Tom Walkinshaw

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For the entrepreneur, see Tom Walkinshaw (entrepreneur).
Tom Walkinshaw
Tom Walkinshaw.jpg
Born (1946-08-14)14 August 1946
Mauldslie
Died 12 December 2010(2010-12-12) (aged 64)
Teams MG Midget,
Team Lotus,
Tom Walkinshaw Racing
Championship titles
Scottish FF1600,
European Touring Car Championship

Tom Walkinshaw (14 August 1946 – 12 December 2010)[1] was a British racing car driver and the founder of the racing team Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR). He was also involved in professional rugby union, as owner of Gloucester Rugby, and chairman of the team owners organisation for the Aviva Premiership.[2]

Racing career[edit]

The Rover SD1 of Tom Walkinshaw and Win Percy at the Nürburgring in 1985.

Walkinshaw was born at Mauldslie Farm, near Penicuik, Midlothian, Scotland. He began racing in 1968, starting in an MG Midget, before moving on to a Lotus Formula Ford car. The following year he won the Scottish FF1600 title at the wheel of a Hawke. In 1970, he entered the British Formula Three championship with Lotus. He later moved to the March 'works' team, where he broke his ankle in a racing accident.[3] Continuing his career despite this setback, he drove in many classes, including Formula 5000 and Formula Two.[4]

Ford hired Walkinshaw to drive a Capri on the British Touring Car Championship circuit in 1974. This resulted in him winning his class that year. In 1976 Walkinshaw established Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR), continuing to drive for his own team. In 1984 he won the European Touring Car Championship in a 5.3-litre, V12 Jaguar XJS.[5]

In September 1984, Walkinshaw had teamed up with Australian driver John Goss to drive an Australian Group C spec XJS in the Bathurst 1000. After qualifying the big cat in 10th spot, Walkinshaw never left the starting line after transmission failure and was hit from behind by a Chevrolet Camaro. Several cars also joined the crash causing the race to be red flagged and restarted 30 minutes later (the first restart in the race's history).

In 1985, Jaguar 'retired' the XJS from Group A racing and TWR was forced to use the cars they'd been racing in the British Touring Car Championship, the 3.5-litre V8 Rover Vitesse in the European Touring Car Championship. Walkinshaw and Percy won 6 of the 14 races in the championship but could only finish the championship 3rd behind the Eggenberger Volvo 240T's of Gianfranco Brancatelli and Thomas Lindström.

With Australia's move to Group A in 1985, Walkinshaw vowed to return to Bathurst with his ETCC Jaguars in a bid to win the Australian classic. The three ETCC Jags were brought out of retirement and shipped to Bathurst with the help of "Jaguar Rover Australia" (JRA) and proceeded to dominate practice and qualifying, with Walkinshaw claiming pole position, Jeff Allam claiming second spot on the grid and provisional pole sitter John Goss starting 6th. Driving with regular ETCC co-driver Win Percy, Walkinshaw finished 3rd in the race after leading for over ⅔ distance following a split oil line late in the race. The Allam/Ron Dickson car was out after 3 laps with engine failure when broken glass from the cars right headlight got sucked into the intake system, while the Goss/Armin Hahne car would win for TWR after having to battle for over 100 laps of the 6.172 km (3.835 mi) long Mount Panorama Circuit with a broken drivers seat which had to be held in place by cable ties attached to the roll cage.

The Rovers, with sponsorship from Bastos/Texaco, were again the TWR cars for the renamed ETCC (which had become the FIATCC in 1986 in anticipation of the 1987 World Touring Car Championship). Walkinshaw was again a favourite to take out the title, but once again would finish 3rd. Co-driver Win Percy was originally announced as the 1986 champion before results from earlier races were amended following protest hearings. Walkinshaw had intended to return to Bathurst in 1986 with the V12 Jaguars but withdrew when JRA refused to help with funds following a downturn in the Australian car market.

