Even with lots of work still do be done this list have reached a state
where it must be considered one of the most complete and accurate ever assembled on
the subject. This has only been possible due to the tremendous help from people
all over the world, each of them experts of their local drivers and events.
Short biographies of drivers with BLUE background, will come up in due time.
If you have any information about any driver with GREEN background, please
Ignazio Radice Fossati (I) |
(?- 4 Oct 1936
The Radice Fossatis are an old family from Milan dating from the
times of Charlemagne. They have been often involved in the political and
the sporting life of the city of Milan.
Radice Fossati died in an accident on the Monza Autodrome during a record
attempt in his 1100cc Maserati when a dog crossed the track. Trying to
take avoiding action, he lost control, the car overturned bursting into
(Info supplied by Alessandro Silva)
Friherre (Baron) Johan Ronald Ramsay (FIN)
11 Aug 1903 - 18 Oct 1974
This Finno-Swedish nobleman was interested in agriculture and after getting his Master's degree in agriculture and
forestry in 1927 he started to take care of his mansion at Tali, north of Viipuri. (Now in Russia - the mansion
became one of the most fierce battlefields in the Second World War).
A good tennis player and fencer, Ramsey had also an interest in cars.
He was married in 1928 and the next year the young couple visited the USA where they were introduced to Henry Ford who gave them
an inside view of the car industry and also donated a car to them.
As a completely unknown, Ramsey took a sensational second position at the 1931 Swedish GP in a Chrysler Imperial. Ramsey proved to be a good
racing driver but his career was quite short as he understood that serious racing demanded a real racing car,
a step he refrained from taking as he was driving just for fun.
"Raph" (Comte Georges Raphaël Béthenod de Montbressieux) (F)
8 Feb 1910 - 16 Jun 1994
Born in Buenos Aires, son of the count of Montbressieux, a rich silk-maker married to an Argentinian.
(He is sometimes listed in the motor sports literature under "de las Casas", his mother's name.)
After three years of cyclecar racing in Amilcar, Salmson and Rally, he went into a partnership
with Sommer to buy a Tipo B Alfa-Romeo for the 1935 season.
A "misunderstanding" with Enzo Ferrari led to two cars appearing and "Raph" had to buy the other one for 150,000 F.
He raced it succesfully in 1935 changing to a Maserati V8 RI for 1936, but was unhappy with that car
sold in the USA after the Vanderbilt Cup. He raced Talbot
and Delahaye sportscars until the 1937 Le Mans 24hrs race where he
crashed badly, remaining paralyzed in the legs for six months.
He joined Dusio’s Torino team for 1938, racing Maserati voiturettes and Ecurie
Bleue racing Delahayes.
He was very active in 1946/47 racing Maseratis under the Naphtra Course banner winning at
Nantes and participating in the first two South American expeditions
with a win at Interlagos. He bought one of the new Talbot-Lago 26C in
1948, but, after a good second at Comminges, he crashed badly at Albi fracturing his skull.
He never fully recovered, suffering longtime from amnesia.
He raced occasionally in 1949 a Delahaye and a Gordini and sold
his Talbot in Brasil upon his last trip there early in 1950 and quit
racing. Plagued by financial problems, he became handyman and chauffeur
for his lifelong friend, Maurice Chevalier.
After the latter’s death, he worked for an agency renting high-class cars on the
French Riviera, retiring in 1984. Died at Neuilly-sur-Marne 1994.
(Info supplied by Alessandro Silva)
"Jean Renaldi" (André Louis Théodore Carré) (F)
29 Jan 1908 - 24 Aug 1989
French racing driver born in Sillé le Guillaume, Pays de la Loire. He took part in several Grand Prix events in various Bugatti, one of them bought from Marcel Lehoux.
He raced under the aliases "Jean Renaldi" and "Inlander" (often confused with Zehender).
Also took part with Robert Brunet in the 1934 Le Mans 24h race in a 2.3 L Bugatti T55. At 2 am while in 2nd position Brunet spun the car into the ditch and had to retire.
Carré retired from racing in the late 1930’s even if his last race was the Le Mans older pilots rally in 1964 which he won with his co-pilot José Rosinski.
Carré was a founder and the treasurer of the Le Mans racing drivers club for many years and his factory premises used to host "Lofty" England and the Jaguar team during their Le Mans visits.
Died at Neuilly-sur-Seine, Île-de-France 1989.
(Info supplied by Bruno Carré & Jean-Charles Colombier)
J. Walter Rens (NL)
Private Bugatti driver from Netherlands.
Carlo Emanuele Restelli (I) |
From Como. Participiated mainy in Rallies.
Richards - SEE: Rose-Richards
Douglas van Riet M.B.E. (ZA)
15 Mar 1907 - 4 Sep 2003
Started off with motorcycles mainly BSA, with great success.
Was with Massacurati the top South Africa driver in in the 1930's.
Van Riet Was also a top pilot flying with Cobhams Flying Circus.
Raced in 1934 South African Grand Prix in 1930 Austin Ulster to which he had fitted
the supercharged engine from a Brookland Austin 747 cc "rubber duck".
