Martin Brundle started racing 1973 aged 12, driving a self-built Ford Anglia grass track car near his home. Moving to Hot Rod short oval racing 1975, the 70mph quarter mile tracks generated many wins and 'Star grade' status, preparing him for circuit racing. Throughout this time, school and technical college life were not ignored, Martin gaining 12 'O' levels and a distinction in Business Studies.
Pole position for his first proper circuit race at Oulton Park in 1977 in his Toyota Celica, was followed by many races learning the circuits of Great Britain, until 1978. 1979 offered his first single seater opportunity, sponsored in Formula Ford 2000 by a local company. One win and several placings followed. Martin wrote a letter to Tom Walkinshaw seeking the opportunity to drive one of his cars in the BMW Championship at Snetterton. He agreed and Martin lined up on the front row against an international field, eventually finishing second. 16 years later Martin still drives for Walkinshaw.
1980- more BMW, winning the Championship, and Formula Ford 2000. Lack of sponsorship forced Martin back to saloon cars, partnering Stirling Moss in the BP/Audi team 1981. BP sponsorship took him into F3 1982 - five pole positions, two wins and the Grovewood Award as most promising Commonwealth driver.
1983 took Martin to Eddie Jordan's fledgling team taking on Ayrton Senna in Formula 3, Senna taking the Championship from Brundle in the final laps of the final race. Both were immediately elevated to Formula One, Martin spending 1984-1986, with the Tyrell team, collecting a second at Detroit in 1984 behind Nelson Piquet and many World Championship points. Broken ankles and feet sustained during a high speed crash in Dallas were a setback. 1987 was a difficult season at the German Zakspeed team, producing a fifth place at Imola.
Martin's Jaguar link started 1982 driving the Tom Walkinshaw Racing XJS in the European Touring Car Championship; a winning debut at Donnington Park. More XJS 1983 and 1984 with many wins, Martin was chosen as lead driver when Jaguar returned to the World Sportscar Championship at Mosport, Canada in 1985. Winning 1987 at Spa in Belgium, for 1988 Martin left F1 for Jaguar in the USA IMSA and the World Group C Championships. Starting January with a win in the Daytona 24 hours, the World Championship was also his by October. A test schedule for the Williams GP team and standing in for an unwell Nigel Mansell at the Spa GP completed an exhausting year.
Two years with the Brabham Grand Prix team in 1989 &1991 had limited success, divided by another season with Jaguar, the highlight of which was winning the Le Mans 24 hours 1990. Martin made history by finishing 1st and 2nd in the same race at Monza 1991, driving both of the stunning Jaguar XJR 14s.
1992 was Martin's most successful F1 season alongside Michael Schumacher in the Benetton Ford team, scoring points in 11 of the final 12 races, including 5 podiums. To everyone's surprise he was then replaced by Italian Ricardo Patrese and so moved to the French Ligier team for 1993 finishing seventh in the World Championship, highlighted by a podium finish in the San Marino Grand Prix. Early 1994 saw some brinkmanship as Martin gambled on and claimed the Number 8 McLaren seat vacated by Ayrton Senna. Second and third in Monaco and Australia were the highlights, poor reliability were the very public low points, although again finishing seventh in the World Championship. With Tom Walkinshaw now involved at Ligier, Martin returned 'home' to the Ligier team for the 1995 Grand Prix season.
Other awards include the British Racing Drivers Club Gold (1988) Silver Stars (1983), Segrave Trophy (1988) for 'Courage, Imagination, Initiative' by land, air or water. He is now a familiar voice and face on ITV's F1 racing coverage.… Collapse
Martin Brundle's Scores
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