Jan Lammers

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Last updated: 21-April-2002


Biography

Before Formula One Formula One, I Between Formula One

Formula One, II After Formula One

Before F1
1973

Godfather Rob oversees Jan at his racing school, and in touring cars

The name of Jan Lammers should be very well-known to most motor racing followers. He is, after all, one of the most versatile racers of the modern era, having driven everything from sports cars to Indy cars, most forms of single seaters, touring cars, and even rally machines. And, of course, he has driven in Formula One, a category in which he has the unique claim to fame of making a comeback after more than 10 years away, the longest gap between F1 starts in the history of Grand Prix racing.

Johannes Lammers, also known as 'Jantje', hails from Zandvoort, so perhaps racing is in his blood. All the more since his godfather was the famous Dutch racer Rob Slotemaker. And it was at Slotemaker's driving school that, as a teenager ineligible for a driver's licence, he learnt his trade, quickly demonstrating a special talent. So special, in fact, that in 1973, as a 17 year old, still without a road licence, his godfather put Jan in his team to drive a Simca in the Dutch Touring Car Championship.

1974-77

Wings of success leads to a Hawke drive in German and Euro F3

In a sign of things to come, Lammers took pole in his very first race, and won it too. Not only that, he took three more years, and amazingly became Dutch champion. Four more wins in the Team Slotemaker Simca followed in 1974, before a third season in that car in 1975. But in 1976, the Simca was outdated, and Jan was taken up by the Opel Dealer Team. He obliged by winning three races and collecting his second Dutch touring car title, as well as taking victory in the Zandvoort 300km race.

But now Jan had eyes also for single seater racing, and in 1976 competed in the Benelux, German and European Formula Ford 1600 championships in a Crosslé car for the Bik team. He won one race in Germany, and also took part in the Brands Hatch Formula Ford Festival. Although success was not immediate, Lammers was a young man in a hurry, and in 1977 moved up to both the German and European F3 championships, driving a Hawke, taking a 3rd place in a non-championship race at Zolder.


Jan was European F3 champion in 1978 (left), taking 4 victories along the way. That year he also picked up a win in the DTM (right)
Jan was European F3 champion in 1978 (left), taking 4 victories along the way. That year he also picked up a win in the DTM (right). Pictures from JanLammers.com.

1978

With 4 victories, becomes only Dutch winner of European F3; plus a DTM win

Having served his F3 apprenticeship, in 1978 he was picked up by the Racing Team Holland outfit, and with a Ralt RT1 Toyota he raced in the German championship and also the Monaco F3 race, but it was in the European F3 series that he really shone. With four wins at Zandvoort, Magny-Cours, Monza and Karlskoga under his belt, plus five 2nd places to boot, Lammers took the title with 71 points, two more than Swede Anders Olofsson.

In so doing, Jan became the only ever Dutch winner of the European F3 title. 1978 had also seen Lammers competing in the German Touring Car Championship, piloting an Opel for the Manzel team, and tasting success at Hockenheim. While Holland had had (and still has) a history of producing fine drivers who could never quite make the grade when it came to F1, Jan had the appearance of someone who was going to change that. Come 1979, he was due for his F1 destiny.

Formula One, part I
1979
Shadow

Matches it with de Angelis, but Shadow fails to roar

Sadly, like many talented drivers before him and countless others after him, despite all his talent his F1 career was blighted by sojourns with teams struggling for finance and hence struggling on the track. The first of these was Shadow in 1979. Here was a team that had promised much in the mid-1970s, and had even won a race with Alan Jones at the wheel, but had failed to truly deliver. By 1979 the team had been restructured, and Lammers was signed to partner Elio de Angelis in their driving line-up.

Unfortunately, the DN9 chassis, coupled to the Cosworth V8 engine, was not competitive, despite the fearsome lion livery courtesy of sponsorship from Samson tobacco. Jan's performances were on par with those of his team-mate; from de Angelis' subsequent successes with Lotus, one can only guess what Lammers may have achieved. But in 15 entries with Shadow, Jan failed to qualify three times, once at Monaco, and then twice late in the year at Monaco and Watkins Glen.