Raced a 1933 Indianapolis Studebaker in the 1935 Kimberley 100.
Set the intertown speed record Cape Town to Port Elizabeth in 1935.
Winner of 1937 Rand GP (handicap).
Awarded a M.B.E. after WW2 Major van Riet later became harbour master at Gordons Bay in South Africa and
designed some of the most successful rescue boats for the National Sea Rescue Institute craft.
(Info and picture supplied by Robert Young)
Louis Charles Rigal (F)
20 Jul 1887 - 8 Jul 1974
Born in Paris, started racing in 1922 with a Panhard. He primarily drove Ariès and Peugeot, also Stutz (1930) in sports car
long distance races and was a member of the Il Portello team in 1930. He came ninth in the 1929 Monaco Grand Prix.
For the 1931 French Grand Prix he teamed up with Ferrand driving a Peugeot. Died at Argenteuil, Île-de-France 1974.
Ferdinando "Nando" Righetti (I)
6 Jul 1911 - 26 Jul 1966
Righetti was a reasonably fast amateur driver who played an
almost unique role in the period straddling WW2. He was the driver whom
Enzo Ferrari and Vittorio Stanguellini called for help when an untried
car needed to be raced. He surely was professional and reliable, but he never
showed neither the speed nor the technical knowledge which are necessary
for such a delicate task, but he was a personal friend of
both the Modenese racing car makers.
The calm and elegant Righetti, always impeccable in
his white overalls and immaculate moccasins and a silk scarf around his
neck, came into notice at Grand Prix di Modena in 1936 when he finished
second in an obsolete Maserati 4CS magically prepared by Stanguellini.
The doors of the Scuderia Ferrari and then of Alfa Corse were opened for
him. He drove for them, sporadically and only in sports car races,
mainly the 6-cylinder 2500, winning the Targa Abruzzi in 1939. He drove
for Stanguellini and Ferrari during 1947, for Ferrari in 1948 and went
back to Stanguellini in 1949. He later became the President of the
Automobile Club Modena and drove a Maserati too - thus serving the third
racing car maker in Modena as well.
(Info supplied by Alessandro Silva)
Jan Ripper (PL)
13 Jul 1903 - 24 May 1987
Jan, son of Wilhelm Ripper, was born in Kraków in 1903.
In 1921 he made his racing debut at the Cracow-Zakopane motor cycle race. In 1928 together with Michal Harkawy he became the first Pole participating in the Monte Carlo Rally.
In 1929 and 1938 he won the Rally Poland. He bought a Bugatti T37A and used it in voiturette racing and hill climbing, winning the Krzyzowa, Ojców and Tatra hill climbs.
After The Second World War he lived in Zakopane together with wife, Stanisława, where he also ran a workshop and built his own specials.
He won his last rally at the age of 76. He died in Zakopane in 1987.
(Info supplied by Piotr Jurczyk)
(Adolf) Ralph Roese (D)
27 Jul 1900 - 8 Feb 1949750?
Ralph Roese came from Mettmann, Düsseldorf, son of a master fitter. He started racing motorcycles in the late 1920s.
He privately raced a 750 BMW during the thirties and was one of the most successful
German private drivers in that class, being German champion in 1931 and 1932. From 1934 onwards he raced 2-liter
BMW 328 sports cars where he 1938 won the 2 litre class of the Grand Prix of Antwerp. The same year he won the
Frontières GP at Chimay in a BMW. The following year, at the Eifelrennen,
with his BMW finished first in the 1.5-liter class. During the 13th Frontières GP at Chimay on 28 May,
he again won in a 2-liter BMW sports car.
In the shortened 1940 Mille Miglia he came third, sharing his drive with Adolf Brudes.
Shortly after the war in 1946, he was racing again. 8 Feb 1949 when Roese and three friends were going to pick up a
new race car he crashed with another car near Neuwied Dierdorf crossing .
A fuel can bursted and Roese and his three friends all succumed in the following fire.
(Info supplied by Hans Etzrodt)
Anthony Peter Roylance "Tony" Rolt (GB)
16 Oct 1918 - 6 Feb 2008
Born in Bordon Hampshire 1918.
Rolt was a very gifted amateur driver who in 1938 bought
Prince Chula's ERA-B (known as "Remus") and at an age of 19 he won the
British Empire Trophy at Donington.
During WW2, as a Lieutenant in a Rifle Brigade, he was captured by the Germans on 26 May 1940.
He was sent to the the Colditz castle on 14 July 1943 where he laid down the famous
plans to build a glider in the attic to escape with.
After the war Rolt resumed racing with ta Aitken-Alfa Spl. purchased
from Wallington. Then he begun a close association with Freddie Dixon and
Rob Walker, setting an engineering partnership with the former and racing
Walker’s 1926 Delage with ERA-E engine. From 1952 to 1955
Rolt raced Walker's Connaughts on which he was tremendously successful in
local British events.
