Roy Winkelmann, probably best known for running the team with which Jochen Rindt rose to prominence by recording nearly two dozen Formula Two victories in the mid- to late-’60s, has died in Florida.
Although he was born in the UK, Winkelmann’s family moved to Utah during his childhood, and there he grew up, going on to attend San Jose State University in California, where he graduated with a criminology degree. During the 1950s he served as a criminal investigator with the U.S. Air Force, and ultimately ended up serving with the Central Intelligence Agency.
During this same period he also began racing sports cars, which (may or may not have) served as a cover for his assignments in England during the Cold War. He eventually established a security consulting business there that dealt with all the various aspects of surveillance and information gathering,
After racing a Cooper-Bristol sports car himself, he set up Winklemann Racing and in 1963 joined forces with future March-man Alan Rees. In 1965 they signed Rindt for a Formula Two program that produced 23 wins for the budding Austrian star. As Rindt moved on into Formula One, Winkelmann disbanded his team and returned to his core business, although he would have subsequent involvement with Dan Gurney’s All American Racers in Indycars and Formula 5000, and in the mid-’80s was linked to a Lotus Indycar effort that never materialized even though a car was built.
In later years he continued working in the security, espionage and counter-espionage fields. To his wife Judy and his many friends in and out of the sport, Vintage Racecar extends its sincere condolences.