A gearbox problem on home soil at Zandvoort would be one of only two mechanical retirements all season for Lammers and his striking lion liveried Shadow.
A gearbox problem on home soil at Zandvoort would be one of only two mechanical retirements all season for Lammers and his striking lion liveried Shadow.

1979

Surprises at Long Beach; takes F1 career best 9th in Germany

Other than that, he only made the top 20 of the grid twice, at Hockenheim where he was 20th, and at Long Beach where he was a stunning 14th (although this would not be last time he would pull a surprise on the Californian street circuit). In 12 starts, he made it to the finish line on seven occasions, being classified 18th in France, 14th in Brazil, 12th in Spain, 11th in Britain, 10th in Belgium and Germany, and 9th in Canada, which would end up being his best F1 result ever. At the time, that would have been hard to believe.

However, of his five retirements, only two were mechanically induced. He suffered a transmission failure in Argentina, and a gearbox problem on home soil at Zandvoort. The other three early exits, though, were signs that Jan, a young Grand Prix driver at only 22 and 23, still had some rough edges. At Kyalami he collided with Hector Rebaque, and followed it up at Long Beach by tangling with Didier Pironi and damaging his suspension. Then, in Austria, he crashed out of the race all on his own.

1980
ATS

Step up turns out to be a step back, with three DNQs to start the season

At the start of 1980, an ambitious Lammers was on the move again, this time to the ATS team, which started the year as a two-car operation, with Marc Surer as Jan's team-mate. However, it was not the step forward the Dutchman was hoping for. In fact, at the start of the year it was more like he had taken a huge step back. With ATS still using an old D3 chassis with a Cosworth engine, he found himself even more off the pace than he had been with Shadow.

The season started in Argentina, Brazil and South Africa, and Lammers was unable to qualify in any of these three races. But at Kyalami, where Surer debuted the new D4 while Jan piloted a D3, the Swiss driver had injured himself. Come Long Beach for round four, ATS had decided to scale down to a one-car operation, with Lammers as their sole driver in the D4. Jan would immediately repay their faith with one of the most remarkable qualifying efforts in F1 history.


An engine failure in Belgium was a diappointing way to follow up a the stunning qualifying effort in Lammers' 1980 ATS at Long Beach.
An engine failure in Belgium was a diappointing way to follow up a the stunning qualifying effort in Lammers' 1980 ATS at Long Beach.

1980

A stunning qualifying effort comes to naught in the US of A

The new D4 was an improvement over the D3, and on paper was able to propel ATS into the midfield, but Lammers did a lot better than that. While Nelson Piquet scorched around the track to record a 1:17.694 lap, Lammers was only 1.089s slower. With a 1:18.783, the ATS was 4th on the grid! What's more, Piquet had in fact blitzed the rest of the field; Rene Arnoux's Renault in 2nd had only done a 1:18.689, and Patrick Depailler's Alfa Romeo was 3rd on a 1:18.719.

What that meant was that Lammers had only been 0.095s away from a front-row start. He rightly had high hopes for a points finish in the race, but sadly his car let him down on the very first lap, a driveshaft failure putting an end to his race barely after it started. An engine failure at Zolder (despite being classified 12th) and a non-classification at Monaco after a collision with Riccardo Patrese and a lengthy pit-stop was then a disappointing way to back up the Long Beach effort.

1980
Ensign

Jan switches to join Nunn, but all it gets him is 3 starts in 8 entries

In fact, ATS found it so unsatisfying that, now with Surer fit again, the team decided against reverting to a two-car operation, and replaced Lammers with Surer. But very quickly, Jan was granted a lifeline by the Ensign team. After Clay Regazzoni had been confined to a wheelchair after a brake failure and a horrible crash at Long Beach, Tiff Needell had had a run in the Ensign N180 Cosworth, but come the French GP, Mo Nunn's team clearly thought Lammers was the better option.

