Formula One: Statue of Tom Pryce who died in 1977 Grand Prix

Formula 1

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Tom Pryce rose quickly through the motor racing ranks after his talent was spotted

A statue of a Formula One driver who died in a Grand Prix 42 years ago is being planned for his hometown.

On what would have been Tom Pryce’s 70th birthday, an appeal was launched to raise £50,000 for the artwork in Denbigh.

Pryce, known as Maldwyn to friends, died in an accident during the 1977 South African Grand Prix.

There is already a mural in Ruthin and a stretch of the Anglesey Circuit is called the Tom Pryce Straight.

It is hoped a permanent memorial can now be created in Denbigh, inspiring future generations to follow their dreams.

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Tom Pryce was 27 when he died

“He was a hero of mine and I was passionate about motor racing because of Tom, and I followed his career closely,” said his friend Dave Jones.

“His death was a terrible tragedy and a great loss.

“He was flying in terms of his career as a Formula One driver and I’m sure he would have been world champion.”

After leaving school, Pryce became an apprentice tractor mechanic.

But he always had a burning ambition to be a racing driver and moved swiftly up the ranks, earning fame for winning the Formula One Race of Champions at Brands Hatch in 1975.

While this did not count towards the world championship, it attracted a high quality field.

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The driver gained two podium finishes during his short career

He started the British Grand Prix that year in pole position and led the field for two laps, and came third in the 1975 Austrian and 1976 Brazilian grand prix.

Among the main drivers of the statue appeal is businessman Mario Kreft.

He said: “The strap line of the campaign, #whatsyourdream, is perfect because Tom went from being an apprentice tractor mechanic to Formula One racing in a very short space of time.

“It’s a wonderful story and Tom has clearly not been forgotten but I think he’s probably not had the recognition he deserves.”

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