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Tony Brooks passes away: the story of the 'racing dentist' from Dukinfield

Tony Brooks passes away: the story of the 'racing dentist' from Dukinfield

04-05-2022 06:51 Last update: 19:03

At the age of 90, Tony Brooks has died. The British Formula One driver was the last surviving race winner from the 1950s.

Born on February 25, 1932 in Dukinfield, Brooks grew up as the son of a dentist and learned that trade himself. Soon, however, Brooks turned out to have a talent for something completely different and that was racing. His nickname the "racing dentist" stuck, however. At the age of 20, he started racing in 1952, including races in a Healey and a Frazer Nash.

Talent from England

In 1955, Brooks made his first appearance in a Formula 2 car in the Grand Prix of Crystal Palace, which didn't count for the world championship. The Briton finished fourth in his home country and repeated the feat in the London Telegraph Trophy. Connaught Engineering provided him with an F1 car for the Syracuse Grand Prix and he won the race immediately.

In 1956, the Cheshire man made his debut in the official F1 championship for Owen Racing Organisation. However, finishing a race or let alone scoring points with the BRM P25 was not possible. In 1957 he made the switch to Vandervell Products and that proved to be a success. In the Vanwall, he came second at the Monaco Grand Prix and won the British GP at the Aintree circuit. He finished fifth in the standings that year.

Almost a world title

In 1958, Brooks came even closer to a first title. He won three races in Belgium, Germany, and Italy, but five retirements prevented him from really having a shot at the title. In 1959 Brooks came even closer, finishing second in the championship, four points behind Jack Brabham. Brooks won races in France and Germany on behalf of Ferrari and also drove the British GP for Vandervell during the season.

The German GP would prove to be the last victory for Brooks, who in 1960 and 1961 continued to race for Yeoman Credit Racing Team, Owen Racing Organisation and Vandervell, but failed to win again. In his last race in 1961, he did finish on the podium with a third place in his last F1 appearance. Brooks died on May 4, 2022.

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