Former F1 boss Tom Walkinshaw dies
Tom Walkinshaw, the former Formula One boss and motorsport legend, has died from lung cancer aged 64.
Walkinshaw, the owner of motorsport team TWR (Tom Walkinshaw Racing) had been battling the disease for some years and lost the fight on Sunday.
The former Formula One boss's career was spread across many forms of motorsport in various different roles. He enjoyed success and notoriety in almost everything he turned his hand to. He was no mean driver, winning the Scottish Formula Ford title in 1969 and the European Touring Car Championship in 1985, but achieved more success and fame as a team boss. Some of his highlights include the following
Benetton and Michael Schumacher
As engineering director, Walkinshaw is credited with signing a young Michael Schumacher for the Benetton team after he made an impressive debut with Jordan in 1991. What happened next is well-known to almost every motorsport fan – Schumacher went on to secure the first two of his seven titles in 1994 and 1995 with Walkinshaw at his side.
Arrows and Damon Hill
Despite his success with Benetton, Walkinshaw had desires to run his own F1 team. He came close to finalising a deal with Ligier, but ended up pulling out and buying the Arrows team. Despite Arrows ending its time in F1 after the team and TWR went into administration in 2002 without a win to its name, it came very close after shocking the sport with its signing of Damon Hill in 1997. Hill came tantalising close to topping the podium, with a second place at Hungary in 1997.
BTCC and the Volvo 850 estate
Other than F1, TWR was involved in various other forms of motorsport, and stole huge amounts of headlines when it ran a Volvo 850 estate in the British Touring Car Championships in 1994. This was no gimmick though, the 850 pulled its weight, and the TWR team tasted success a few years later in 1998 in the S40.
Walkinshaw was also heavily involved in rugby union in his role as club owner and chairman of Gloucester Rugby Club and was the former chairman of Premier Rugby.