But whether it was Jan's fault, or the team's fault, it only brought a slide back down the order for the flying Dutchman. Barely able to get the car to work for him, he failed to qualify six times in eight entries, missing out in France, Britain, Austria, Holland, Italy and at Watkins Glen, although for the USA East GP he was made first reserve and eventually given dispensation to start anyway. Otherwise, he barely scraped onto the grid in Germany, but did qualify a solid 19th in Canada.


Jan was picked up for a drive at Ensign after Tiff Needell left the team, but the car proved almost impossible to qualify.
Jan was picked up for a drive at Ensign after Tiff Needell left the team, but the car proved almost impossible to qualify.

1980-81
ATS

Return to the D4 not a happy one, with Borgudd soon taking Jan's spot

In those three races he did for Ensign, he was 14th at Hockenheim and 12th at Montreal, although in that race Tom Prankerd tells us that Motorsport described his behaviour while being lapped as "erratic at best". Then, at Watkins Glen, in the last ever Grand Prix there, his steering mounting failed and he was forced out of the race. It came as no surprise, though, that at the end of the year Ensign and Lammers parted company, and ironically it was Surer who once again took over the Dutchman's seat.

For the start of 1981, Lammers returned to ATS. That team still only had a D4 for him to drive, but now they were on Michelin tyres. It didn't make any difference; the car was getting long in the tooth, and as proof of that, at Long Beach he slipped to 21st on the grid from that 4th the year before, and in the race collided with Bruno Giacomelli. He failed to qualify in Brazil and San Marino, but came 12th in Argentina having started 23rd. Yet once again the decision was taken to oust Jan, ATS replacing him with everyone's favourite ABBA back-up drummer, Slim Borgudd.

1982
Theodore

Struggle for a drive sees him replace Daly, injure his finger and DNF on home soil

This time there was no second chance for the rest of 1981, and when 1982 came around, he was still unable to find a drive. It seemed as though the past three seasons of lurching from one uncompetitive team to another (and back again) had finally taken its toll. But when regular Theodore driver Derek Daly was called up to replace the retired Carlos Reutemann at Williams, Lammers was given the call-up to join Teddy Yip's team in the TY02 chassis, powered once again by the Cosworth V8.

Jan did not get things off to a good start by failing to make the grid in both Belgium and Monaco, and then the situation went from bad to worse when at Detroit, he injured his finger in a practice accident and was unable to participate any further in the weekend. His place was taken by Geoff Lees in Canada, but Lammers came back in time to start at Zandvoort, his home race, where he qualified 26th and last in his unenviable car, only to retire from the race with engine problems.


1982 saw Jan return to the F1 cockpit, this time taking Derek Daly's seat at Thoedore. In Monaco, he failed to make the grid...
1982 saw Jan return to the F1 cockpit, this time taking Derek Daly's seat at Thoedore. In Monaco, he failed to make the grid...

1982

The luck of the Irish and the Dutch voodoo strikes Jan down and out of F1

Then at Brands Hatch and Paul Ricard, Jan failed to qualify once again. Although there was no doubt that the car was simply not up to the task, perhaps it was thought that Lammers had also lost the spark, and that there would be nothing to lose but everything to gain in giving a younger charger a go. And so Irish F3 driver Tommy Byrne was given the Theodore drive for the rest of the year, leaving our man Lammers on the sidelines once again.

It had all turned out very differently from what Jan would have originally imagined. Instead of being fast-tracked to F1 glory, he had ended up going from disaster to disaster, moving from one hapless team to the next. By 1983, he was well and truly out of the picture as far as an F1 drive was concerned, and it seemed as though the traditional Dutch voodoo had struck again.

Between F1
1979-80

Embarks on versatile career; Jan had already raced rally, sportscars and F2

And so Jan walked away from F1, probably permanently he may have thought, and threw himself into an incredibly varied motorsports career throughout the 1980s. Indeed, his versatility was never in question; even when he was struggling in F1, he had found time to compete in other categories. In fact, as early as 1979, he had participated in the Tulpen Rally, coming 5th in a works Opel, whilst also sharing a Zakspeed Racing Ford Capri turbo with Hans Heyer in a one-off sports car appearance at the Nurburgring.

