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Tom Pryce

From Academic Kids

Thomas Maldwyn Pryce (June 11, 1949March 5, 1977) was a Formula 1 racing driver. He was famous for winning the Brands Hatch Race of Champions in 1975, and for his shocking death in an accident during the 1977 South African Grand Prix.

Pryce was the son of a policeman and was born in Ruthin, Wales. He entered Formula 1 in 1974, with his first race on May 12 for the Token team. After this race he moved to Shadow. His best results were a third place in Austria (1975) and Brazil (1976), but many observers of the sport thought he had potential to take the championship in a more competitive car.

Pryce was killed in one of the most bizarre accidents in the history of Formula 1. A few years earlier Roger Williamson was killed during the 1973 Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort when safety marshalls refused to cross the track to extinguish Williamson's burning car while Williamson was trapped inside. At the end of lap 21 of the Grand Prix at Kyalami, South Africa, on March 5, 1977, Renzo Zorzi retired his Shadow with a split fuel pipe which had caused a small, but harmless fire.

Zorzi's car was parked in a blind brow but two marshalls stationed on the opposite side of the track decided to cross to tackle the fire. At that moment, cars driven by Pryce and Hans-Joachim Stuck suddenly appeared, nearly side-by-side. Stuck's car passed behind the first marshall and ahead of the second marshall. Pryce however could not avoid the second marshall, hitting him at high speed and killing the marshall instantly. The impact seemed to have only minimum influence on Pryce's car, only slightly damaging its front wing. However, the fire extinguisher the marshall was carrying struck Pryce on the head, killing Pryce instantly. Pryce's car continued down the straight track, gradually slowing down and verging to the right. Jacques Laffite, who was unsure what was going on, moved alongside as the two cars approached Crowthorne, at that point Pryce's car skidded off off the barriers, back on the track again, where it hit Laffite's Ligier, taking Laffite out of the race but not injuring him.

Complete Formula One results

(Note: grands prix in bold denote points scoring races.)

Yr Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Team
1974 Toke ARG BRA SAF SPA BEL MON SWE DUT FRA GBR DEU AUT ITA CAN USA     Shad
1975 Shad ARG BRA SAF SPA MON BEL SWE DUT FRA GBR DEU AUT ITA USA       Shad
1976 Shad BRA SAF USAW SPA BEL MON SWE FRA GBR DEU AUT DUT ITA CAN USA JPN   Shad
1977 Shad ARG BRA SAF SAW SPA MON BEL SWE FRA GBR DEU AUT DUT ITA USA CAN JPN Shad
it:Tom Pryce
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