Tommy Bridger

Tommy Bridger

24/6/1924 - 30/7/1991

Successful 500cc F3 driver who competed in one Grand Prix, Morocco in 1958 where he crashed.

Thomas Bridger was born in Woolmer Green, Hertfordshire, he started racing in the highly competetive 500cc Formula 3 category with a Cooper in 1953. He switched to a Kieft-Norton in 1954 which he campaigned for the rest of the year and most of the next, starting to put in some respectable performances.

Toward the end of 1955 he bought a Cooper Mk IX in which he enjoyed considerable success and in 1957 he sharing the BRSCC F3 Championship with Jim Russell.

In 1958, as well as his F3 racing, Tommy tried his hand at Formula 2, finishing second on aggregate in the minor Crystal Palace Trophy race and eighth in the Coupe de Vitesse at Reims.

In F3 he took a number of wins but lost out in the Championsip to Trevor Taylor.

In June Bridger raced at Le Mans with Peter Blond in a Tojeiro-Climax but retired after 83 laps with rear axle failure. He raced at the 23rd R.A.C. Tourist Trophy, Goodwood in September driving with Alan Foster in an MGA Twin Cam finishing third in class. Tommy also raced a Borgward Isabella in saloon car events.

On the 19th October, he entered the Moroccan Grand Prix at Ain-Diab driving the British Racing Partnership Formula 2 Cooper-Climax T4. However on the 29th lap he was involved in a big crash with François Picard and Olivier Gendebien. Tony Brooks' Vanwall had deposited oil on the track and Gendebien spun his Ferrari Dino 246 which was then hit by Picard and Bridger. All three car caught fire and though Gendebien and Bridger sustained only light injuries, Picard was taken to hospital and remained incapacitated for six months. It was his and Bridgers only Formula 1 race and though Picard never raced again, Bridger returned to the circuits back in F3 the following year winning nine races, 5 of them championship rounds, in his faithful Cooper-Norton but losing out in the title race to Don Parker.

In 1960 Bridger raced a third works Lotus Formula Junior at the British Grand Prix meeting.

F3 Wins

1955

Peterborough MC II (GB) Silverstone (Sep 10)
North Staffs MC (GB) Silverstone (Oct 8)

1956

  • MRC Snetterton (Mar 25)
  • North Staffs MC Oulton Park (Jun 9)
1957

  • BARC Crystal Palace (Aug 5)
  • Sporting Record Trophy  Brands Hatch (Oct 6)

1958

  • Crystal Palace (May 25)
  • Lewis-Evans Trophy Brands Hatch (Aug 30)
  • Mid-Cheshire MRC Oulton Park (Sep 20)
  • BARC Goodwood (Sep 27)
  • World's Sports Trophy Brands Hatch (Oct 5)
1959

  • Snetterton (Apr 19)
  • Redex Trophy Crystal Palace (May 18)
  • Mallory Park (Jun 28)
  • Lewis-Evans Trophy I Brands Hatch (Aug 3)
  • Lewis-Evans Trophy II Brands Hatch (Aug 3)
  • Commander Yorke Trophy Silverstone (Aug 8)
  • MRC Snetterton (Sep 6)
  • World Sports Trophy Brands Hatch (Oct 4)
  • Junior Race Brands Hatch (Oct 4)

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