Then in 1980, whilst he was on the move from ATS to Ensign, he had made one start in Formula Two, a category he had skipped earlier on. At the Zandvoort round of the European championship, he drove a works March 802 BMW, but retired from the race. Elsewhere in 1980, he had raced in the then-popular BMW M1 Procar series, which pitted Grand Prix drivers against each other in equal BMW M1s. Driving the BMW Nederland car, he had taken one win at Donington as well as 2nds at Avus and the Norisring.


1980 saw Jan race against F1 pilots in the BMW Procar series. He took a fine victory at Donington. He then proceeded to dominate the Renault 5 Turbo Europa Cup - in 1983 he won the title with four wins, three 2nds and a 3rd!
1980 saw Jan race against F1 pilots in the BMW Procar series (left), in which he took a fine victory at Donington. He then proceeded to dominate the Renault 5 Turbo Europa Cup (right), in 1983 he won the title with four wins, three 2nds and a 3rd! Pictures from JanLammers.com.

1982-85

Dominates in Renault 5, with 16 wins over 4 years and 2 titles

In 1982, apart from his disastrous time at Theodore, he had also committed himself to a season in the Renault 5 Turbo Europa Cup. Competing for Renault Nederland in this one-make series, Lammers demonstrated that he had what it took to be competitive in this unique class, scoring a win at the Norisring plus a second and two thirds. By 1983, he had won the Cup with 4 wins, three 2nds and a 3rd to his name, taking victory at Paul Ricard, Imola, Monaco and Zandvoort.

In 1984 he did better still, routing the opposition in scoring an incredible 8 wins to take out the title for the second year running. Then, in 1985, when the Renault 5 Turbo Europa Cup became the Renault Alpine Turbo Europa Cup, Renault Nederland kept Lammers on for another year, and Jan responded by winning three more times, at Monaco, Monza and Vallelunga. Yet it would be in sports cars that Lammers would truly leave his mark on the international motor racing scene.

1983-85

Sets a record, winning 2 races in different countries on the same weekend!

In 1983 and 1984, he drove for the Richard Lloyd Racing and GTi Engineering teams in Porsche 956s, pairing up with Lloyd himself, plus Needell, Thierry Boutsen, Keke Rosberg and Jonathan Palmer. In those two years Lammers came 7th and 5th respectively in the World Endurance Championship, with a highlight being his win with Palmer at Brands Hatch in 1984. (Amazingly, within the same 24 hours as this win he had also won the Renault 5 race at Spa, demonstrating his stamina and versatility.)

Other than that, Lammers came 2nd at Imola in 1984, and 3rd three times throughout these two seasons. He was 8th at Le Mans in 1983, but was forced out with alternator trouble in the 1984 event. In addition, Jan had also made one start in the German Sportscar Championship in 1983, and in 1985 started off the World Endurance Championship in the Richard Lloyd Racing Porsche 956 once again, taking a pair of 5th places with Palmer at Monza and Silverstone.


1984 saw Lammersd take a win the the World Endurance Championship at Brand Hatch in his Porsche 956. He wasn't as lucky at Monza.
1984 saw Lammersd take a win the the World Endurance Championship at Brand Hatch in his Porsche 956. He wasn't as lucky at Monza.

1985-87

Lammers joins TWR Jaguar to partner a host of luminaries in much success

Soon after, Tom Walkinshaw recognised Lammers' skill, and in mid-1985 signed him for the TWR Jaguar team. Until the end of 1990, he would drive for this great team in both the World and IMSA Championships, alongside drivers like Heyer, John Nielsen, Mike Thackwell, Gianfranco Brancatelli, Derek Warwick, Jean-Louis Schlesser, Raul Boesel, John Watson, Eddie Cheever, Win Percy, Johnny Dumfries, Andy Wallace, Davy Jones, Martin Brundle, Danny Sullivan, Patrick Tambay and Andrew Gilbert-Scott.

