Token Racing

Last updated

Token F1 Logo.png
Full nameToken Racing
Base United Kingdom
Founder(s)Tony Vlassopulos
Ken Grob
Noted drivers Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Tom Pryce
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg David Purley
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Ian Ashley
Formula One World Championship career
First entry 1974 Belgian Grand Prix
Races entered4
Race victories 0
Pole positions 0
Fastest laps 0
Final entry 1974 Austrian Grand Prix

Token Racing was a short-lived Formula One team and constructor from the United Kingdom, participating in four Grands Prix of the 1974 Formula One season.


Token's history effectively began in 1971. Ron Dennis was trying to find sponsorship for his Rondel Racing team. Through Ron's then-girlfriend, who was the daughter of John Phelps, director of Phelps Antique Furniture in Twickenham, one of its regular customers, Tony Vlassopulos, a barrister son of a Greek shipowner, was asked to sponsor Rondel.

Vlassopulos asked his friend, Ken Grob, chairman of Alexander Howden, insurance brokers in London, if he was interested in joining in. Grob said yes, on the proviso that his young son Ian Grob could be part of the team, which was agreed upon. From that moment forward, Tony Vlassopulos became Dennis's first sponsor. [1]

In late 1973 Rondel Racing, by now a successful Formula Two team founded by Ron Dennis and Neil Trundle, decided to enter F1. Dennis asked Ray Jessop to design the car, while backing was to come from the French oil company Motul, which had sponsored the team for the previous two years, in addition to Vlassopulos and Grob. For 1974, a Ray Jessop-designed F1 car was planned, but the energy crisis affected Motul's support. However, the funds were, in fact, not available to support a F1 leap, even with Motul involved. Trundle continued with the already-designed car from Jessop; Vlassopulos and Grob took over the ownership, with the car becoming the Token, the "To" and the "Ken" coming from the backers' first names and the RJ02 in honour of Jessop. [1]

The team made its F1 debut in April 1974 at the non-Championship International Trophy race at Silverstone, with Welshman Tom Pryce at the wheel. Its first Championship race came the following month, at the Belgian Grand Prix, where Pryce qualified 20th but retired at three-quarter distance following a collision with Jody Scheckter's Tyrrell. The team entered the next race at Monaco but was forbidden from taking part on the basis of Pryce's supposed inexperience, prompting the Welshman to move to the Shadow team. However, upset by this, Vlassopulos took out his Formula 3 racer, Buzz Buzaglo, and then put in Pryce, who then competed in the Formula 3 race for Ippokampos Racing, Vlassopulos' Formula 3 concern, and subsequently won the race.

After sitting out the next three races, Token reappeared at the British Grand Prix with David Purley in place of Pryce. But after failing to qualify, Purley left and was replaced by fellow Englishman Ian Ashley. At the Nürburgring for the next race in Germany, Ashley qualified 26th and last, and ran as high as 8th before a tyre problem dropped him to 14th at the end. Then in Austria, Ashley qualified 24th, but finished unclassified after more wheel problems.

By this stage, however, the team had run out of money, and Vlassopulos and Grob closed it down. The RJ02 subsequently passed into the hands of the Safir Engineering company.

Complete Formula One World Championship results


Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Tom Pryce 42Ret
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg David Purley DNQ
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Ian Ashley 3214

Related Research Articles

McLaren Racing Limited is a British motor racing team based at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, Surrey, England. McLaren is best known as a Formula One constructor, the second oldest active team, and the second most successful Formula One team after Ferrari, having won 183 races, 12 Drivers' Championships and 8 Constructors' Championships. McLaren also has a history of competing in American open wheel racing, as both an entrant and a chassis constructor, and has won the Canadian-American Challenge Cup (Can-Am) sports car racing championship. The team is a subsidiary of the McLaren Group, which owns a majority of the team.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ron Dennis</span> British businessman (born 1947)

Ronald Dennis CBE is a British businessman and Official British Business Ambassador for the United Kingdom. He is best known for his former role as owner, CEO, chairman and founder of McLaren Group. Dennis was removed from his McLaren management roles in 2016 but remained a director of the company and a 25% shareholder until June 2017, when his 37-year association with the company ended.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tom Pryce</span> British racing driver

Thomas Maldwyn Pryce was a British racing driver from Wales known for winning the Brands Hatch Race of Champions, a non-championship Formula One race, in 1975 and for the circumstances surrounding his death. Pryce is the only Welsh driver to have won a Formula One race and is also the only Welshman to lead a Formula One World Championship Grand Prix: two laps of the 1975 British Grand Prix.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Peter Revson</span> American race car driver (1939-1974)

Peter Jeffrey Revson was an American race car driver and heir to the Revlon cosmetics fortune. He was a two-time Formula One race winner and had success at the Indianapolis 500.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Renzo Zorzi</span> Italian racing driver

Renzo Zorzi was a racing driver from Italy who participated in seven Formula One Grands Prix between 1975 and 1977, for the Williams and Shadow teams. He began in Formula Three while working with Pirelli before progressing to Formula One. He later raced in sports cars before returning to work with Pirelli, running a driving school. He is the only driver from the province of Trentino to have competed in Formula One.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2003 British Grand Prix</span> Motor car race

