Richard Attwood was born in Wolverhampton, Staffordshire. An apprentice at Jaguar, he started racing in 1960 at the wheel of a Triumph TR3 moving into single seaters in 1961 in Formula Junior at club level with the Midland Racing Partnership.
In 1963 he drove a Mk5A Lola-Ford, winning the FJ race in Monaco that year and a Grovewood Award.
For 1964 he had a couple of rnon-championship races for BRM, finishing fourth in the News of the World Trophy at Goodwood. He was due to drive the experimental 4WD BRM P67 at the British GP but the car was withdrawn and the project shelved, thought he car went on to have a successful career in hillclimbs.
He continued racing for the MRP in Formula 2 and turned in some excellent performances, most notably a win at Aspern in the Vienna GP, and second place at Pau behind Jim Clark. He also finished second in the Eifelrennen and at Albi.
He was also part of the Ford sports-prototype team driving the P68.
He joined Parnell Racing in 1965 driving their Lotus 25-BRM finishing in the points on two occasions with sixth place in both the Italian and Mexican GPs. Continuing in F2, he was again second at Pau and won the Rome GP at Vallelunga and in sports cars he began a long and successful partnership with David Piper, ending the season with a win in the Rand 9 Hours in Piper’s Ferrari 365 P2.
In the 1966 Tasman series he drove for BRM, winning the Gold Leaf Trophy race at Levin and once again raced in F2 and sports cars, winning the Rand 9 Hours race for a second time.
1967 started with another successful fpray in the Tasman series, taking two seconds and two thirds in his four starts, however his only other single seater drive that year was in a works Cooper at Mosport.
After Mike Spence was tragically killed at Indianapolis in May 1968, Attwood replaced him at BRM. His first race at Monaco saw him put in an amazing drive to finish second behind Graham Hill's Lotus, posting the fastest lap on the way. Unfortunately subsequent performances were not so impressive and he was released from his contract after the German GP and returning to sports car racing.
In 1969 he was brought in by Lotus for Monaco to cover for Rindt who was recovering from an injury. And though he scored a fine fourth place, it was the end of his Formula One career. Though he did drive an F2 Brabham for Frank Williams, finishing sixth (second in class) in the German Grand Prix later in the year.
That year saw him race a works Porsche for the first time, driving a 908 Spyder with Vic Elford to second in the BOAC 500 at Brands Hatch.
Now concentrating on sports cars he scored his greatest triumph in 1970, winning Le Mans in a Porsche 917 with Hans Herrmann. They also finished second at the Nürburgring 1000 Km.
In 1971 he drove the John Wyer Gulf Porsche to victory in the Österreichring 1000 Km driving with Pedro Rodriguez and finishing second at Le Mans with Müller.
He retired at the end of the season to concentrate on his business interests.
He did make the occasional return to racing in the eighties, mainly in historic racing usually driving a 917, however he did race the Aston Martin Nimrod at Le Mans in 1984.