8. Tyrell 010

S1886 Tyrrell 010 No.4 South African GP 1981 – Desire Wilson

Today no single F1-pilot enters a car before having tested it extensively. In the Eighties in the case of Desiré Wilson it was completely different. The South African born should have piloted a Brabham at her home GP. But the deal failed. Instead she got a phone call from Ken Tyrrell. He offered her a free cockpit as well as the regular driver Eddie Cheever. On Wednesday before the race Wilson take a seat in the Tyrrell 010 for the first time – for a try-out. The first laps she did in the free training on Thursday morning. In doing so, she was turning around already two times. But Ken Tyrrell tried to calm her down: “The car is slower than you can drive it.” The encouraging words gave a strong impetus to Wilson. For the qualifying she was placed 16th, only 0.6 seconds behind Cheever. The evening before the race the local hero should have had to keep an appointment where also the main sponsor Deutz, a company which is producing tractors and which was financing the operation in South Africa, should have participated. But the couple Wilson was driving around in Johannesburg – searching for a launderette. Desiré wanted to clean her race suite before the most important race of her career. The race day, a Saturday, was rainy. Tyrrell was worried; already during the warm-up. But Wilson put up a good show. In the race she did two mistakes. At the start she stalled the engine what set her back to the end of the field. And when she wanted to give way for Nelson Piquet for his lap, she came too far to the outside of the Leeukop-bend, turned around and smashed backwards in the crash barrier. However, until her failure the South African racing driver was really fast with the car. She also overtook Eddie Cheever, what he didn’t like at all. If the probably fastest formula 1 lady had found 100 000 pound she could have finished the season together with Tyrrell, but it ended up with this one GP. And because this one was cancelled from the world championship schedule after the season by the two parties FOCA (Formula One Constructors Association) and FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile), Wilson is not mentioned in any GP-statistics…

S1886 S1886 S1886 S1886 S1886 S1886 S1886 S1886


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s