With sponsorship from the NZ based Strathmore Group, Walkinshaw took the Jaguars to Japan and New Zealand for the 1986 Fuji InterTEC 500 and the XJS' final race, the 1987 Wellington 500. After some engine work which lifted the V12's power output to 500 bhp (373 kW; 507 PS), Walkinshaw proved that the 1984 spec Jags were still competitive in 1986 by qualifying on pole at the fast Fuji circuit in front of the new Nissan Skyline RS DR30s and Holden VK Commodore SS Group As. Walkinshaw comfortably led the race for the first 6 laps from team mate Jeff Allam and Australian Peter Brock in his Holden Dealer Team VK Commodore before retiring with no oil pressure.

After entering into a partnership with Australian car manufacturer Holden in February 1987 (at the expense of Brock's HDT Special Vehicles operation), Walkinshaw fully intended to compete in the inaugural World Touring Car Championship driving a 4.9-litre V8 Holden VL Commodore SS Group A, but withdrew before the first race at Monza in protest at the US$60,000 entrance fee imposed by Bernie Ecclestone who had put in charge of the WTCC by the FIA. Walkinshaw and Jeff Allam appeared with the car at the Nürburgring round of the championship but the car was uncompetitive against the new Ford Sierra RS Cosworths and BMW M3s and retired with brake problems.

In 1988 TWR developed the Holden VL Commodore SS Group A SV and Walkinshaw again teamed with Jeff Allam at the RAC Tourist Trophy at Silverstone. Although still not a match for the Ford Sierra RS500s, Walkinshaw qualified the Commodore in 9th place. The pair finished the race in 15th place following various problems with the car.

Tom Walkinshaw's last race as a driver was the 1988 Tooheys 1000 at Bathurst. In partnership with Australian Larry Perkins, TWR shipped the ETCC Commodore to Australia for the race as part of the Holden Special Vehicles team. Following a messy lead up to the race, which included Walkinshaw illegally protesting the five leading Australian built Sierras, Walkinshaw and Allam qualified in 13th place (slower than the Perkins Engineering built team car), and was the second retirement after just 5 laps with rear suspension failure. Walkinshaw himself was cross-entered in the Perkins/Denny Hulme car and drove the car later in the race. The car was retired with engine failure after 137 laps while in 2nd place. Walkinshaw's protest against the Sierras was later found to be illegal because Perkins Engineering was the entrant for the HSV team and not TWR. The stewards of the meeting had erred in letting Walkinshaw lodge the protest under TWR's FIA licence as only a race entrant was entitled to lodge protests under the rules of the meeting. In an ironic twist to Walkinshaw's last race meeting as a driver, the three HSV team cars, including the team's spare car, were found to have illegal modifications to the steering racks after a counter-protest by Dick Johnson Racing team manager Neal Lowe, though no action was taken as the spare car didn't start the race and both race cars failed to finish.

Following the Tooheys 1000, Walkinshaw retired from driving to concentrate on the management of TWR's increasing motorsports portfolio.

Team management[edit]

In 1975 Walkinshaw established Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR), a group whose business was the manufacture and design of racing and road cars. TWR ran touring car programmes in the mid-1970s and early 1980s. In 1983 the TWR team took an amazing eleven wins in eleven races in the British Saloon Car Championship running Rover Vitesses, before being stripped of the title for a technical infringement. TWR also ran a Jaguar XJ-S ETCC touring car programme before taking on their World Sportscar Championship programme. In six years the programme won Le Mans twice and the World Championships three times. The same team brought engineer Ross Brawn to prominence. [6]

In 1991 Walkinshaw was recruited as Engineering Director of the Benetton F1 team which subsequently won the 1995 Formula One World Championship. He was involved in the recruitment of Michael Schumacher by Benetton after the German's Formula One debut with the Jordan team. As Engineering Director, his role also came under scrutiny when the team was investigated for suspected technical infringements during the 1994 season, including the potential use of banned electronic aids and unauthorised modifications to the refuelling apparatus used on the cars. Although illegal software was found in the Benettons, the FIA had no evidence that it had ever been used in a race and no action was taken against the team.

