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GPR FEB 21 Roebuck 3
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Special feature

The mesmerising career of a lost Mexican hero

Pedro Rodriguez dressed like a European dilettante but drove with fingertip poise and utter commitment in both Formula 1 and sportscars. NIGEL ROEBUCK remembers one of racing's great lost talents.

In January 1993 there was a touching event at Daytona Beach. At this cathedral of stock car racing, they were naming a road course turn for Pedro Rodriguez, and present for the ceremony was his mother. No, she said, she bore no grudge against the sport which had taken both her sons. They had savoured their brief lives.

Daytona was always good to Pedro. Twice he won the 24 Hours, but an earlier victory, in 1963, was perhaps the most crucial of his career. The annual sportscar race was then run over three hours, and Pedro came to it grieving the loss of his brother and not sure he wanted to continue. Winning swept away most of his doubts.

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