Joakim ”Jo” Bonnier was born on January 31, 1930, as one the heirs of the famous Swedish publishing family Bonnier. Instead of joining the family’s tradition, he pursued his dream and became Sweden’s first professional racing car driver and eventually one of our brightest stars within the sport.
He made his debut in Formula 1 in Maserati in 1956, and as winner of the Dutch Grand Prix in 1959, he became the first Swede ever to win a Formula 1 race. However successful in Formula 1, Jo was above all a highly successful sports car driver – for prestigious brands such as Porsche, Ferrari and Lola – with more than one hundred victories in the world’s greatest races to his credit.
Joakim Bonnier was born in Stockholm but lived during most of his career outside Lausan-ne, Switzerland. He was very interested in art and opened along with his childhood friend, Jan Runnquist, Galerie Bonnier in Lausanne, which later moved to Geneva.
From 1962 until his tragic death on the race-track, Joakim was one of the leading forces in the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association, where he worked to improve safety within the motor sport.
Joakim Bonnier died 40 years ago during the 24-hour race at Le Mans on June 11, 1972. As a tribute to his memory Albert Bonniers Förlag are republishing his book in collaboration with Keith Gapp, EFG International and Stéphane Gutzwiller.