For 1995 Walkinshaw bought 50% of the Ligier team from Benetton team principal Flavio Briatore. His intention was to take over the team completely, but he was unable to purchase 100% of the team and therefore pulled out of the deal. Instead he bought the Arrows team, achieving a coup for the 1997 Formula One season by recruiting reigning world champion Damon Hill to his squad.

In 1997 Walkinshaw was voted Autocar Man of the Year. By this stage the TWR Group employed 1500 employees in the UK, Sweden, Australia and the United States. At the time, Walkinshaw was also managing director of Arrows Grand Prix International.

His TWR racing group went into liquidation in 2002 after the Arrows team ran out of money. This led to the Australian arm of the operation being bought by Holden. However, since the regulations for the V8 Supercar Championship Series forbid a manufacturer owning a race team, Holden had to divest the teams assets and sell the Holden Racing Team to lead driver Mark Skaife, and K-Mart Racing (later HSV Dealer Team) to John and Margaret Kelly (the parents of V8 Supercar drivers Todd and Rick).

In 2005 Tom Walkinshaw returned to the V8 Supercars Australia and began a new relationship with his former teams, HSV Dealer Team and Holden Racing Team, helping lead Holden to its first series win since 2002 through driver Rick Kelly (2006) and Garth Tander (2007). In late 2006 Walkinshaw Performance bought the small Australian sports car manufacturer Elfin Cars. In 2007 Walkinshaw Performance acquired a 50% stake in the Holden Racing Team, and in 2008 fully re-acquired the team from Skaife Sports. 2009 saw the debut of Walkinshaw Racing a two car operation known individually as Bundaberg Red Racing and Team Autobarn.

Death[edit]

Walkinshaw died on Sunday 12 December 2010, aged 64, from complications arising from cancer.[2][7] He is survived by his first wife Elizabeth and their son Fergus, and his second wife Martine and their sons Ryan and Sean. Walkinshaw's memorial service was held at Gloucester Cathedral on 4 February 2011.

Career summary[edit]

Results sourced from Driver Database and History of Touring Car Racing.[8][9]

Season Series Position Car Team
1970 Shell Super Oil British F3 Championship 26th March 713M Ford
1971 Rothmans International Trophy 9th March 712M Cosworth Ecurie Ecosse
1971 European Formula Two Championship NC March 712M Cosworth Ecurie Ecosse
1973 European Touring Car Championship Div.2 NC Datsun Sunny Coupé GX Datsun UK Ltd.
1973 BP British Formula Atlantic Series 21st GRD 273 Ford BDA Myson Racing Team
1973 Yellow Pages British Formula Atlantic Championship 21st GRD 273 Ford BDA Myson Racing Team
1974 John Player British Formula Atlantic Series 16th Modus M3 Ford BDA
1974 British Saloon Car Championship 4th Ford Capri 3000 GT Shellsport
1975 European Formula 5000 Championship 20th Modus M5 Ford
March 752 Ford
ShellSPORT Team Modus
1976 British Saloon Car Championship 5th Ford Capri 3000 Team Castrol
1979 British Saloon Car Championship 2nd Mazda RX-7 Tom Walkinshaw Racing
1981 World Sportscar Championship 39th Mazda RX-7 Tom Walkinshaw Racing
Mazdaspeed
1982 World Sportscar Championship 70th Mazda RX-7 254i Mazdaspeed
1982 European Touring Car Championship 3rd Jaguar XJS Tom Walkinshaw Racing
1983 European Touring Car Championship 2nd Jaguar XJS Tom Walkinshaw Racing
1984 European Touring Car Championship 1st Jaguar XJS Tom Walkinshaw Racing
1984 Australian Endurance Championship NC Jaguar XJS John Goss Racing
1985 Nissan Sport 500 Series 3rd Rover Vitesse Tom Walkinshaw Racing
1985 European Touring Car Championship 3rd Rover Vitesse Tom Walkinshaw Racing
1985 Australian Endurance Championship 23rd Jaguar XJS Tom Walkinshaw Racing
1986 Nissan Mobil 500 Series 6th Rover Vitesse Tom Walkinshaw Racing
1986 European Touring Car Championship 3rd Rover Vitesse Tom Walkinshaw Racing
1987 World Touring Car Championship NC Holden VL Commodore SS Group A Tom Walkinshaw Racing
1988 European Touring Car Championship NC Holden VL Commodore SS Group A SV Tom Walkinshaw Racing
1988 Asia-Pacific Touring Car Championship NC Holden VL Commodore SS Group A SV Holden Special Vehicles

