Juan Fernandez Garcia

Born : December 12 1930
Deceased : June 22 2020

Biography Juan Fernandez Garcia

Juan Fernandez Garcia was born in Sabadell (Catalunya) in Spain. At the age of 15, he joined the local hockey club. That was a wise decision, as Fernandez turned out to be a skilled hockey player. He even became the national top scorer. In total, he played more than one hundred games between 1946 and 1952, winning a Spanish Championship.

Motorcycling

Juan Fernández and Ramón Grifoll taking the start of the 1966 Monte Carlo Rally (arch. Juan Fernández)

In 1951, aged 21, Juan Fernandez bought a motorcycle and started racing it. He won some tests at a regional level. That attracted the attention of the Mentosa racing team. As a result, the team leader Paco Bultó offered him a position as the official rider of the brand. As of 1954, Fernandez won some international race. The most important was the Monaco Intermotocycle Trophy. Soon Fernandez started combining motorsports both on 2 and 4 wheels.

Co-pilot

Juan Fernandez at the start of a rally in 1965 with a Porsche 904 (904-057)

In 1954, Juan Fernández made his car debut as co-driver of Antonio Farrás in the 5th Tour of Catalonia aboard a Porsche 356. Immediately Fernandez fell in love with Porsche. And he started saving to buy one himself. In April 1957, Juan Fernandez drives his first race as a pilot himself, the Trofeo de Montjuich. Some successful years follow, and Fernandez saves enough money to buy a Porsche 356. 

The Escuderia Montjuich.

Fernandez – Cheneviere – Tommereder at the 1973 Le Mans 24 H

In 1968, Juan Fernandez is one of the founders of the Escuderia Montjuich together with  José María Juncadella and Enrique Coma-Cros. With the Escuderia Montjuich Juan Fernandez lived his best years as a driver. He participates in prestigious events such as the World Championship of Sport prototypes. He starts 7 times in the  24 Hours of Le Mans. 1973 will be his most successful participation, with a 5th place overall in a Porsche 908/3,  together with Francisco Torredemer and Bernard Chenevière During these years he shared seat with drivers like Jo Siffert, Brian Redman or Arturo Merzario.

The departure of Tergal

The departure of Tergal, the main sponsor of the Escuderia Montjuich, forced his absence from the major championships from 1974 onwards.8 In view of this, he redirected his career towards hill-climbing, where he competed from then until his retirement in 1990. The new situation also marked the end of the relationship between the team and Porsche, with the latter being replaced first by Abarth and later by Lola and Osella. With them, Juan won a European Sports Car Championship and eight Spanish Championships in the mountains, as well as two Spanish Speed Championships.

Next to his racing career, Juan Fernandez Garcia was a successful businessman. He died at the age of 89 June 22 2020.

All the race successes of Juan Fernandez can be found at the Racing Sports Car website

Pictures courtesy unknown and Juan Fernandez Archives