Here’s Cheever aiming his Ganassi Racing Lola T91/00-Chevy Indycar down Laguna Seca’s Corkscrew on his way to a 6th-place finish in 1991.
Photo: Stuart Seeger
The only time I ever met Eddie Cheever was one weekend when we were at the Hockenheim circuit, in Germany, for the 1979 Formula Two race. He was a tall 21-year-old American who had lived in Rome for much of his early life and spoke immaculate Italian. I felt very much the underdog, because just four months earlier I had been invited by Pirelli, in Milan, to take on the responsibility for their public relations activities outside Italy. I was trying hard to learn Italian, but when Eddie, his team’s technical director Giorgio Stirano and I went to Heidelberg for dinner the night before the race, conversation had to be in English—Eddie speaking like a real Yank, Giorgio’s heavily accented pronunciation. I felt inadequate, but I made it eventually.
Eddie was driving Enzo Osella’s BMW-engined A2/79 on Pirelli tires in the year’s German round of European Formula Two Championship, and he drove well. He had won the first round at Silverstone, then Pau and Zandvoort. He came 4th at Hockenheim that day, all of which contributed to him taking 4th place in the championship at year’s end with 32 points.
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