Timothy Richard “Tiff” Needell

Monday 29th October 1951

Born on this day, Timothy Richard “Tiff” Needell, a British former racing driver and TV presenter. Tiff fought his way up to Japanese Formula 2 when he got his chance in F1 with Ensign where he drove two races in 1980. Needell made his first appearance at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1981 driving an Ibec-Hesketh 308LM alongside Tony Trimmer. In 1985 Needell briefly led the 24 hours driving the Aston Martin EMKA C84/1 and would eventually finish 11th. His best result at Le Mans was 3rd in 1990. Needell is best known in the United Kingdom as a television host and motoring journalist, in particular in association with the BBC TV series Top Gear which he started co-hosting in 1987. In 2001, when the BBC cancelled Top Gear (the show was brought back in 2002), Needell and the whole cast defected and signed with Five to produce and host a new motoring show named Fifth Gear. In 2009 he appeared on James May’s Toy Stories featuring the building of a Scalextric around Brooklands. On September 22, 2013, Needell co-starred in Tommy Kendall’s Fox Sports 1 show, Driven – A Race Without Boundaries.

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