Quickly settling into the team, in 1985 Lammers claimed a fine 2nd at Shah Alam, and in just four races in 1986 finished 3rd at Jerez and 2nd at Spa. But 1987 would be the year Jan really asserted himself on the world sports car stage. With three wins at Jarama, Monza and Fuji in the Jaguar XJR-8, plus 2nds at Spa and Silverstone, 3rd at Brands Hatch, 5th at Le Mans and two fastest race laps, Jan stormed to equal 2nd in the points standings with 102 points.

1988

Lammers takes out the big one, the 24hrs of Le Mans, in fine style

1988 would be the first year that TWR Jaguar would launch an assault on both the WSC and the IMSA GTP title, and Lammers would be at the forefront of both. It would not be the first time he would have raced sports cars in America, though. As early as 1985 he had had a one-off IMSA start in a March 85G Buick with Roberto Guerrero, and in 1986 he had already raced at the Daytona 24hrs in a BF Goodridge Porsche 962 with Warwick and John Morton, and also at Watkins Glen in a Nissan with Elliot Forbes-Robinson.

But perhaps dual campaigns in 1988 on either side of the Atlantic were a little bit too much. In the WSC, Lammers slipped to 10th overall, scoring only one win, but what a win that was. In the Jaguar XJR-9, with Wallace and Dumfries co-driving, Jan brilliantly took out the Le Mans 24hrs classic. In recognition, he received congratulations from the Queen, and was even made an honorary member of the British Racing Drivers Club just as Enzo Ferrari and Niki Lauda had been earlier.


The victorious Jaguar of Lammers, Wallace and Dumfries leads home its stable-mates at the conclusion of the 1988 Le Mans 24 hours classic.
The victorious Nbr 2 Jaguar of Lammers, Wallace and Dumfries leads home its stable-mates at the conclusion of the 1988 Le Mans 24 hours classic.

1988

Controversial win at Daytona, with Brundle arguing 'till he collapses

In IMSA he fared a little better, taking 7th with two wins, at the Daytona 24hrs and at Del Mar. But his win at Daytona was laced with controversy. With his original car shared with Jones and Sullivan doing poorly, with a few hours to go, and seeing the drivers in the lead car (being Brundle, Boesel and Nielsen) visibly tiring, Walkinshaw decided to take advantage of cross-entering regulations and put Lammers in the car for the run to the finish.

When Brundle came in for the last changeover, he got out of the car and began strapping Lammers in, not realising until after the change was completed that it was neither Boesel nor Nielsen that he had helped into the car. The Englishman proceeded to have a raging argument with Walkinshaw, claiming vehemently that neither he nor his team-mates were too tired to take the last stint, before promptly collapsing from exhaustion on the ground!

1989-90

Can't win again in the WSC, but another Daytona victory confirms 3 IMSA wins

In 1989 in the WSC, Lammers drove with Tambay, but with 2nd at Jarama being the only highlight, they could only manage equal 8th overall, although at Le Mans, now no longer part of the championship, there was some cause to celebrate after Lammers, Tambay and Gilbert-Scott claimed 4th place. In IMSA, Jan took two more wins at Portland and Del Mar, plus 2nd at the Daytona 24hrs and three more podium finishes at Lime Rock, Elkhart Lake and Topeka en route to 6th position in the championship.

1990 would be the last year of the TWR Jaguar effort, and once again they went for both the World and IMSA crowns. Once again Jan competed in both, and once more he did fairly well but without the spoils of victories that would have justified his efforts. He secured a brace of top-four finishes in the WSC, plus 2nd at Le Mans with Wallace and Franz Konrad, and in IMSA he won his second Daytona 24hrs, this time with Wallace and Jones, and finished the year in 7th and 14th places respectively.


1990 was Lammers and TWR Jaguar's last year competing in IMSA (left). Jan took his second victory at Daytona that year. A move to Japan saw Lammers competing a whole year in Japanese F3000 in 1991 (right),  but it brought him little in the way of success.
1990 was Lammers and TWR Jaguar's last year competing in IMSA (left). Jan took his second victory at Daytona that year. A move to Japan saw Lammers competing a whole year in Japanese F3000 in 1991 (right), but it brought him little in the way of success. Pictures from JanLammers.com.

