Jim Crawford 1948-2002

Former Indy Car, Can-Am and Formula 1 star Jim Crawford has died at the age of 54

Jim Crawford 1948-2002

Born in Dunfermline in Scotland, Crawford began his motorsport career in Britain as a mechanic working in Formula Atlantic in 1972. He soon stepped up to driving, winning the Atlantic title in '74. His reward was to become test driver for the Lotus F1 team.

He started the British and Italian Grands Prix that year, but they proved to be the beginning and end of his F1 career. After enjoying success in Formula 2, Crawford headed to the States.

The Can-Am sportscar series proved a happy hunting ground, Crawford finishing as runner-up in the SCCA series in both '83 and '84. Thereafter, he found his niche at the Indianapolis 500.

In '85 Crawford raced in six other Champ Car races away from Indy, finishing fourth at Long Beach, but it was the 500 that really caught his imagination.

He took on the Brickyard for the first time in '84, but failed to qualify. He made the field the following year and went on to notch up a total of eight Indy 500 starts. His best result was sixth place in '88 driving for Kenny Bernstein.

Crawford was popular with both race fans and the media for his character and famed courage. He had a huge crash at Indy in '87 and suffered severe leg injuries that led to a full year of rehabilitation. He was still walking with a cane when he scored his best finish the following year.

His final race start at Indy was in '93, but he attempted to qualify for the following two years as well, failing on both occasions.

After retiring from racing, he became a fishing boat captain. He is survived by his wife Annie and son Geoffrey.

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