Complete European Touring Car Championship results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Team Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 DC Points
1973 United Kingdom Datsun UK Ltd Datsun Sunny Coupé GX MNZ SAL MAN NUR SPA ZAN PAU SIL
9
NC NA
1982 United Kingdom Tom Walkinshaw Racing Jaguar XJS MNZ
Ret
VAL
3
DON
Ret
PER MUG
Ret
BRN
1
SAL
2
NUR
1
SPA
Ret
SIL
1
ZOL 3rd 107
1983 United Kingdom Tom Walkinshaw Racing Jaguar XJS MNZ
2
VAL
3
DON
5
PER
1
MUG
3
BRN
1
ZEL
1
NUR
Ret
SAL
1
SPA
Ret
SIL
9
ZOL
8
2nd 168
1984 United Kingdom Tom Walkinshaw Racing Jaguar XJS MNZ
1
VAL
3
DON
9
PER
2
BRN
1
ZEL
1
SAL
Ret
NUR
5
SPA
1
SIL
Ret
ZOL
3
MUG
Ret
1st 181
1985 United Kingdom Tom Walkinshaw Racing Rover Vitesse MNZ
1
VAL
1
DON
1
AND
Ret
BRN
8
ZEL
Ret
SAL
2
NUR
Ret
SPA
Ret
SIL
1
NOG
1
ZOL
Ret
EST
Ret
JAR
1
3rd 198
1986 United Kingdom Tom Walkinshaw Racing Rover Vitesse MNZ
1
DON
1
HOC
4
MIS
3
AND
2
BRN
2
ZEL
Ret
NUR
4
SPA
Ret
SIL
3
NOG
16
ZOL
3
JAR
2
EST
2
3rd 190
1988 United Kingdom Tom Walkinshaw Racing Holden VL Commodore SS Group A SV MNZ DON EST JAR DIJ VAL NUR SPA ZOL SIL
15
NOG NC NA

Complete World Touring Car Championship results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Team Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 DC Points
1987 United Kingdom Tom Walkinshaw Racing Holden VL Commodore SS Group A MNZ JAR DIJ NUR
Ret
SPA BNO SIL BAT CLD WEL FJI NC 0

† Not eligible for series points

Complete Asia-Pacific Touring Car Championship results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Team Car 1 2 3 4 DC Points
1988 Australia Holden Special Vehicles Holden VL Commodore SS Group A SV BAT
Ret
WEL PUK FJI NC 0

Complete 24 Hours of Le Mans results[edit]

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
1976 United Kingdom Hermetite Productions Ltd. United Kingdom John Fitzpatrick BMW 3.5CSL Gr.5 17 DNF DNF
1977 Belgium Luigi Racing Belgium Eddy Joosen
Belgium Claude de Wael
BMW 3.0 CSL IMSA 45 DNF DNF
1981 Japan Mazdaspeed Co. Ltd. Japan Tetsu Ikuzawa
United Kingdom Peter Lovett
Mazda RX-7 IMSA GTO 107 DNF DNF
1982 Japan Mazdaspeed Co. Ltd. United Kingdom Chuck Nicholson
United Kingdom Peter Lovett
Mazda RX-7 IMSA GTX 180 DNF DNF

