There was a time in 1985 when Bernie Ecclestone was rather keen on an African-American called Willy T Ribbs. He was so keen in fact that he gave Willy T a test run in one of his Brabham Formula 1 cars at Estoril in Portugal.
Now 56 years of age, Willy T has announced that he will be back in single seater racing in September, at the wheel of an Indy Lights car. It has been 10 years since he was last seen racing and 20 since he became the first African-American to start the Indianapolis 500
For the moment Willy T is planning only a one-off event as a way to increase publicity for the team that he co-owns with Chris Miles. They have been trying to tap into the minority demographic with sponsors and in Baltimore there is a large African-American population.
Ribbs says that he is not that old and points out that AJ Foyt was still racing IndyCars at 59.
It all makes 42-year-old Michael Schumacher seem like a spring chicken…