Willy T. Ribbs
• Born in California and after high school move to Europe to compete in Formula Ford Series (entry-level class of Formula 1)
• In 1986, he became the first black person to drive Formula 1.
• The International Motor Sports Association recognized him as Driver of the Year in 1987 and 1988.
• During his racing career he was sponsored by Bill Cosby.
• In 1991, he became the first black person to qualify for the Indy 500.
• In 2011, he formed “Willy T. Ribbs Racing” to campaign former NASCAR driver Chase Austin in the Firestone Indy Lights’ Freedom 100.
• Over the weekend, he competed, along with 24 other former Indy 500 drivers, in the “Indy Legends Pro-Am”.
o 40-minute race of American muscle cars on a 2.43-mile Grand Prix road course.
o Willy along with the other pro drivers were paired with amateur racers.
o The Sportscar Vintage Racing Association has called the race a “crowning addition” to the Brickyard Invitational
• When he’s not managing his racing team he serves as a coach and mentor to his son, Theo Ribbs, who is a professional sporting clays shooter in a bid for the 2016 summer Olympics
• In addition, he’s appeared and starred in the following movies documentaries and TV shows:
o American Reel (2003)
o Winning: The Racing Life of Paul Newman (2014)
o The Life Between (2003)
o Wheels with Willy T. Ribbs (1997)