Spanish Guinea passport of a F1 Racing Driver

Spanish Guinea was the name for a set of insular and continental territories controlled by Spain from 1844 to 1968 in the Gulf of Guinea and on the Bight of Bonny in Central Africa. It gained independence in 1968 and is known as Equatorial Guinea. To find a passport from this territory is pretty rare and what the document makes even more special is the fact that it was issued to Juan Jover Sanes. A Spanish driver who raced single-seaters and sports cars in Grand Prix and endurance races. He died driving between Sitges to Barcelona when his car went off a cliff in 1960. He was 57 years old. Spanish guinea passport

Juan Jover Sañés represented the original gentleman driver whose personal wealth allowed him to compete in Grand Prix racing. Jover was a Spanish racing driver who started on two wheels in the early twenties but quickly switched to four wheels. He is on the entry list of the III Trofeo Armangué in 1923, where he drove a Cyclecar “Rally Chic.”

As time went by, and after WWII, he took part in some European Grand Prix races, at tracks like Bari, Montlhéry, Reims-Gueux, Pedralbes, Monza or La Sarthe. In 1949 he finished second in the Le Mans 24 Hours, sharing a Delage 3 liters with Henri Louveau, trailing Luigi Chinetti/Peter Selsdon’s winning Ferrari. Later in the year, the same team of Louveau and Jover, with the addition of Mouche, finished second in the Spa 24 hours.

In the 1946 Penya Rhin Grand Prix, he shared a Maserati 6CM with Alberto Puig Palau. After a race plagued with incidents, they both finished in a surprising third place, although 15 laps down. In 1947 he competed in the Bari Grand Prix. In 1948, in the IX GP Penya Rhin – VI Copa Barcelona, he drove a Maserati 4CL under the Escudería Autoespañola banner, but was forced to retire on lap 12. In 1950 he drove a Maserati 4CLT/48 prepared by Speluzzi and known as the “Milano”. In 1951 he took part in the Spanish Grand Prix, again at Pedralbes, this time driving the Maserati 4CLT/48-1612 but did not qualify.

Jover went on racing, and in May 1953, he took part in the La Rabassada Hillclimb, driving an F2 Maserati and a Cisitalia 1100, finishing second and third on scratch. Later in the year, and driving a Pegasos, Jover suffered a severe accident in Le Mans 24 Hours practice. The car was traveling at around 200km/h when, having just overtaken a Cunningham, Jover misjudged the speed at which he was approaching the corner after the Dunlop bridge and hit the barriers. Jover was thrown out of the car, and his left leg was badly broken. It was only due to the skill of his friend, Doctor Soler-Roig, that he didn’t have to have it amputated. Spanish guinea passport

After a year recovering, Jover was back at the wheel in June 1954, competing in La Rabassada Hillclimb. In what was a Pegaso benefit, with Jover finishing fifth being four other Pegasos. Spanish guinea passport

In 1956, Jover finished second in the III Gran Premio Nacional Sports de Barajas, driving a Maserati 300S behind the winning Porsche spyder of J.-Felipe Nogueira. The following year, he won the same race at the wheel of a Maserati 200S, dedicating his win to the recently deceased Alfonso de Portago. In 1958 Jover finally won the La Rabassada Hillclimb, this time driving a Mercedes-Benz 300 SL. Spanish guinea passport

By 1960 Jover had almost completely retired from racing, and on Tuesday 28th June whilst driving his small convertible from Sitges to Barcelona, for some unknown reason, the car went off the road and down a cliff. Jover sadly died. In his memory, a race was run, the Trofeo Juan Jover, between 1963 to 1968 at the Montjuich racetrack.


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