"To become the champion, the entire team has to be focused on winning. It is easy for everyone to be together when the team is winning, but when there is difficulty, it is the most important.” Juan Manuel Fangio II.
Juan Manuel Fangio II, b. Argentina is an auto racing champion and nephew of auto racer Juan Manuel Fangio. He grew up meeting some of auto racing's most famous champions of his uncle's era and inherited his uncle's passion for motorsports as well as his father’s interest in race car building. He debuted as a professional auto racer in IMSA in 1984.
He had an award-winning career, winning two GTP driver's championships, as well as 2 manufacturer titles when he was racing for Toyota and All American Racers. He lead every lap in the #99 Toyota at Heartland Park, Topeka. Won at Sears Point by a narrow margin, and then won with spectacular come-from-behind victories at San Antonio and Del Mar.
Fangio II further established his legacy in the world of auto racing by winning the prestigious 12 Hours of Sebring two times (as did his uncle), posting 21 GTP wins, and establishing an IMSA record with 19 solo victories. His victories came while driving the Toyota Eagle HF89/90 and Toyota Eagle MkIII GTP cars.
Fangio II won pole position ten times during his career. He made most of his driving career in the United States and was chosen in 1992 and 1993 as an "All-American" by the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association (AARWBA), an organization which also named Fangio their 1992 driver of the year.
“..he has that tender, finesse kind of touch with the car, but beneath it there's a man of steel, a driver with resolve.” Dan Gurney
Upon retirement Fangio II told Gurney: "I have discovered that regardless of what my passion says, despite what I command my mind to do, I am no longer able to give my whole being, my total focus at the exclusion of everything else to this sport that I love. 99% is not enough, I shall stop."
Said Gurney: "A gentleman in a drivers suit with a core of steel exuding an aura of Latin American dignity and honor even in the worst of circumstances will be missing from the grid".
And with that Fangio II hung up his auto-racing suit….
and… you can own it.
Available for sale, this authentic Juan Manuel Fangio II Racing Suit made by Stand 21 Racewear and used by Juan Fangio II while driving for the Toyota Team.
*Portrait of Juan Manuel Fangio II wearing race suit © Carlos Ghys
*Juan Manuel Fangio II in car at the IMSA Del Mar Grand Prix - October 1990.
Fangio's Toyota IMSA GTP
CC BY 2.0