Date of birth: 4 April, 1940 – Wolverhampton, Staffordshire
Richard Attwood starting racing in a Triumph TR3 in 1960. In 1961, he switched to the single seater Formula Junior category.
He sprang to international prominence by winning the 1963 Monaco Formula Junior race in a Lola entered by the Midland Racing Partnership, a group of enthusiastic racers from the eponymous central region of the UK who banded together to go racing. During the year, Richard also made his Le Mans debut in a Lola, but his impressive single seater results led to him receiving the Grovewood Award as Britain’s most promising young driver.
He had some success in 1964 in Formula 2 with a win at Aspern in Austria and had a contract with Ford, racing a Shelby Cobra at the Nürburgring and a Ford GT at Le Mans.
In 1965, Richard drove for the Parnell team in a Formula 1 Lotus-BRM in eight Grands Prix.
In 1967, he appeared in Formula 1 just once at the wheel of a Cooper-Maserati in the Canadian Grand Prix and then joined the works BRM team in 1968, replacing Mike Spence, who had been killed at Indianapolis. The highlight of his season was a superb chase to second place and fastest lap at Monaco behind Graham Hill’s winning Lotus.
Richard returned to Monaco in 1969 to finish fourth for Team Lotus as a stand-in for Jochen Rindt who had been injured in the Spanish Grand Prix. This was the end of Attwood’s F1 career, but a new future dawned with a Porsche factory contract to race sports cars.
Richard drove the 908 to second place with Vic Elford in the BOAC 500 at Brands Hatch, and at Le Mans made his debut in the then-new 917. He and Elford were leading by six laps with just four hours to go when the gearbox broke.
The next year, everything fell perfectly into place for Richard to score the famous first victory for Porsche in the French 24 Hours race, partnered with Hans Herrmann, in the red and white Porsche Salzburg 917.
Following this success, Richard spent the summer working on the iconic Steve McQueen moive
Le Mans, posing as the famous actor’s double in many of the driving sequences.
In 1971, Richard finished second at Le Mans in a John Wyer Automotive team Porsche 917 shared with Herbert Müller, and won the
Österreichring 1000 kms with Pedro Rodriguez.
Richard retired from the sport in 1971, but was tempted back to Le Mans in 1984 with the Aston Martin Nimrod team.
Today, Richard is active in Historic motorsports in his own F1 BRM P261 single-seater, and works at the Porsche Experience Centre Silverstone as a Driving Consultant. He will also be driving the Porsche Cars GB ‘Project 50’ Historic 911 and sharing a 917 once more with Hans Herrmann at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Richard will also race the ‘Project 50’ 911 at the Silverstone Classic on 26-28 July.