- Trevor Taylor 1936-2010
Ex-Lotus driver Trevor Taylor diesMartin Williamson September 29, 2010 « Heidfeld confident he will stay in F1 next year | »
Ex-Lotus F1 driver Trevor Taylor has died from cancer at the age of 73.
When Taylor, the son of a Yorkshire garage owner, came second in the season-opening Dutch Grand Prix in 1962 in what was his first full season for Lotus, many predicted a glowing future. But for the next two years he raced in the shadow of team-mate Jimmy Clark, and is remembered more for a series of spectacular crashes.
Taylor made his mark in Formula 3, securing the championship in 1958 and moving to Formula 2 in 1959. In 1960 he won the Formula Junior title, as well as doing some racing for Team Lotus. In 1961 he retained his title, and an injury to Innes Ireland that gave him his Formula One break driving alongside Clark.
At the end of the year he went with Clark to South Africa for four non-championship races - he finished second in the first, crashed in the second, retired in the third and then won the fourth.
After his podium at Zandvoort, his returns in 1962 were indifferent, and he survived another big crash at Spa. In non-championship races he underlined his potential with wins in the Mexican and South African grand prix.
A sixth-place finish in Monaco opened his 1963 season, but yet again he failed to capitalise while team-mate Clark romped to the world title. That year came perhaps his biggest crash when he was thrown from his Lotus at 100mph during the non-championship Mediterranean Grand Prix in Scicily - once again he escaped with only bruises.
At the end of the season Colin Chapman suggested he take a break from Formula One, but instead he moved to the British Racing partnership but he took on an underperforming car. His only point of the season came at the USA Grand Prix when he was the sixth and last finisher. That season he also ran his own touring car team, Aurora Gear Racing, with his sister, and in 1965, without an F1 drive, he competed in F2 in a Brabham.
By then he had committed to touring cars, although he made a final and fleeting F1 outing at the British Grand Prix in 1966. The following season he won the Tourist Trophy in a Lola T70 and ended his career as a leading Formula 5000 driver before retiring in 1972, after which time he continued to work in the motor trade.
Taylor always raced with a yellow helmet and overalls and was widely credited as the originator of the yellow stripe down the middle of Team Lotus racing cars as a result of officials at the Indianapolis 500 objecting to all-green cars on Lotus's arrival at the Brickyard in 1963.
Martin Williamson is managing editor of digital media ESPN EMEA