“Tony Robinson: race mechanic” biography reviewed

F1 review

Customer car teams are a thing of the past in Formula One, and that is perhaps something to be regretted.

British Racing Partnership was one such outfit and this new book on Tony Robinson covers their brief time in the sport. Stirling Moss’s father Alfred and manager Ken Gregory set up the team in 1958 and Robinson was appointed chief mechanic.

They competed in championship and non-championship Grands Prix until 1963. By that time Robinson had begun designing and building the team’s own monocoques intended to replace the chassis bought from the likes of Lotus and Cooper.

But the team left the sport following a dispute with the newly-formed Formula One Constructors’ Association over start money.

This extensively illustrated book follows the team’s development over the following seasons, amply supported by quotes from Robinson.

There are some amusing anecdotes about the various escapades Robinson and various drivers mechanics enjoyed along the way.

But as is always the case with books about this period in motor racing history, there are several reminders of the toll the sport took on those who competed in it. Harry Schell and Chris Bristow were among those who lost their lives driving for BRP.

And it was Robinson who extracted Stirling Moss from his shattered car following his career-ending crash at Goodwood in 1962, delicately sawing the metalwork to avoid creating a spark that might have ignited the growing pool of petrol.

Motor racing literature is a niche area to begin with and the appeal of books about less well-known figures is always going to be limited. But if you’re particularly interested in this period of F1 racing this title is certainly worth seeking out.

F1 Fanatic rating

Rating three out of five

Buy Tony Robinson: The Biography of a Race Mechanic (UK)

Buy Tony Robinson: The Biography of a Race Mechanic (USA)

Tony Robinson: The biography of a race mechanic

Author: Ian Wagstaff
Publisher: Veloce
Published: 2012
Price: ??24.99
ISBN: 9781845842307


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1 comment on “Tony Robinson: race mechanic” biography reviewed

  1. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 30th September 2012, 14:07

    Another one to add to my Christmas wishlist. Thanks for the review, Keith.

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