Born on this day, Roger Williamson, the 1971 and 1972 British Formula 3 Champion

Monday 2nd February 1948

Born on this day, Roger Williamson, the 1971 and 1972 British Formula 3 Champion. Backed by wealthy entrepreneur Tom Wheatcroft, Williamson came into Formula 1 through winning the British Formula 3 title in 1972 and a successful start to the 1973 season in Formula 2, winning the Monza Lottery race. His debut in a works March 731 in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone was cut short due to a pile-up in the first lap. He was tragically killed in the following race, the Dutch GP at Zandvoort, trapped in his upside-down car on fire. The scene of David Purley desperately trying to save his friend from the blaze is one of the most disturbing sights ever seen at a racing circuit. It is only fitting to remember the tribute paid by Donington Park owner Tom Wheatcroft with a bronze statue, created by Scottish sculptor David Annand and unveiled in the presence of Williamsonís sister, Barbara Upton, at the Donington Grand Prix Collection five years ago. Wheatcroft, who sponsored the Leceistershire driver’s career from Formula 3 onwards is convinced till today that Roger Williamson was an exceptional talent and has no doubt he would have become World Champion one day.

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