Thomas Erdos

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24 Hours of Le Mans career
Participating years 1995-1997, 1999, 2003 - 2011
Teams Team Marcos, Newcastle United Lister, Chamberlain Engineering, Graham Nash Motorsport, Ray Mallock Ltd.
Best finish 8th (2006, 2010)
Class wins 2 (2005, 2006)

Thomas "Tommy" Erdos (born 30 October 1963) is a Brazilian auto racing driver.[1] He has raced for most of his career in Great Britain and Europe, where he currently resides in Buckinghamshire England with his partner Sheila. He has three children.

Racing career[edit]

Early career[edit]

His first racing was with single-seaters in 1988, in the British Formula First Championship. His impressive start to racing saw him finish as runner up in his first season, with eleven podiums, including five race wins. A year later he raced in the Formula Ford 2000 Championship, finishing in third, with three race wins. In 1990, he stepped up to British Formula Renault. His nine podium finishes, including four race wins, was enough to win him the championship. Whilst testing for Formula Three at the end of the season, he was involved in a serious accident which left him out of racing for a whole year. He returned to racing with some success in Formula Renault in 1992 and 1994, with a year in Formula 3 in-between. He also worked as an Instructor for the Jim Russell Racing School in 1993, for three years.

GT and Le Mans Part 1[edit]

In 1995 he moved into GT racing, driving a Marcos LM600, he drove in the BRDC GT Championship for Team Marcos. His first year in GTs saw him get four class wins, along with one outright win. This year also saw his first drive in the Le Mans 24 Hour race. Still with Team Marcos alongside Chris Hodgetts and Cor Euser, the race ended in retirement. A drive for Marcos Racing International in the BPR Global Endurance GT series, saw him finish third in the GT2 class at the end of the season in 1996. Again, his race in the Le Mans 24 Hour race ended in retirement with Cor Euser and Pascal Dro. In the BRDC GT Championship he drove in just a few selected races. For 1997 he first raced for Cirtek Motorsport in a Ford Saleen Mustang GT2, before switching to AJL Racing, where he drove a Jaguar XJ220 GT1, where he achieved four podium finishes. He also drove in two rounds of the FIA GT Championship for Cirtek Motorsport. Yet again his race in the Le Mans 24 Hour ended in a retirement. In 1998 he raced in several different cars in BRDC GT Championship, including a TVR Cerbera GT2, a Porsche 911 GT2 and finally back with a Marcos LM600 for NCK Racing, which he continued with in 1999 and 2000. Also in 1999, he finished in twenty-second place overall in the Le Mans 24 Hours. His Chrysler Viper GTS-R finished the race but struggled with mechanical problems. In 2000 he drove in one round of the ALMS at the Nürburgring, where he finished in second in a Chrysler Viper GTS-R for Chamberlain Motorsport.

BTCC[edit]

Erdos got a drive in the prestigious British Touring Car Championship in 2001. Originally the ABG Motorsport Team had planned to field two independent Lexus IS200s along with Kurt Luby. In the end only one car raced all season, with Erdos replacing Luby half way through the season. Despite driving in only twelve rounds from a total of twenty-six, he managed to impress many people by challenging with the works team and finishing the season in seventh place in points. He was lined up for a possible drive in the BTCC in 2007 for Xero Competition, but the team failed to raise the funds needed.


GT and Le Mans Part 2[edit]

In January 2002 Erdos, together with Ian McKellar Jnr and Bobby Verdon-Roe, ran in the Daytona 24 Hours in a Saleen S7R entered by Graham Nash Motorsport (GNM). The car was so new that it ran in unpainted carbon fibre. Erdos was fastest in class in the early stages despite running against the formidable Jaguar of Paul Gentilozzi. However, alternator failures forced the team to 'park' the car after the opening few hours, using their remaining alternator to enable them to take the chequered flag by coming out to complete the final few laps.

For the 2002 season Erdos was paired with Ian McKellar Jnr in the British GT championship driving the same Saleen S7R run by GNM, now painted white, with support from several AD Group companies together with Mouchel Metro and Renault trucks South West. The pair won the championship and Erdos won the Top Gun award for achieving pole position at every round.

In the same year Erdos, together with Pedro Chaves and Gavin Pickering, was entered in the Saleen at Le Mans by GNM.

Erdos began 2003 at Daytona in the Rolex 24 and then Erdos contested the FIA GT Championship in a Saleen S7R entered by GNM. His co-driver was Mike Newton and the car ran in the livery of Newton's AD Group of Companies. At Le Mans, the same car was run by Ray Mallock Ltd (RML) and Erdos' co drivers were Chaves and Newton. They failed to finish after a gearbox failure in the 24th hour.

Erdos competed in the one off 1000km race run on the Bugatti circuit at Le Mans in November 2003 in an MG EX257 with co-drivers Chris Goodwin and Newton. The RML entry retired after 65 laps with mechanical failure.

