DECEMBER 12, 2010
Tom Walkinshaw 1946-2010
Former team owner and racing driver Tom Walkinshaw has died at the age of 64 from cancer.
In his career Walkinshaw ran the Benetton, Ligier and Arrows F1 teams, including overseeing the rise of Benetton which led to Michael Schumacher's titles with the team - but is probably best known for the success his TWR team had with Jaguar in touring cars and then in Sportscar racing, winning three World Sportscar championships and winning Le Mans in 1988 and 1990.
Walkinshaw began his career driving Formula Fords, and won the Scottish Championship in 1969. He tried his hand at Formula 3 racing with Lotus and March but ran out of money. Ford took on Walkinshaw to drive for it's touring car program in 1974, and he won his class championship in the British Touring Cars that year. In 1976 he set up the TWR company to provide manufacturers with the engineering skills to develop motorsports projects for them. TWR won the British Touring Car Championship in 1980 and 1981 for Win Percy in a Mazda RX7 - Walkinshaw sharing victory with Pierre Dieudonne at the Spa 24 Hour race.
TWR began developing touring cars for Rover, which then led to them running Jaguar XJS's in 1982 in the European Touring Car Championship. 1984 was Walkinshaw high point as a driver - winning the European title as well as the Spa 24 Hours.
Jaguar then commissioned TWR to build a car to enter Le Mans. The team went on to much success, winning the World Sportscar Championship three times and Le Mans twice.
Financial problems led to both the Arrows F1 team and TWR folding in 2002, but Walkinshaw remained active in motorsports, including running his V8 Supercar team in Australia.