Remembering the great Seppi
It’s been 50 years since Swiss-born Jo Siffert, aka Seppi, died during a race at Brands Hatch. Though cut tragically short, his racing legacy is still rather prolific: two GP victories and eleven major international sportscar race wins including the 24 Hours of Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring and the Targa Florio.
As racing drivers go, he was fast, all the time. How fast? Brian Redman, his co-driver at Porsche, in an interview conducted recently for our forthcoming title Drivers on Drivers, had this to say: ‘Let's take 1969, when there were 10 factory drivers in the Porsche team, and Siffert was basically the fastest. I'm sure there are several drivers who wouldn’t agree with that. But basically, he was.’
Above: Siffert in the Porsche 908.03 at the 1970 Nürburgring 1,000Km. Image by Lothar Spurzem.
But Siffert’s legacy outside of the car speaks volumes about who he was as a person. When asked to name his best teammate, Redman mentions, ‘Jacky Ickx in 1968, ’72 and ’73, but then also in ’69 and ’70 with the great Jo Siffert. So really, I had the best co-drivers in the world at that time. Asked to name the bravest driver, Redman’s answer was ‘Siffert’. And who was the most fun? ‘Siffert, I think. He was always ready for a lark of some kind.’
Article by Wayne Batty