1992

More prototype racing, taking the title in Japan despite entering just 2 of 6 events

With the Jaguar team disbanding, Lammers stayed out of sports car circles in 1991, but returned in 1992 with the Tom's Toyota team. Driving the TS010 with the likes of Wallace, Lees, Teo Fabi and David Brabham, Jan managed a 2nd place at Suzuka, a 3rd at Magny-Cours, and 8th at Le Mans. But with sports prototype racing on its last legs, and Peugeot being the opposition to Toyota, that was still good enough to Lammers to take 6th place in the 1992 WSC with 35 points.

The difficult situation facing sports prototypes around the world was no more clearly demonstrated than in the 1992 Japanese championship, which Lammers jointly won with Lees. What made this a special achievement was the fact that Jan and Geoff had only raced in two of the six championship events, winning both. It was a sign of the times that entries could have been so inconsistent as to allow two drivers who only competed in a third of the races to walk off with the title.

1985-91

Spells in Indy cars, F3 and Japanese F3000 shows the single seater desire still present

But while he had enjoyed sports car racing very much, Lammers' heart remained with single seaters, which he considered unfinished business. In 1985, in addition to sports car racing, he had actually also gone over to race in Indy cars, driving for the Forsythe team. His best result was a great 5th at Laguna Seca, and he had also started 6th at Miami. In 1986, he was entered 6 times by Dan Gurney's AAR team, but although Jan failed to qualify at Indianapolis, he did score an 8th and two 9th places.

Furthermore, and perhaps just for kicks, from 1985 to 1988 he was a regular visitor to Macau for its F3 race, taking two 3rds and a 2nd out of his four attempts, all in Ralts, and thrice for the Intersport team. He had also had one mediocre race in F3000 for Eddie Jordan's team, as well as competing in a full season's worth of Japanese F3000 in both 1987 and 1991, on both occasions for the Dome team. In 1987, he took his March to a win at Fuji and 8th place overall, while in 1991 he was 11th with 7 points to his credit.

Formula One, part II
1992
March

Mercedes hotshot opens unlikely door into F1 for Lammers

Well, even if Lammers had made a name for himself in sports cars, and if he thought open wheeler racing was unfinished business, then these sporadic single seater forays in the mid-1980s and early-1990s didn't do much to suggest that he was ready to fulfil his F1 dreams. But then, after just over ten years out of F1 (3,745 days to be precise!), at the ripe old age of 36, suddenly and unexpectedly another F1 opportunity came knocking at Jan's door.

Austrian youngster Karl Wendlinger had driven the March CG911 Ilmor with distinction throughout 1992. Although the famous team was very tight on finances, Wendlinger had often embarrassed better-funded rivals. As an ex-Mercedes junior sports car driver (like one M. Schumacher), Wendlinger was an obvious choice for Peter Sauber's new F1 team for 1993. But the contract Wendlinger signed dictated that he join Sauber's preparatory program with two races still to run in the 1992 championship.

1992

Makes the grid in Japan and Australia, but can't make it into 1993

That left the lead March seat, beside rookie Emanuele Naspetti, open. Somehow, incredibly, team management gravitated towards Lammers, no doubt hoping that his vast experience and reliability would generate some decent end-of-season results that might just help to secure enough sponsorship to keep March going into 1993. But it was always going to be a tough ask for Jan, and the mere fact that he even qualified 23rd at Suzuka and 25th at Adelaide were highly creditable results.

In Japan he was forced out with a clutch failure, but in Australia he managed to soldier home slowly at the back in 12th place. Still, the team had been happy enough with Jan's performance to want to keep him into 1993. The plan was to pair him with pay driver Jean-Marc Gounon, and continue to race their 1992 machines (which were really souped-up 1991 cars anyway). But upon reaching Kyalami for the 1993 season opener, their finances were so poor that they, not so unexpectedly, withdrew from F1 overnight.


A comeback to F1 after 10 years - Lammers was far from disgraced during his two F1 drives in 1992 for March. In Australia he managed to finish 12th.
A comeback to F1 after 10 years - Lammers was far from disgraced during his two F1 drives in 1992 for March. In Australia he managed to finish 12th.

