Saturday 11th June 1949
Born on this day, Tom Pryce, British racing driver from Wales, famous for winning the Brands Hatch Race of Champions, a non-championship Formula One race, in 1975 and for the circumstances surrounding his death.
Pryce is the only Welsh driver to have won a Formula One race and is also the only Welshman to lead a Formula One World Championship Grand Prix: two laps of the 1975 British Grand Prix.
Pryce started his career in Formula One with the small Token team, making his only start for them at the 1974 Belgian Grand Prix. Shortly after an impressive performance at the Formula Three support race for the 1974 Monaco Grand Prix, Pryce joined the Shadow team and scored his first points in Germany in only his fourth race. Pryce later claimed two podium finishes, his first in Austria in 1975 and the second in Brazil a year later. Pryce was considered by his team as a great wet weather driver. During the practice session for the 1977 South African GP, run in wet conditions, Pryce was faster than everyone, including world champion drivers Niki Lauda and James Hunt. Pryce’s third full season at Shadow was cut short by his fatal accident at the 1977 South African Grand Prix, where he collided at high speed with safety marshal Frederik Jansen Van Vuuren, who was also killed in the accident.
In 2007, it was announced that a statue of Pryce would be erected in his home town of Ruthin by the local council to mark the 30th anniversary of his death. On 23 January 2008, the Trust Fund members met in the Ruthin Castle Hotel, under the chairmanship of David Richards (Prodrive), to discuss the progress of the intended memorial to be placed in Upper Clwyd Street in Ruthin. The memorial was unveiled on 11 June 2009.