John Cordts


Record updated 24-Jul-21

Sports car driver who enjoyed some success in the mid-sixties racing sports cars in his native Canada

John Cordts
John Cordts was born in Hamburg, Germany. He emigrated with his family to Sweden at the age of two and from there to Canada when he was in his early twenties. Cordts enjoyed some success in the mid-sixties racing sports cars in his native Canada. He took a fifth place driving a McLaren Elva Mark I Oldsmobile in the 1966 Player's 200 at Mosport and once he got his hands on a McLaren M2B results in the USRRC championship improved. He raced at various tracks in Canada, the US and Japan. A couple of outings in Can-Am in 1968 encouraged Cordts to become a regular in this series between 1969 and 1974, driving a succession of Chevrolet-powered McLarens run by Dave Billes's Performance Engineering. Cordts participated in one Formula One Grand Prix, the 1969 Canadian Grand Prix on 20 September 1969. He qualified 19th, but retired his Brabham after 10 laps with an oil leak, while lying 16th. By far his best result in Can-Am was a second place in the Road America round at Elkhart Lake in 1974, but by this time the once vibrant series had lost much of its credibility. He competed in many events, ranging from Harewood Acres (where he still holds the track record when it closed in 1970), Mosport, Mont-Tremblant, and Westwood in Canada to various tracks in the US and even Japan. He later became a regular participant in the CanAm series, in which he raced until 1974, mainly in McLarens and Lolas. His best Can-Am finish was second at Road America in 1974. He was also known for his participation in the SCCA Trans-Am Series, where he had, at one point, piloted a BF Goodrich-sponsored Pontiac Firebird, known as the "Tirebird" and also several FIA events with the Greenwood Corvette team. Cordts has since retired to a private life in Western Canada where he is well known for his beautiful wood carvings and recently wrote his autobiography entitled "Blood, Sweat and Turnips". John was also inducted into the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame in 2003.