Formula 1’s Unsung Pioneers

Author: Ian Wagstaff
Publisher: Evro Publishing

The Michael Sedgwick Memorial Trust is delighted to support Formula 1's Unsung Pioneers by Ian Wagstaff which has just been published by Evro Publishing.

This is the previously untold story of a very special British racing team. The British Racing Partnership (BRP), which operated from 1958 to 1964, is best known for its association with Stirling Moss, who was driving a BRP-entered car at Goodwood on that fateful day in 1962 when a serious crash ended his career. Less familiarly, BRP became the first fully sponsored team in Formula 1, partnering with Yeoman Credit, a go-ahead finance house, in an initiative that led to a transformation of the sport. This book tells the entire history of BRP in unprecedented detail, thanks to the author’s prodigious research and numerous interviews over the years with many leading participants, including Moss himself, team boss Ken Gregory, top driver Tony Brooks, chief mechanic Tony Robinson and many others. Lavishly produced and illustrated with more than 300 period photographs, this book will be treasured by all motorsport enthusiasts.

The book covers:

  • Formation of the team in 1958 by Stirling Moss’s father, Alfred, and his manager, Ken Gregory, running rear-engined Coopers in F1 and F2.
  • Arrival of sponsorship by Yeoman Credit in the autumn of 1959, a year that saw Stirling Moss finish second in the team’s BRM at the British Grand Prix.
  • The tragic 1960 season brought the deaths of three BRP drivers — Harry Schell, Chris Bristow and Ivor Bueb — in the space of three months, but racing activities widened to include Lotus sports cars.
  • A different finance house, United Dominions Trust, became the sponsor for 1961, when Moss won many non-championship Formula 1 and sports car races for the newly named UDT-Laystall team.
  • The 1962 season began badly with Moss’s Goodwood crash but peaked at that same circuit with Innes Ireland’s Tourist Trophy victory driving a BRP-run Ferrari 250 GTO.
  • In response to the ground-breaking Lotus 25 with its monocoque chassis, BRP in 1963 built its own car for the first time, a BRM-powered F1 design also with a monocoque.
  • The last F1 season, 1964, brought one final non-championship F1 victory for the team, achieved by Innes Ireland at Snetterton.
  • BRP cars at Indy: an epilogue to the team’s story saw two cars built for the 1965 Indianapolis 500.

The author, Ian Wagstaff, began writing motor racing reports in the early 1970s, having started work in the production department of Motor Sport magazine, and became press officer at Silverstone circuit towards the end of that decade. His interest in BRP was nurtured soon after when he worked for Ken Gregory, the team’s co-founder, as the editor of a trade magazine. He has been a freelance journalist since 1986, writing for The Economist Intelligence Unit and Financial Times Automotive Division as well as the motor racing press. He has twice won the Guild of Motoring Writers’ Montagu of Beaulieu Trophy as well as its Pierre Dreyfus award, and he has also received the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association’s ‘Book of the Year’ awards. He lives in Oxfordshire.

In addition to the initial financial support from the MSMT, the author also received the 2022 Michael Sedgwick Award for this book. The award, presented annually to the best book on a motoring subject, is decided by an independent committee, organised by the Society of Automotive Historians in Britain and includes a £250 cheque from the MSMT.

The book is available from the publishers via the link Evro Publishing

Published 2022

Price: £95.00

ISBN: #978-1-910505-72-4

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