Unfortunately, his prospering business obliged him to restrict his career mainly
to these kind of events, though he won the 1953 Le Mans 24hrs with a Jaguar and in 1954 he finished second the
at Le Mans and at the Reims 12 hrs with Duncan Hamilton, his companion of practical jokes.
Rolt and Dixon were associated to the project of the Ferguson 4WD touring and racing cars.
Dixon soon left, but Rolt stayed on to oversee its final success. Stirling Moss
asserts that Rolt would have been among the top GP drivers if he
Rolt died 2008 in Warwick, Warwickshire.
(Info supplied by Alessandro Silva)
Victorio Rosa (I/RA)
Victorio Rosa came to Argentina from Italy in 1926 as the driver/mechanic of an Alfa Romeo P2,
which was sent to Argentina for a propaganda tour at the instigation of Alfa Romeo agent for
Argentina Juan Alberto Roccatagliata. The Alfa Romeo P2 took part in two
races, at the General San Martin oval in Buenos Aires and in Rafaela.
Rosa won the first and lost a wheel in the second. The car returned to
Italy without Rosa who stayed over and opened a mechanical shop.
(Info supplied by Alessandro Silva)
Harry Rose (Rosenson) (GB) |
27 Aug 1906 - 6 Jan 1993
Born in Old Trafford, Manchester as Harry Rosenson.
Son of founder of leading UK mail order company "Great Universal Stores Ltd." (GUS).
Died in in Fallowfield, Manchester 1993.
Rose-Itier - SEE: Itier
Adolf Rosenberger ( ) |
Thomas Essery "Tim" Rose-Richards (GB)
6 Jun 1902 - 7 Oct 1940
Born in Mayals, Glamorgan 1902.
Sports cars driver who took part in the Le Mans 24h race five times, finishing third 1931-33. Also took part in GP races with a Bugatti. Raced at Eifel GP 1935 for the ERA works team. Winner of the 1935 BRDC Gold Star.
When the war started Rose-Richards joined the Fleet Air Arm. Stationed with the 765 Squadron at Sandbanks, Poole*, his Supermarine Walrus was shot down by a Heinkel 111 and
crashed into the sea 8 miles south of Anvil Point, Dorset, on 7 October 1940.
* Most Internet sources say Lee-on-the-Solvent. According to Ray Sturtivant's The Squadrons of the Fleet Air Arm the squadron had moved to Sandbanks 26 August.
Bernd Rosemeyer (D)
14 Oct 1909 - 28 Jan 1938
In sheer natural speed and car control, was he the best ever? The only car Rosemeyer ever raced was the
monstrous rear-engined Auto Union, a car that even Nuvolari found hard to master. Yet, in a meteoric career
Rosemeyer established himself as the world's fastest driver and Germany's most popular GP driver ever.
Starting in 1935 he was challenging for the lead in only his second race. In 1936, in his first full season,
he clinched the European Championship and forced the mighty Mercedes to retire from racing in the middle of the
season. On the infamous Nürburgring track, the ultimate challenge for any driver, Rosemeyer's abilities came to
his own. He held the lead every single time he raced there and he finished 2nd, 4th, 1st, 1st, 1st and 3rd. No one
(with the possible exception of Gilles Villeneuve) has been able to fully copy Rosemeyer's driving style. In total
disregard for the laws of physics the thrill seeking driver, whose favourite number was "13", threw the heavy
car around in impossible angles. While he made the occasional mistake, his 10 victories during a time of just
two years show his class. Sadly his career was cut short by a 400 km/h crash during a world speed record
attempt in early 1938.
Click here For analysis of the crash
Click here for full biography.
André Emile Henri Rossignol (F)
8 Aug 1890 - 5 Dec 1960
Born in Paris where he also died at an age of 70.
(Info supplied by Jean-Charles Colombier)
Rosso Cerami - SEE: Count di Cerami
André Rougeyron (F) |
22 Sep 1899 - 29 Dec 1967
Born at Domfront (Orne) in 1899. Car engineer, race official, fighter pilot, member of the resistance and, later, the mayor of Domfront. As a race marshall,
He was wounded by a crashing car in the 1958 GP de Caen and lost a leg as a consequence.
He died in a road accident at La Ferté-Macé (Orne) in 1967.
(Info supplied by Richard A. Salomon)
de Rothschild - SEE: "Philippe"
Mme. Fernande Roux (F)
Wife of a wealthy Parisian surgeon she became fashinated in Maurice Mestivier and started racing
a Amilcar Pégase in French sportscar racing in 1936, entries including the Marne GP and the GP de France. In 1937 she
raced it at Montlehéry and in the Paris-St Raphaël Féminin andMestivier convinced her to buy a surviving 2.5L Grand Prix
Amilcar. With a Delahaye engine she took part with it in the 1938 Le Mans 24h race.
Bernard Rubin (AUS/GB)
6 Dec 1896 - 27 Jun 1936
Born at Carlton, Victoria, Australia in 1896. Died of tubercolosis at Cranbrook, Kent, England in 1936.
Vincenzo Russo (I) |
From Napoli (Napels)
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© 2018 Leif Snellman - Last updated: 18.01.2018