After F1
1993

A season down in F3000 sees midfield racing, and a fine 4th as best result

So much, then, for Jan fulfilling his F1 aspirations. The March drive had been a shock; Jan's only hope of an F1 drive for 1993 had been with the Bicester team, since in reality no other team was particularly interested in the 36-year-old returnee. Now March's financial state had curtailed those hopes altogether. But, undeterred, and caught by the lure of single seater racing, in any category apparently, Lammers signed up with the leading Il Barone Rampante team for the 1993 F3000 season, to drive their Reynard 93D Cosworth.

It felt as though Jan had little to gain but everything to lose from this move. And so it proved; in six outings Lammers was a midfield runner at best, although at Enna he finished 4th having started 22nd, and in his last race at the Nurburgring, he had qualified 4th on the grid. No longer one of the young pretenders, it was only a matter of time before IBR replaced him. Apart from that, 1993 saw Lammers return to Le Mans, where he came 8th in the Tom's Toyota with Lees and Juan Manuel Fangio II.

1994

Crazy idea for a station wagon to race in BTCC sees Jan back with TWR

Lammers' career was at a crossroads. His career since leaving Holland had been based around single seaters on one hand, and sports cars on the other. The reality was that he was now past it as far as open wheelers were concerned, while sports car racing was busy remaking itself after the sports prototype era. Hence in 1994, he returned to his roots - touring car racing - and at the same time rejoined forces with Tom Walkinshaw Racing. But in an unlikely car in an unlikely series.

TWR was in charge of Volvo's participation in the British Touring Car Championship. In a radical move, they decided to create a super touring car out of the Volvo 850 Estate station wagon, and chose Lammers and Rickard Rydell to drive it. While the car had weight distribution advantages, it did not always prove to be competitive, and the best Jan could do was score a 9th, two 7ths and a 5th. Rydell ended up 14th in the series, with Lammers one place behind the Swede.


Lammers in his Volvo wagon touring car leads an Alfa at Brands Hatch in the 1994 BTCC, whilst his team-mate Rickard Rydell gets tagged by Patrick Watts' Peugeot.
Lammers in his Volvo wagon touring car leads an Alfa at Brands Hatch in the 1994 BTCC, whilst his team-mate Rickard Rydell gets tagged by Patrick Watts' Peugeot.

1995-96

Quite couple of years sees more F1 testing, with hopefulls DAMS

The wagon idea was ditched come 1995, but by then Lammers was no longer part of the program anyway. Apart from two early-season races back in IMSA at Daytona and Sebring in the Auto Toy Store Spice machine, shared with Wallace and Derek Bell, including 2nd at Sebring, Jan was contemplating one last tilt at F3000. He linked up with Vortex Motorsport to drive a Reynard, and in a great drive won an invitational event at Kyalami, but three drives in the championship showed the spark was no longer there.

Out of a drive again, he took part in pre-qualifying for Le Mans as part of the Courage squad, but did not race for them, and he also did some testing for the eventually stillborn DAMS F1 project. Perhaps he hoped that this would lead to one last F1 hurrah, but in the end all that came to naught. In 1996, though, he did end up driving for Courage at Le Mans in their C36 Porsche, teaming up with Warwick and Mario Andretti, but the combination only managed 13th place.

1996-97

Joins the Lotus assault in Global GT; his best a brilliant 2nd with Perry McCarthy

The rest of his 1996 was spent in the BPR Global GT Endurance series, driving a works Lotus Esprit V8. Although GT cars were a far cry from the glorious old sports prototypes, Lammers proved himself more than capable of delivering results, although he, Wallace, Chris Goodwin, Alex Portman, Mike Hezemans, Fabian Giroix and Perry McCarthy found that the Lotus was out-gunned by the McLaren F1 GTRs and the Ferrari F40s. Jan's best result of the year was a brilliant 2nd at Silverstone with McCarthy.

