Tuesday 6th May 1958
Born on this day, Tommy Byrne, the 1982 British Formula Three Champion from Ireland who participated in five Formula One Grands Prix in 1982 with the backmarker Theodore team. He scored no championship points.
After performing well in Formula Ford in 1981, Byrne won the 1982 British Formula 3 Championship even though he was forced to miss some races while he competed in Formula One. At that time he also tested a McLaren Formula One car in October 1982 against Marlboro-backed Spirit Racing’s European F2 drivers like Stefan Johansson and Thierry Boutsen. After a brief return to Formula Three in 1983, Byrne moved to the United States and began racing in the American Racing Series in 1986 where he won ten races in 55 starts, both second place in the series record books. He also was the championship runner up in 1988 and 1989. He raced in the series until 1992 and then retired. Despite his extended career in the States, Byrne never made a Champ Car start. He currently lives in Florida, but teaches Honda Teen/Adult Defensive Driving, Advanced Defensive Driving, Acura High Performance and Acura Advanced Performance Driving during the race season at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. He is also a driver coach for Indy Lights team Brian Stewart Racing.
He has a book co-authored with Mark Hughes and released in the UK on 8 August 2008, Crashed and Byrned: The Greatest Racing Driver You Never Saw. This book then went on to win the William Hill Irish Sports Book of the Year for 2009.