The 2003 British Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on 20 July 2003 at the Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Northamptonshire, England. It was the eleventh round of the 2003 Formula One season. The 60-lap race was won by Rubens Barrichello driving for Ferrari after starting from pole position. Juan Pablo Montoya finished second in a Williams car, and Kimi Räikkönen third driving for McLaren.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hesketh Racing</span> Formula One racing team

Hesketh Racing was a Formula One constructor from the United Kingdom, which competed from 1973 to 1978. The team competed in 52 World Championship Grands Prix, winning one and achieving eight further podium finishes. Its best placing in the World Constructors' Championship was fourth in 1975. Hesketh gave James Hunt his Formula One debut and he brought the team most of its success. Alan Jones also began his Formula One career in a privately entered Hesketh.

Connew Racing Team, commonly known as Connew, was a short lived British Formula One constructor. Founded in 1971 by Peter Connew, the team constructed a single car, the PC1. The first monococque had to be aborted due to a change in regulations and the second tub was known as PC2. However, record books show the car driven by Migault and others as PC1. The intent was to compete in the Formula One World Championship in 1972, but a lack of financial and technical resources meant that the car only managed to start in one championship race, the 1972 Austrian Grand Prix, with French driver François Migault at the wheel. Following the Austrian race, the car competed in a handful of non-championship races before being converted to meet Formula 5000 specifications for the 1973 season. The chassis was damaged beyond repair during the season finale at Brands Hatch and the team closed.

Max Jean is a French former racing driver who won the Formule France championship in 1968. In addition to numerous Formula Two and Formula Three entries, Jean participated in one Formula One Grand Prix, driving a March for Frank Williams Racing Cars in his home race on 4 July 1971. He scored no championship points.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">David Purley</span> British racing driver

David Charles Purley, GM was a British racing driver born in Bognor Regis, West Sussex, who participated in 11 Formula One World Championship Grands Prix, debuting at Monaco in 1973.

Theodore Racing was a Formula One constructor from Hong Kong founded by real estate magnate and millionaire Teddy Yip. They participated in 51 grands prix, entering a total of 64 cars.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Shadow Racing Cars</span> Sports organization

Shadow Racing Cars was a Formula One and sports car racing team, founded and initially based in the United States although later Formula One operations were run from the British base in Northampton. The team held an American licence from 1973 to 1975 and a British licence from 1976 to 1980, thus becoming the first constructor to officially change its nationality. Their only F1 victory, at the 1977 Austrian Grand Prix, was achieved as a British team.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tony Trimmer</span>

Anthony Hugh Leigh Trimmer is a British former racing driver from England, who won the Shell British Formula Three Championship and E.R. Hall Trophy in 1970. He was born in Maidenhead, Berkshire.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Frank Williams Racing Cars</span> Formula One racing team

Frank Williams Racing Cars was a British Formula One team and constructor.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">1975 Race of Champions</span> Motor car race

The 1975 Race of Champions was a non-championship Formula One race held at Brands Hatch on 16 March 1975. Weather conditions were inhospitable, with strong winds, heavy rain and even snow showers during the weekend.

Rondel Racing was a British racing team that competed in the Formula Two series between 1971 and 1973. The team was founded by two ex-Brabham mechanics Ron Dennis and Neil Trundle. Rondel won five European Championship races before being forced to close down in 1973 due to a number of factors including lack of money, loss of Motul support and NatWest Bank calling in a £5,000 overdraft over a workshop floor installed by Dennis.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">John Watson (racing driver)</span> British racing driver

John Marshall Watson, is a British former racing driver and current commentator from Northern Ireland. He competed in Formula One, winning five Grands Prix and was third in the 1982 championship. He also competed in the World Sportscar Championship finishing second in the 1987 championship. After his retirement from motorsport, he became a commentator for Eurosport's coverage of Formula One from 1989 to 1996. He currently commentates on the GT World Challenge Europe and commentated on the 2022 Miami F1 Grand Prix for F1TV.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Shadow DN3</span>

The Shadow DN3 was a Formula One car used by the Shadow team during the 1974 Formula One season. It also appeared twice during the early stages of the 1975 Formula One season in an updated DN3B form. Designed by former BRM engineer Tony Southgate, the best finish achieved in a DN3 was Jean-Pierre Jarier's third place at the Monaco Grand Prix.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Shadow DN5</span>

The Shadow DN5 was a Formula One car used by the Shadow team during the 1975 Formula One season. Updated to a 'B' specification, it was used through the 1976 Formula One season and for the first two races of the following season. It was qualified on pole position three times, and twice achieved a fastest lap in a race. Its best finish in a race was third (twice), both times driven by Tom Pryce.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">McLaren MCL32</span> McLaren Formula One car

The McLaren MCL32 is a Formula One racing car designed and constructed by McLaren to compete in the 2017 FIA Formula One World Championship. The car was driven by two-time World Drivers' Champion Fernando Alonso, who stayed with the team for a third season; and Stoffel Vandoorne, who joined the team after Jenson Button retired from full-time competition at the end of the 2016 season.


  1. 1 2 Brown, Allen. "Tony Vlassopulos". Retrieved 21 August 2018.