CHAMPCAR/CART: Jo Ramirez, Grand Marshal for Mexico City race

A Mexican who prefers Champagne instead Tequila, Joaquin "Jo" Ramirez. Forty years ago, "Jo" Ramirez left this Aztec earth looking for an opportunity, the same one that others had looked for before him. In the long run, they became the icons of ...

A Mexican who prefers Champagne instead Tequila, Joaquin "Jo" Ramirez.
Forty years ago, "Jo" Ramirez left this Aztec earth looking for an opportunity, the same one that others had looked for before him. In the long run, they became the icons of Mexican motoring - the brothers Rodriguez, Pedro and Ricardo.

Ramirez did not get the opportunity right away that he wanted, which was to drive Formula One, but that did not discourage him to work in F1. Ramirez was dedicated to this cause and now he is the man with the most victories in F1, with 114 triumphs after forty years in the business, a major portion of them as the team coordinator for Team McLaren F1

The Mexican was the object of a tribute from Telmex Gigante Mexico Grand Prix presented by Banamex Visa organizers, which will give gold hook (season finale) to 2002 season of CART as the Grand Marshal of the event.

The honor bestowed on Ramirez gave him a good spot in his heart, even though at McLaren, the year 1988 was so great when the team had 15 of 16 victories with the Senna-Prost duo.

"It can be that my major pride was when I was with Shadow team, we got a fourth place at the grid in the 1974 Argentina GP and because there were so few members in the team, just four, it was good; especially in comparison with the Ferrari team," said an excited Ramirez when he received this tribute.

When asked about which was the best route for a Mexican driver to get to F1, Ramirez said that is European Formula 3. "Memo Rojas Jr (Barber Dodge driver) made a test in England this week, he told me that it was good. I think that is better that Memo stay there if he wants to some day race a Formula One car."

The Mexico Grand Prix Grand Marshal didn't let his nervousness get in the way of his emotions of knowing that he was respected and admired in his home country and he could stay calm during the tribute to him.

Since his first victory with the Shadow F1 team at Austria in 1977 with Alan Jones until his victory with Mika Hakkinen at the wheel in Indianapolis last year for McLarren, Ramirez always was respected in any place that F1 was present. He retired from the Great Circus in 2001 at the end of the season.

Today was the day that he was given more respect by his native land - Mexico.

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About this article
Series Formula 1 , IndyCar
Drivers Mika Hakkinen , Alan Jones , Memo Rojas , Jo Ramirez
Teams Ferrari , McLaren