Taso Mathieson

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Thomas Alastair Sutherland Ogilvy ('Taso') Mathieson (25 July 1908, Glasgow – 12 October 1991, Vichy)[1][2][3] was a British racing driver. Between 1930 and 1955, he entered more than 30 races, including multiple times the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Racing career and personal life[edit]

'Taso' Mathieson started racing in 1930, when he entered a race at Brooklands restricted to Lagondas.[4] He established his first victory during an Easter Bank-Holiday BARC Open Meeting on 28 March 1932, driving a supercharged Officine Meccaniche. Over the next two years, he won three races in his Bugatti and broke the lap record for 2-litre cars at Snaefell Mountain Course on the Isle of Man, with an average speed of 72.15 mph (116.11 kph).[3]

A 1936 Bugatti Type 57 like Mathieson used in 1938

Because of health problems, Mathieson was unable to enter any races from 1934 to 1937, so his Bugatti was driven a few times by Chris Staniland. In 1938 and 1939 he entered the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but both times retired before the finish.[3][5]

Mathieson was one of the first, if not the first, Briton to race again in Continental Europe after World War II after buying a 3-litre Maserati in 1946 from Henry Birkin.[6] He later bought a 2-litre Frazer Nash Le Mans in which he scored a class victory in the 1950 24 Hours of Le Mans together with Richard Stoop. Mathieson also entered his English Racing Automobiles (ERA) for the 1950 British Grand Prix, so that Leslie Johnson could drive it. However, others say ERA was the entrant, because Johnson had purchased the car manufacturer three years before.[7] He continued racing until 1955, mostly entering Grands Prix in France. When he was injured in a traffic or racing accident, he was forced to retire.[8] After 25 years of racing, Mathieson concentrated on his writing and his collection of photographs, together with his wife Mila Parély, a French actress he had married in 1947. He wrote various authoritative books, including Grand Prix Racing 1906-1914, and wrote several articles in the French magazine Le Fanauto in 1979 and 1980.

Racing results[edit]

Year Date Race Entrant Car Teammate(s) Result
1933 July 14 1933 Mannin Moar T. Mathieson Bugatti Type 35C none DNF
October 7 Donington Park Trophy
October 21 Mountain Championship
1938 May 22 Antwerp Grand Prix Bugatti Type 57
June 5 Grand Prix des Frontières TASO Mathieson none 3rd
June 19–20 1938 24 Hours of Le Mans DNA
June 19–20 1938 24 Hours of Le Mans Norbert Mahé Talbot-Lago T150C Freddy Clifford DNF (17th)
July 10 24 Hours of Spa Talbot-Lago T150C DNA
September 3 RAC Tourist Trophy TASO Mathieson Bugatti Type 57 none 20th
1939 May 28 Grand Prix des Frontières T. Mathieson Maserati none DNA
June 18–19 1939 24 Hours of Le Mans Luigi Chinetti Talbot-Lago T26 Luigi Chinetti DNF (24th)
TASO Mathieson Talbot 150SS Figoni Philippe de Massa
Norbert Mahé
1946 May 30 Resistance Cup Maserati 8C DNF
June 9 1946 René le Bègue Cup 5th
June 16 Brussels Grand Prix TASO Mathieson Talbot-Lago none DNS
June 30 Roussillon Grand Prix Maserati 8C 6th
1947 July 13 National Gransden (Formula Libre) John Wyer HRG none DNA
1949 June 26 1949 24 Hours of Le Mans Mrs. R.P. Hichens Aston Martin 2-Litre Sports Pierre Maréchal DNF (22nd) †
1950 June 25 1950 24 Hours of Le Mans H.J. Aldington Frazer Nash Mille Miglia Richard Stoop Overall 9th
Class 1st
1951 June 17 Circuito do Porto Frazer Nash Le Mans Replica 9th
August 12 Circuito di Senigallia 5th
September 9 Targa Florio TASO Mathieson Jacques Pollet DNF
1952 June 29 Ferrari 195 S Overall 6th
Class 1st
1953 June 7 12 Hours of Hyères Maserati A6GCS
June 20 Roubaix Grand Prix 6th
June 28 Circuit de Bressuire 3rd
July 25 Caen Grand Prix Scuderia della Guestella none 4th

[2] [3] [6] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14]

  • Mathieson was the team owner, not a driver.

† Pierre Maréchal was killed in an accident.