- December 26, 1936
- September 27, 2010
- United Kingdom
- Not Active
- Lotus,British Racing Partnership
Trevor Taylor (1936-2010) was a British racing driver who recorded 27 starts in the Formula One World Championship between 1961 and 1966, scoring one podium when he was second at 1962 Dutch Grand Prix.
British Formula 3 champion early in a career
Born in Sheffield, as a son of the garage owner from Rotherham, Taylor started his racing career in 1956 driving a Cooper 500. The first success came in 1958 when Taylor was the British Formula 3 champion.
In 1959, Taylor was driving a Cooper T51-Climax F2 car in different competitions, including his maiden Formula 1 attempt. In July 1959, he tried to qualify for the British Grand Prix at Aintree Circuit but he was too slow.
Formula Junior champion in 1961
For 1960, Taylor received an invitation to run his Lotus 18 as a second works car in the Formula Junior, finishing equal in points with champion Jim Clark, who was already an accomplished Formula 1 driver.
Outside Formula Junior championship, Taylor managed to win the Formula 2 Crystal Palace Trophy and finished third at Monaco Grand Prix. Taylor spent one more season in the Formula Junior, winning the championship title in 1961.
1961 – Formula 1 debut and class victory at Le Mans
The season 1961 was a milestone year for Taylor as he made a debut in the Formula 1 World Championship but also at 24 Hours of Le Mans. In May, he participated in the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort as a replacement for injured Innes Ireland, finishing 13th in the #16 Lotus 18. Over the year, Taylor participated in nine non-championship F1 races, finishing best in the second place at Rand Grand Prix in South Africa.
In June 1961, Taylor made a debut at Le Mans 24 Hours, taking the class victory in his first attempt. He and Bill Allen were sharing the #38 Lotus Elite, finishing 12th overall and the first in the GT1.3 class.
Podium at 1962 F1 Dutch Grand Prix
At the end of 1961, Taylor has been signed as a full-time driver for Team Lotus in the 1962 Formula 1 World Championship. Driving the #5 Lotus 24-Climax, he reached a podium in the season-opening Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort, behind Graham Hill (BRM).
Later in the season, Taylor recorded five DNFs. He finished 8th at the French Grand Prix and British Grand Prix. At the end of the season, he was 10th in the final classification with six points on his account.
Three wins in Formula 1 non-championship races in 1962
During 1962, Taylor participated in more than ten non-championship F1 races, scoring three wins and two more podiums. In January, he won the Cape Grand Prix at Killarney circuit in South Africa.
The next win came in November in Mexico when he and Jim Clark were sharing a car in the Mexican Grand Prix at Magdalena Mixhuca circuit. The event was marred by the death during a practice of local driving Ricardo Rodríguez. The circuit would later be renamed the Autodromo Hermanos Rodríguez to honor him and his brother Pedro.
The third win of the year came in December in South Africa when Taylor triumphed at Natal Grand Prix at Westmead Circuit.
In the sports car racing, Taylor scored few GT2.0 class wins in national events with Lotus Elite. He and Jim Clark participated at Nurburgring 1000 Km in a Lotus 23, not finishing the race.
Four non-championship podiums in the 1963 F1 season
Taylor had been confirmed as Lotus driver for the 1963 Formula 1 season. His only point-scoring finish was at the Monaco Grand Prix where he was driving the #10 Lotus 25-Climax. Later in the season, he finished 8th at Nürburgring Nordschleife and South African East London circuit.
Taylor was more successful in non-championship races, scoring four podiums in a Lotus 25. He was second at Pau Grand Prix and Kanonloppet in Sweden. He finished third at Aintree 200 races and BRDC International Trophy at Silverstone.
In the sports car racing, Taylor participated in a class victory at Nurburgring 1000 Km, sharing a Lotus Elite with David Hobbs, John Wagstaff and Gil Baird.
1964 - last Formula 1 season with British Racing Partnership
Lotus team owner Colin Chapman suggested Taylor to take a sabbatical from Grand Prix racing in 1964 but he didn't want to do that. He joined British Racing Partnership instead, spending a full season with the team in three different cars (BRP Mk I, BRP Mk II and Lotus 24), all powered by BRM engines.
Taylor's best championship result in 1964 was the sixth place at the US Grand Prix at Watkins Glen. In the non-championship races, he managed to score one podium, finishing third at the 1st News of the World Trophy at Goodwood Circuit. At the end of the season, Taylor withdrew from Formula 1 racing.
Season in the British Sportscar Championship
In 1965, Taylor switched his focus on British Sportscar Championship. He was driving an Aurora-BMC in few rounds and then Lotus 30-Ford. His best result was the second place in the Senior Service Silverstone Grand Prix.
He also participated in some Formula 2 events in France, driving a Brabham BT16-Cosworth for Aurora Gear Racing.
Unsuccessful one-off Formula 1 return in 1966
In July 1966, Taylor recorded a one-off return to Formula World Championship. He was driving the #23 Shannon-Climax for Aiden Jones and Paul Emery in the British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch. He was 18th in the starting grid but didn't see much of the race, retiring due to engine failure in the opening lap.
Taylor had the similar experience in his Daytona 24 Hours debut in February 1967, where he was driving the #58 Porsche 906 together with Tony Dean. They were 23rd qualifiers but didn't start the race because of technical problems.
British F5000 vice-champion in 1969
In 1968, Taylor had few successful starts in a Lotus 47 in national sports car races and he scored a podium in the European Touring Car Challenge round at Nürburgring Nordschleife in a Broadspeed's Ford Escort 1300 GT.
In 1969, he participated full season in the inaugural Formula 5000 British Championship, scoring four wins in a Surtees TS5-Chevrolet to finish second in the championship, behind Peter Gethin. Taylor spent two more years in the same competition, finishing seventh in the points in 1970 and ninth in 1971. He ended a career with three starts in the 1972 European F5000 Championship.