Erdos was very busy in 2004 driving the MG EX257 in the inaugural Le Mans Endurance Series of 1000km races together with Newton and Miguel Ramos and also sharing the Saleen with Newton in the FIA GT Championship. Both cars were run by RML. He finished 5th in LMP1 class of the LMES and 6th in the GT class of the FIA GT Championship. For Le Mans he shared the MG with Newton and Nathan Kinch but a good run was ended by engine failure.

He once again started the 2005 season at the Rolex 24 at Daytona resulting in a best finish of 4th in the DP class and 7th overall. At Le Mans he shared the MG with Newton and Warren Hughes this time with Judd V8 power. A disastrous start with the car overheating on lap 1 and visiting the pits to have the cooling system bled and replenished left them last in class. However, a remarkable comeback with Hughes and Erdos setting fastest lap times throughout the night resulted in a class win by 4pm on the Sunday afternoon. In the Le Mans Series Erdos looked set to win the P2 class, but, in the last round in Turkey, a startline incident involving Jean-Marc Gounon resulted in the MG making heavy contact with the pitwall. A remarkable feat of pit work by the RML crew saw the car rebuilt in record time. They rejoined the race and climbed back up the field to be beaten to the championship by one point.

For 2006 the MG returned to Le Mans with AER power and this time, class victory was achieved from the front. Sharing with Newton and Andy Wallace the Erdos finished 8th overall after an almost trouble free run. At the final round of the LMS series in Jarama, Spain, Erdos was once again heading for championship victory having dominated the class throughout the season. An engine failure minutes before the end of the race meant that, once again, he just missed out on the top prize.

Le Mans was less kind to him in 2007 when retirement followed an accident in the Porsche Curves whilst Andy Wallace was driving. However, the LMS series finally came Erdos' way that season with victory in the P2 class.

Racing record[edit]

Complete British Touring Car Championship results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position - 1 point awarded all races) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap - 1 point awarded all races) (* signifies that driver lead feature race for at least one lap - 1 point awarded)

Year Team Car Class 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 Pos Pts
2001 ABG Motorsport Lexus IS200 T BRH
1
BRH
2
THR
1
THR
2
OUL
1
OUL
2
SIL
1
SIL
2
MON
1
MON
2
DON
1
DON
2
KNO
1

8
KNO
2

Ret
SNE
1

11
SNE
2

5
CRO
1

8
CRO
2

4
7th 72
Total Motorsport OUL
1

11
OUL
2

6*
SIL
1

14
SIL
2

6
DON
1

14
DON
2

4
BRH
1
BRH
2

24 Hours of Le Mans results[edit]

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
1995 United Kingdom Team Marcos Netherlands Cor Euser
United Kingdom Chris Hodgetts
Marcos Mantara LM600 GT2 133 DNF DNF
1996 United Kingdom Team Marcos Netherlands Cor Euser
France Pascal Dro
Marcos Mantara LM600 GT2 40 DNF DNF
1997 United Kingdom Newcastle United Lister United Kingdom Julian Bailey
Australia Mark Skaife
Lister Storm GTL GT1 77 DNF DNF
1999 United Kingdom Chamberlain Engineering United Kingdom Christian Vann
Germany Christian Gläsel
Chrysler Viper GTS-R GTS 270 22nd 9th
2003 United Kingdom Graham Nash Motorsport
United Kingdom Ray Mallock Ltd.
United Kingdom Mike Newton
Portugal Pedro Chaves
Saleen S7-R GTS 292 28th 6th
2004 United Kingdom Ray Mallock Ltd. United Kingdom Mike Newton
United Kingdom Nathan Kinch
MG-Lola EX257-AER LMP1 256 DNF DNF
2005 United Kingdom Ray Mallock Ltd. United Kingdom Mike Newton
United Kingdom Warren Hughes
MG-Lola EX264-Judd LMP2 305 20th 1st
2006 United Kingdom Ray Mallock Ltd. United Kingdom Mike Newton
United Kingdom Andy Wallace
MG-Lola EX264-AER LMP2 343 8th 1st
2007 United Kingdom Ray Mallock Ltd. United Kingdom Mike Newton
United Kingdom Andy Wallace
MG-Lola EX264-AER LMP2 251 DNF DNF
2008 United Kingdom Ray Mallock Ltd. United Kingdom Mike Newton
United Kingdom Andy Wallace
MG-Lola EX265-AER LMP2 100 DNF DNF
2009 United Kingdom RML United Kingdom Mike Newton
United States Chris Dyson
Lola B08/86-Mazda LMP2 273 DNF DNF
2010 United Kingdom RML United Kingdom Mike Newton
United Kingdom Andy Wallace
Lola B08/80-HPD LMP2 358 8th 3rd
2011 United Kingdom RML United Kingdom Mike Newton
United Kingdom Ben Collins
HPD ARX-01d LMP2 314 12th 4th

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Thomas Erdos race summary". Motorsport.com. 16 September 2002. Retrieved 22 January 2011. 

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Neil Riddiford
British Formula Renault
UK series champion

1990
Succeeded by
Bobby Verdon-Roe
Preceded by
Mike Jordan
David Warnock
British GT Champion
2002 with:
Ian MacKellar
Succeeded by
Tom Herridge