Brian Henton

Brian Henton

19/9/1946

Henton won both 1974 British Formula Three Championships, and the Formula Two championship in 1980. He participated in 38 Formula One grands prix, debuting on July 19, 1975, but never scored any championship points.

Brian came from a modest council house in Castle Donington, Leicestershire, England. He was a motorcycle dealer who started racing saloon cars at the age of 23. In 1970 he moved into Formula Vee and won British Formula Vee championship in 1971 winning 14 races, and announced that he was going to be World Champion. He moved to Super Vee in 1972 and was second in the British series.

He graduated to Formula 3 in 1972 with his own GRD. Howver he ran out of money but fortunately had been spotted by Ensign boss Mo Nunn, who gave him several races in a woks Ensign. He then joined the works March F3 team for 1974, winning both British Formula Three Championships, the Lombard and Forward Trust championships.

In 1975 he moved up to Formula 2 with March but got an opportunity to drive for Lotus when Ickx retired. However the team were in turmoil. The 72 was uncompetitive and its replacement, the 76, was also a failure. 1976 was not much better. He drove a Wheatcroft-Abarth F2 car and set up his own F1 team, the British Formula 1 Racing Team, with a March 761, which he raced in British events and a number of World Championship races.

Once again the cash ran out and after driving a Boro at Zandvoort and Monza he dropped back into F2 in 1978. In 1979 he joined the new Toleman team and finished runner-up in a Ralt. Then in 1980 he won the title in a Toleman-Hart designed by Rory Byrne.

Toleman then decided to move into F1 with a turbo version of the engine and a new chassis but the car was overweight and underdeveloped, and Henton failed to qualify on all but one occasion in Italy.

Dropped by Toleman in 1982, he did a few races for Arrows when Surer was injured before switching to Tyrrell in place of Slim Borgudd..

In 1983, without a budget, he only raced once at the Race of Champions in a Theodore. He then announced his retirement.

Brian opened a car dealership and got involved in property development. He also diversified into other areas, notably engineering and, since 2001, very successful kart tracks in Loughborough and Gateshead.

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