Chris Irwin

Born in London during World War II Irwin began racing in the early 1960s and made his name in Formula 3, driving for the Chequered Flag Brabham team with much success in 1966, racing against the likes of Peter Gethin and Piers Courage.

He made his F1 debut that year in a works Brabham at Brands Hatch and finished seventh. This led to an offer to drive for BRM in 1967. The factory team was running H16 cars for Jackie Stewart and Mike Spence, while Reg Parnell Racing was running a third car for Irwin. The plan was to give him a year learning before putting him into the works team in 1968.

At the 1967 French Grand Prix at Le Mans Irwin had his moment of glory when he went faster than Stewart on the first day in the V8 car. On the second day Stewart jumped into Irwin's car and he moved over to the H16. The result of this however was that Stewart failed to match Irwin's time while he went quicker than Stewart had done in the H16 car. In the race the BRMs were not on the pace of the Brabham-Repcos but Stewart finished third. Irwin was running fourth when his engine began to misbehave and on the last lap the car stopped. This allowed Jo Siffert to take fourth place.

Irwin stayed under contract to BRM in 1968 but in mid-May he flipped an Alan Mann Ford in practice for the Nurburgring 1000km race and suffered serious head injuries. He never raced again.