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Mr. Tom Walkinshaw dies, aged 64
Tragic loss of former F1 boss
Posted Dec 16, 2010 by Jeff Dawson
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Formula One and Rugby Union have both been mourning the death of the influential Tom Walkinshaw who has sadly died, aged 64. He had been battling cancer.
This sad news is a tragedy for both sports and, having looked at his time in rugby, we now take a look at what he brought to the table in Formula 1.
Mr. Walkinshaw was part of the successful Benetton team when Ross Brawn and Michael Schumacher joined, a move that he was a key player in. He ran the engineering side of Benetton in 1994, the year the great German won the world title before moving on to run Ligier and then Arrows. At the latter he persuaded world champion, Damon Hill, to join the team in 1997 but the outfit hit financial difficulties in 2002 and were forced to fold.
The Scot will be remembered as a character from the sport as well as a big-hearted man who put his all into motor racing in all its forms. Mr. Walkinshaw loved motor sport and he was a major player in the industry for such a long time, something that will be his testimony for years to come.
He also drove as well as leading teams. He had a seat in Formula Two and touring cars before launching his own team, Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR), a team that enjoyed success twice at Le Mans.
Mr. Walkinshaw also won a European touring car title for Jaguar in 1984 and the TWR Jaguar cars won at Le Mans in 1988 and 1990.
Many greats from the sport have been remembering the man behind so much success, including Schumacher, who said: “It is shocking to hear of somebody having to go so early – much too early, one has to say. It is also shocking to think somebody like Tom, who seemed to be so full of power, lost against this terrible disease. He was such a character, and we surely spent some good times together. My thoughts are with his family.”
Hill added: “Arrows was a very exciting time for me. I certainly believed in Tom and his sincere desire to build a team. But it didn’t work out. Tom had a competitive spirit and there were a lot of good things about him. He genuinely wanted to compete. He wanted thing to turn out right. He did leave a mark on motor racing.”
Mr. Walkinshaw will be greatly missed by all those who met him and he appears to be one of those guys who made things happen. His achievements in both F1 and Rugby Union should never be underestimated. A great loss to sport in general.