Complete Spa 24 Hour results[edit]

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
1974 United Kingdom Ford UK/Hermetite United Kingdom John Fitzpatrick Ford Capri II 3.0 Div. 4 NA DNF DNF
1975 United Kingdom Hermetite Products United Kingdom John Fitzpatrick Ford Capri II 3.0 Div. 4 NA DNF DNF
1977 Belgium Luigi BMW Racing with Castrol Italy Umberto Grano BMW 530i US +2500 NA DNF DNF
1979 United Kingdom Valvoline Racing Belgium Jacques Goujon Ford Capri III 3.0S +2500 NA DNF DNF
1981 United Kingdom Tom Walkinshaw Racing Belgium Pierre Dieudonné Mazda RX-7 -2500 456 1st 1st
1982 United Kingdom Tom Walkinshaw Racing United Kingdom Chuck Nicholson
United Kingdom Win Percy
Jaguar XJS Div. 3 9th hour DNF DNF
1983 United Kingdom Tom Walkinshaw Racing Belgium Pierre Dieudonné Jaguar XJS Div. 3 11th hour DNF DNF
1984 United Kingdom Tom Walkinshaw Racing United Kingdom Win Percy
West Germany Hans Heyer
Jaguar XJS Div. 3 453 1st 1st
1985 United Kingdom Tom Walkinshaw Racing Belgium Eddy Joosen
United Kingdom Martin Brundle
Belgium Marc Duez
Rover Vitesse Div. 3 366 DNF DNF
United Kingdom Win Percy
West Germany Hans Heyer
Rover Vitesse Div. 3 86 DNF DNF
1986 United Kingdom Tom Walkinshaw Racing United Kingdom Win Percy
Belgium Eddy Joosen
Rover Vitesse Div. 3 383 DNF DNF

Complete Bathurst 1000 results[edit]

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
1984 Australia John Goss Racing Australia John Goss Jaguar XJS Group C 0 DNF DNF
1985 United Kingdom JRA Ltd United Kingdom Win Percy Jaguar XJS C 160 3rd 3rd
1988 Australia Holden Special Vehicles Australia Larry Perkins
New Zealand Denny Hulme
Holden VL Commodore SS Group A SV A 137 DNF DNF
United Kingdom Jeff Allam Holden VL Commodore SS Group A SV A 5 DNF DNF

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Henry, Alan (13 December 2010). "Tom Walkinshaw obituary". The Guardian (London). 
  2. ^ a b "Gloucester mourn owner Tom Walkinshaw". BBC News. 12 December 2010. Retrieved 12 December 2010. 
  3. ^ Grand Prix Encyclopedia www.grandprix.com Retrieved 13 December 2006
  4. ^ Collings (2004) p. 211
  5. ^ Collings (2004) pp.211–212
  6. ^ Autocar.co.uk [1] Retrieved 13 December 2010
  7. ^ "Tom Walkinshaw Passes Away". Autosport. 12 December 2010. Retrieved 12 December 2010. 
  8. ^ Tom Walkinshaw - Driver Database
  9. ^ History of Touring Car Racing

References[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Jean-Michel Martin
Philippe Martin
Winner of the Spa 24 Hours
1981
(with Pierre Dieudonné)
Succeeded by
Armin Hahne
Hans Heyer
Eddy Joosen
Preceded by
Dieter Quester
European Touring Car Champion
1984
Succeeded by
Gianfranco Brancatelli
Thomas Lindström
Preceded by
Thierry Tassin
Hans Heyer
Armin Hahne
Winner of the Spa 24 Hours
1984
(with Hans Heyer & Win Percy)
Succeeded by
Roberto Ravaglia
Gerhard Berger
Marc Surer
Preceded by
Hans-Joachim Stuck
Guia Race winner
1984
Succeeded by
Gianfranco Brancatelli