Token's history began in late 1973 when Rondel Racing, the successful Formula Two team founded by Ron Dennis and Neil Trundle, decided to enter F1. Dennis asked Ray Jessop to design the car, while backing was to come from the French oil company Motul, which had sponsored the team for the previous two years. But when the 1973 oil crisis hit, Motul withdrew, and Dennis was forced to close down the team. The F1 project was subsequently sold to shipbroker Tony Vlassopoulo and Lloyd's underwriter Ken Grob, from whose first names the "Token" name was derived, while the car was called the RJ02 in honour of Jessop.
The team made its F1 debut in April 1974 at the non-Championship International Trophy race at Silverstone, with Welshman Tom Pryce at the wheel. Its first Championship race came the following month, at the Belgian Grand Prix, where Pryce qualified 20th but retired at three-quarter distance following a collision with Jody Scheckter's Tyrrell. The team entered the next race at Monaco but was forbidden from taking part on the basis of Pryce's supposed inexperience, prompting the Welshman to move to the Shadow team.
After sitting out the next three races, Token reappeared at the British Grand Prix with David Purley in place of Pryce. But after failing to qualify, Purley left and was replaced by fellow Englishman Ian Ashley. At the Nürburgring for the next race in Germany, Ashley qualified 26th and last, and ran as high as 8th before a tyre problem dropped him to 14th at the end. Then in Austria, Ashley qualified 24th, but finished unclassified after more wheel problems.
By this stage, however, the team had run out of money, and Vlassopoulo and Grob closed it down. The RJ02 subsequently passed into the hands of the Safir Engineering company.
Complete Formula One World Championship results
(key) (results in bold indicate pole position; results in italics indicate fastest lap)
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