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Derek Daly Career

Formula One 1978-1982

Derek made what is arguably the fastest ever rise to Formula One. Just thirteen months after he won the British Formula Ford Festival in Brands Hatch, Derek was testing a Formula One car. In the intervening time span, he won the 1977 British Formula Three Championship and made his Formula Two debut in Estoril, Portugal, where he set a new lap record on his first visit, October 1977.

He scored his first world championship point at the inaugural Canadian Grand Prix held in Montreal in 1978. Driving for Ken Tyrrell, Derek finished tenth in the World Championship in 1980.

In 1982 he enjoyed his finest year in Formula One while partnering World Champion Keke Rosberg at Williams. Derek was leading the Grand Prix of Monaco until his car suffered gearbox failure. The failure was caused by the loss of the gearbox oil cooler, which had been damaged in a previous incident earlier in the race.

1982 7
Williams FW08 - Monaco 1982

Indy Car 1983-1989

Derek quickly became established in Indy Car racing qualifying on the front row of the grid in Laguna Seca in 1983. In the opening round of the 1984 season at Long Beach, Derek again qualified on the front row alongside Mario Andretti. Derek was seriously hurt in a 200 MPH crash in Michigan later that year. 


2 1989

Sports Cars 1988-2002

Derek drove for the best sports car teams in the business at the close of his career, Jaguar and Nissan. In the Jaguar, he finished fourth on his debut at the Le Mans 24 hour race in France. In his first race in the factory Nissan GTP ZX Turbo, Derek qualified on the pole in the streets of Columbus, Ohio. He won numerous times while partnering Geoff Brabham , but the biggest celebrations came when he won the Sebring 12 hour race twice in 1990 and 1991. While qualifying for his last race in Daytona, he put the Nissan on the pole.....in the wet.


001 1988
Qualified Nissan on the pole Daytona 2002 Jaguar - Le Mans - 1988

British Formula Three Champion 1977

In 1977, Derek won the British Formula 3 Championship in his rookie season, after winning the last five races in a row.  Along the way he also won the Austrian Grand Prix F3 support race after an epic race long battle with future Formula One world champion, Nelson Piquet.

Aus Don
Top of podium in Austria Derek with "Mentor" Big "D" McMahon

Formula Ford - Irish and British Champion

Derek dominated in Formula Ford in 1975 and 1976 winning the Irish Formula Ford Championship in addition to the British Formula Ford Festival. In 1975, he set four new lap records in Ireland, scored nine pole positions and eight race wins. In 1976 he scored twenty three wins throughout England.


1976 1976
Typical driving style in 1976 One of 23 wins 1976

Stock Cars - Irish Champion 1972

It all began for Derek in 1969 at the Irish Stock Car club. Stock Car racing in Ireland was very much a contact sport. Derek became its biggest star winning the championship in 1972 before departing for his professional racing career.

1969 012
First Race Car   Championship winning Mini


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