Vern Schuppan, AM

F1 driver/ Le Mans 24 hour race winner


Vern Schuppan from Booleroo in South Australia is best remembered as one of four Aussie winners at Le Mans but he did much more in single seaters.

He tackled a myriad of different race series and types of car, from British Formula 3 up to Formula 1, European, US and Australian Formula 5000s, the Indianapolis 500 and other USAC (pronounced “you sack”) races.

He ran in three Indy 500s, was rookie of the year and had a best result of third. He started 32 CART and C Championship races. Very different to that, he won the Macau GP twice.

As an experienced international driver, he was always in demand as a Bathurst co-driver, so he’s driven for Dick Johnson, Peter Brock and Allan Moffat.

His best result was fifth but he and Moffat were leading in 1976 when they retired with engine trouble.

Vern was the first of four Aussies to have had interesting interactions with RBR’s Dr Helmut Marko.

Before Craig Lowndes, Mark Webber and Daniel Ricciardo, was BRM’s test driver at the 1972 Belgian GP.

Vern qualified but his car was commandeered by his team mate Dr Helmut Marco! Perhaps he should have warned the other Aussies.

Two years later at the same race, Vern finished 15th, one of his nine F1 GPs.