in the two-man bob. Widdows remained on the British team until 1968, taking part in his second Olympics in Grenoble. This time as a member of the first four-man sleigh, which was taken to 8th place by driver Tony Nash.
In the same year Widdows made his first appearance at the Olympics, he also made his racing début. He proved successful, and by 1966 he was racing in Formula 3, and winning races as well, although he was also active in sportscar racing. In 1967, he entered a Brabham in Formula 2 races, racing for his own team, Witley. A win at Hockenheim (Germany) was his best result that year.
More minor successes in Formula 2 the next year – now driving a McLaren – meant he was asked by the Cooper team to drive their second car at the British GP at Brands Hatch. Widdows qualified as 18th of the 20 cars for what would turn out to be his only Formula 1 GP. After 34 laps, his ignition failed, and he had to abandon the race.
His Formula 1 career was over after that race, but Widdows continued to race in other classes. In 1969, he achieved one of his biggest successes when he placed 7th in the 24 hours of Le Mans, with Nanni Galli (ITA). Halfway through the 1970 season however, while still racing Formula 2, Widdows quit racing.