The end of the BPR series in 1996 saw Lotus efforts switch to the FIA GT championship for 1997, and Lammers went with them. However, in 9 starts in a Lotus Elise GT1, shared mainly with Hezemans but also with Max Angelelli, the car proved uncompetitive, and 9th place at Laguna Seca was the best they could manage. The car's attempt at Le Mans also ended in failure, with Lammers, Hezemans and Alexander Grau forced to retire from the race.


Lammers out; McCarthy in! A driver change during a fuel stop in the BPR Globat GT Endurance round at Silverstone in 1996. Jan and Perry would take a podium 2nd place in the race.
Lammers out; McCarthy in! A driver change during a fuel stop in the BPR Globat GT Endurance round at Silverstone in 1996. Jan and Perry would take a podium 2nd place in the race.

1998-99

Konrad picks Jan up for FIA GT, and DNFs at Daytona and Sebring

Not surprisingly, Jan left the team, but in 1998 found even sports car drives hard to come by. For Le Mans, he was taken on board again by TWR, which was now running the works Nissan campaign, and claimed 6th place at La Sarthe with Erik Comas and Andrea Montermini. In the FIA GT championship, he made four starts, but these were spread over three teams. He drove in Hezemans' ill-fated Bitter GT1 contraption, as well as in GT2 class Porsche 911s, firstly for Roock Racing alongside Claudia Hürtgen.

Thirdly, he drove for was Franz Konrad's Konrad Motorsport, twice in the FIA GT championship, and twice in IMSA, including 2nd in the GT2 class at the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, and a class win and 5th outright at Laguna Seca. In 1999, Konrad moved up to GT1 class with a Lola B98/10 prototype powered by a Lotus and a Ford engine, and with Lammers and Sospiri retired at the Daytona 24hrs, and with Jan again and this time also Tim Hubman also dropped out of the Sebring 12hrs.

1999-2000

Establishes Racing for Holland, a throwback to the days of Slotemaker and Pon

Lammers then drove a Konrad-run car with Peter Kox and Tom Coronel at Le Mans, but retired there also, before rounding out a rather quiet year with another drive at the Petit Le Mans, this time in a Panoz LMP-1 Roadster with Konrad and Klaus Graf. But for 2000, Lammers was back in Konrad's team, firstly retiring with engine problems in the B98/10 shared with Konrad and Sascha Maassen at Daytona, before also being forced out at Le Mans, where the Lammers/Kox/Coronel Konrad Lola B2K/10 Ford lost a wheel.

If the doubters thought Lammers' distinguished career was now drawing to a close, Jan proved them wrong at the end of the year. He established the Racing for Holland team for 2001, similar to the Racing Team Holland efforts of yesteryear. It was not the first time Lammers had formed a team, though. Back in 1988, he had started an Opel-Lotus team called Vitaal, signing drivers such as André Ribeiro and Marcel Albers, and winning the European Opel-Lotus title in 1989 with Kox at the wheel.


Lammers' Racing for Holland distinctive Dome-Judd races in the 2001 Le Mans 24hrs, en route to a retirement after 156 laps.
Lammers' Racing for Holland distinctive Dome-Judd races in the 2001 Le Mans 24hrs, en route to a retirement after 156 laps.

2001-02

In contention for wins again in the striking black and white Dome

For 2001, Racing for Holland was aiming at the new FIA Sportscar Championship. Driving with teenager Val Hillebrand in a Dome S101 Judd, the pair took 3rds at Monza, Spa and Donington, and after threatening to win several races finally broke through at the Nurburgring. Lammers took 4th place overall, a very respectable return to form. However, when the car raced at Le Mans, with Donny Crevels joining Lammers and Hillebrand, it was forced out after 156 laps with electrical gremlins.

In 2002, Lammers and Hillebrand are once again contesting the FIA Sportscar Championship, now gaining increasing credibility. The pair came 4th at Barcelona and 3rd at Estoril, although they were in contention for the win in both events. At the start of the year, Jan also drove at the Sebring 12hrs in a one-off for the Champion Racing team in an Audi R8, where he, Wallace and Stefan Johansson were beaten for the race win by the works Audi of Johnny Herbert, Rinaldo Capello and Christian Pescatori.

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