Veteran Formula 1 and sports car racer Pete Lovely passed away May 15, at the age of 85, his family announced.
A native of Montana, Lovely was best known in his F1 career for racing various private Lotus entries, including a hybrid made from a Lotus 69 F2 car fitted with a Cosworth DFV V8. After his retirement from F1 in 1971, he continued to participate in vintage and historic racing events into the 2000s. Lovely's career spanned more than 50 years, both as a team owner and driver, including 11 F1 World Championship races.
A regular visitor to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca over the years, he continued to compete every year in historic racing events in Monterey. Lovely was inducted into the Legends of Laguna Seca in 2007.
"It is with a heavy heart to learn of Sunday evening's passing of one of the Legends of Laguna Seca, Pete Lovely," said Gill Campbell, CEO/General Manager of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. "He was a fixture at the racetrack from day 1. It was on Nov. 10, 1957 that Pete overcame long odds to win the Pebble Beach Road Races at our then-named Laguna Seca Raceway, which was the very first race of the recently completed track. He was driving a 2-liter Ferrari Testa Rosa against more powerful cars driven by bigger-named racers like Carroll Shelby, Jim Hall and Richie Ginther. But Pete's perseverance and keen race strategy earned him the historic win and permanent place in the record books. Pete will forever be remembered in the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca family for his passion and kindness.”