Trevor Taylor

Full Name:
Trevor Patrick Taylor
Born:
26th December 1936
Gleadless, Sheffield, Yorkshire
Died:
27th September 2010 (Aged 73)
Wickersley, Yorkshire
Nationality:
British
Most recent race (in database):
Biography

With a father who ran the Ace Garage in Rotherham, Trevor Taylor grew up around cars and he raced a Triumph TR2 in 1955. He switched to 500cc Formula 3 and won the 1958 British Championship with a Cooper T43-Norton.

Graduation to Formula 2 with his father’s Cooper T51-Climax in 1959 was less successful although he did win at Rufforth when only one other car started. However, he failed to qualify for the British Grand Prix and Taylor stepped back to Formula Junior in 1960 as Jim Clark’s Lotus team-mate. They tied on points in the Motor Racing British FJ Championship and Taylor also won the F2 Crystal Palace Trophy. He remained in Junior for another year and won the 1961 Motor Racing title outright with a Lotus 20-Ford.

Formula 1 with Lotus

Clark was already starring in Grand Prix racing by that time and Taylor finished 13th with a Lotus 18-Climax when replacing the injured Innes Ireland for the 1961 Dutch GP. He ended the year with a promising campaign in South Africa – finishing second in the Rand GP at Kyalami and winning at Killarney at the start of 1962.

He was Ireland’s fulltime replacement at Lotus in 1962 and the season started with Taylor scoring the best GP result of his career – his Lotus 24-Climax second in the Dutch GP. However, that proved to be the only points of a season that included a series of nasty accidents.

First he and Willy Mairesse collided at Spa-Francorchamps with Taylor’s Lotus sent crashing through a telegraph pole and into a ditch while Mairesse rolled and suffered minor burns in the ensuing fire. Taylor crashed into the back of Maurice Trintignant at the end of the French GP before disappearing through a hedge at Hohe Acht on the opening lap in Germany.

A difficult rookie season ended with a couple of non-championship wins and he was sixth in the 1963 Monaco GP. His ill-fortune in championship races continued thereafter but Taylor scored a couple of second place finishes in minor F1 races. He appeared on course to repeat that result at Enna-Pergusa before being forced off the road by Lorenzo Bandini. He crashed into a bank at 120mph and endured a frightening and fiery barrel-roll. Taylor was thrown some 50 metres clear of the wreckage but emerged unscathed.

Formula 1 finale with BRP

He was replaced by Peter Arundell for 1964 and so Taylor joined the British Racing Partnership instead. Sixth at Watkins Glen in the BRP 2-BRM was the best result of his final full GP season. He raced in F2 in 1965 and made a one-off F1 return in the 1966 British GP when his Shannon-Climax retired.

Sports cars and Formula 5000

Taylor switched to sports cars and raced a Lotus 47 in Britain during 1967 – winning at Brands and Oulton Park – before graduating to a Lola T70 Mk3B-Chevrolet for the following season. The highlight with that mighty machine was victory in the 1969 Tourist Trophy, again at Oulton.

He also starred in the new European Formula 5000 Championship with a Team Elite Surtees TS5-Chevrolet during 1969. He won four mid-season races in a row but was narrowly beaten to the title by Peter Gethin after the pair collided at the final round.

He started a few World Sportscar Championship events and continued in F5000 with a works Surtees TS5A-Chevy in 1970 – winning at Mondello Park. That was Taylor’s last major victory and he retired in 1972 to concentrate on running his garage business.

An aside from his racing career, Taylor was responsible for the famous Team Lotus livery of British Racing Green with a pronounced yellow stripe. The team arrived at Indianapolis in 1963 with its all-green cars but organisers refused to allow them to race as the colour was considered unlucky in America. Taylor, who normally wore a yellow helmet and overalls, suggested the stripe as a compromise and USAC officials relented. Trevor Taylor died in 2010 after a long fight against cancer.

Championship seasons

Season Name Starts Poles Podiums Wins Position Points
1972 Rothmans European F5000 Championship
Leda Engineering
3 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1971 Rothmans F5000 Championship
Leda Engineering
15 (1) 0 1 0
0% win rate
9th 16
1970 Guards F5000 Championship
Team Surtees
Doug Hardwick
12 (3) 1 3 1
9% win rate
7th 33
1969 SCCA Formula A Continental Championship
Team Surtees
1 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1969 Guards F5000 Championship
Team Elite
Team Surtees
7 (1) 1 4 4
58% win rate
2nd 2170
1967 RAC British F2 Championship
Gerard-Cooper Racing
2 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1967 European F2 Trophy
Gerard-Cooper Racing
2 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1966 Autocar British F2 Championship
HM Griffiths
3 (1) 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1966 F1 World Championship
Aiden Jones/Paul Emery
1 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1965 Autocar British F2 Championship
Aurora Gear Racing
4 (2) 0 0 0
0% win rate
10th 3
1964 F1 World Championship
British Racing Partnership
7 (1) 0 0 0
0% win rate
19th 1
1963 South African Drivers Championship
Team Lotus
1 0 1 1 0
1963 F1 World Championship
Team Lotus
9 0 0 0
0% win rate
15th 1
1962 South African Drivers Championship
Team Lotus
1 0 1 1 0
1962 Speed World Challenge
Team Lotus Engineering
0 (1) 0 0 0 0
1962 F1 World Championship
Team Lotus
9 0 1 0
0% win rate
10th 6
1961 Motor Racing British Formula Junior Championship 1st -
1961 World Sportscar Championship
Lotus Engineering
1 0 0 0 0
1961 F1 World Championship
Team Lotus
1 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1960 Motor Racing British Formula Junior Championship 1st -
1960 BARC International Formula Junior Championship 1st -
1959 F1 World Championship
Ace Garage Rotherham
0 (1) 0 0 0 0
1958 BRSCC National F3 Championship 1st -