27/8/1942 - 12/1/2020
Started as a mechanic, he raced touring cars before moving to single seaters. Raced in F5000 for a number of years and became Denmark's first World Championship Grand Prix driver. Tom Belso died 2 years ago, he was 78 , He would have been 80.
Tom Belso started out working as a mechanic, his meticulous preparation was rewarded by the chance to race the Volvo on which he had worked. Tom was a winner first time out and by 1969, driving a Ford Escort and went on to win the Scandinavian saloon car championship. This success led to a test and subsequent drive in Formula Ford with Hawke in 1970.
In 1971 he deceided to sell up and move his family to England so that he could compete in Yellow Pages British Formula Atlantic championship. He finished third in the championship with an old Brabham BT28 behind Vern Schuppan.
He entered European Formula 2 in 1972 under the Team Viking Brabham starting out with his Brabham BT28 now with a Ford BDA engine he upgraded to a BT38 improving steadily as the year progressed, finishing the season with a fourth place at Albi.
He caught the eye of Jackie Epstein and in 1973 he raced a Lola T330 Chevrolet for his Shellsport F5000 team, taking part in the Race of Champions and the International Trophy in which he finished seventh and eighth. He drove for Epstein for three seasons. During this time he became Denmark's first racing driver to compete in a World Championship Grand Prix when he qualified a Williams for the Swedish GP but could not start the race because money did not arrive.
He tried to qualify a Williams on four occasions in 1974 but was successful only in South Africa and Sweden.
Lack of finance curtailed his racing activities for 1976 but he was back in F5000 in 1977 with John Jordan's Lola.
In 1977 he founded Belso cereals producing a range of traditionally blended fruit & nut muesli’s and later adding an extensive selection of baked crunchy oat based cereals. They were the first company to bring this style of baking to Scandinavia and it proved extremely successful.
Tom decided to sell the business in 2005 to Bokomo Foods UK Ltd as he wanted to dedicate more time to family life.
He lives in Cambridgeshire, and very occasionally returns to the tracks in historic meetings, such as in 2001 when he raced a Volvo Amazon 122S in the Goodwood revival meeting.
On 12 January 2020 Belsø died after a battle with stomach cancer, he was 77 years old.