Tiff Needell

Needell started his career by winning a Formula Ford Lotus 69F in a competition run by Autosport magazine at the start of 1971. He was refused a super license by the sport's governing body FISA in 1979 when he was offered a drive in the Formula 1 Ensign - it went to Patrick Gaillard in the end - but he drove for the team in the 1980 Belgian Grand Prix. Unable to get a drive in F1 after that Needell went into sports car racing, driving various Group C cars including the Nimrod-Aston Martin, Dome and TOM'S Toyota. He finished third at Le Mans in 1990 with the Alpha Porsche 962. There followed a period in touring cars with Vauxhall and Nissan in the BTCC. This was followed by a drive with Lister sports cars. At the same time Needell enjoyed a successful broadcasting career as a presenter of the very successful of the BBC's Top Gear programme.