How 'Brilliant' Bob Wollek lived up to his nickname
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How 'Brilliant' Bob Wollek lived up to his nickname

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Sportscar racing lost one of it's greatest talents 20 years ago today when Bob Wollek was knocked from his bicycle prior to the Sebring 12 Hours. The enigmatic Frenchman never won the Le Mans 24 Hours, but many still remember today why 'Brilliant Bob' became a legend

I didn't think it was a stupid question, but my subject obviously did. He put his arm around me as we walked slowly through the Road Atlanta paddock and offered his answer – or rather explanation – in a forthright yet calm manner, all delivered with a trademark wry smile. That was Bob Wollek, the man, down to a tee.  

My cherished memory of an incident that occurred at the inaugural Petit Le Mans in 1998 also reveals a lot about Wollek the racing driver. The Frenchman was less than a month short of his 55th birthday, and yet he was still competing at the sharp end of international sportscar racing. For the record, he was driving Champion Racing's Porsche 911 GT1 Evo that weekend, and my question concerned the brake issues that left the car he shared with Thierry Boutsen and Ralf Kelleners 10 laps in arrears in third position at the finish. 

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Series WEC
Drivers Bob Wollek
Author Gary Watkins