Posts Tagged ‘Roger Williamson’

pryce nurburgring

Tom Pryce, Karussell, Nurburgring, German GP 1975. Shadow DN3A Ford. Sixth in the race won by Cay Regazzoni’s Ferrari 312B3 (Pinterest)

These great shots are of Tom Pryce in his Shadow DN3A Ford during 1974…

Pryce was one of ‘The Lost Generation’ of young Britsh F1 drivers killed in their prime, all of a similar age, at about the same time. The other two drivers featured in David Tremaynes’ book of that name are Roger Williamson and Tony Brise.

I’d add Gerry Birrell, an F2 pilot and Ford factory Capri RS2600 driver to the list, i was following his career as a teenager at the time.

All were products of the ‘British Racing Driver Production Line’ of the day starting in small sedans or Formula Vee and progressing through Formula Ford, F3 and eventually getting their Formula 1 break.

All were F3 stars and showed F1 promise, in Birrells case he was one of the drivers spoken of as Jackie Stewarts’ replacement at Tyrrell for 1974.

All died grisly deaths in racing cars except Brise who perished in the plane piloted by Graham Hill which crashed and killed the key members of his team upon return from a test session in France to the UK to Elstree Airport in November 1975.

Deaths in racing cars were all too common until the ‘carbon-fibre era’ which commenced with the first Mclaren MP4 in 1981. Arguably designer John Barnard’s pioneering use of the material in racing cars has saved more lives than any other initiative down the decades?

Shadow DN3 Ford…

The Shadow, an English car and team funded by American Don Nichols United Oil Products, could be said to the ‘standard English kit car’ of the 1970’s.

It featured an aluminium monocoque, ubiquitous Ford Cosworh DFV engine, so reliable one wag described it as ‘the spacer between the driver and gearbox!, albeit a 500BHP spacer. The also ubiquitous Hewland FGA400 gearbox was a part of the package but Designer Tony Southgate, knew what he was about and put all of the knowledge gained at BRM from his successful P153/160 and P180 cars into the design, drivers Pryce and Jean-Pierre Jarier providng the other essential element.

Pryce won the 1975 non-championship ‘British Race of Champions’at Brands Hatch a DN5 beating Scheckter, Watson, Petersen, Ickx, Fittipaldi, Jarier and Donohue. He was a driver ‘on the up’ perhaps staying at Shadow too long. In a team with a competitive car he was a grand prix winner if not a potential World Champion.

He died in the 1977 South African Grand Prix, colliding with a marshall running across the track to put out a fire. The marshall was unsighted by Pryce, closely following another car. Both were killed in the very tragic accident.

tom pryce sweden 1975

Tom Pryce, Swedish GP, Anderstorp 1975. DNF, spun. Lauda won in a Ferraari 312T on his way to his first World Championship (Pinterest)

pryce 4

Tom Pryce looking very English for a Welshman, British GP 1974 (Pinterest)



Roger Williamson and a March engineer share a joke, British GP 1973. It apperas to be about a covered up sponsors logo on his race suit…no captions of value on Pinterest so who knows!


Roger Williamson ahead of David Purley, both in March 731 Fords, early in the 1973 Dutch Grand Prix. Williamson crashed after a suspected tyre failure and died of asphyxiation after Purleys valiant and heroic attempts to right the overturned car failed (Pinterest)


Graham Hill, for whom he drove in 1974/5, and Tony Brise. (Pinterest)


Tony Brise leads a gaggle of cars in the 1975 French GP, Hill GH1 Ford, he finished 7th in the race won by the Lauda Ferrari312T. Mario Andretti Parnelli VPJ4 Ford, Brambillas’ obscured March 751 Ford… the black car is the Ickx Lotus 72E Ford, the white car is Alan Jones in the other Hill, last in shot the nose of, i think, Donohues’ Penske PC1 Ford (Pinterest)


Jody Scheckter & Gerry Birrell, Brands Hatch ‘Rothmans 50000’ 1972. McLaren M21 and March 722 F2 drivers that year. (Pinterest)


Gerry Birrell in the factory Ford RS2600, ETCC 6 Hour Nurburgring july 1972. Birrell was both race and a test driver for this very successful program (Rainer Schlegelmilch)

Photo Credits…

Pinterest, Rainer Schlegelmilch