Our new database page will launch shortly.
Ken Richardson was Raymond Mays’ long-time chief mechanic since starting at ERA during the late 1930s. By 1949, Mays was immersed in plans for a new national team (British Racing Motors) and Richardson was once more in his employ.
Unhappy Grand Prix debut
While waiting for those plans to reach fruition, patron G.A.Vandervell acquired a Ferrari 125 which Mays drove in the 1949 British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Frustrated by the car’s evil handling during the race, Mays handed over to Richardson despite his little previous experience. That told on lap 82 when he lost control at the fast Abbey Curve and crashed into the crowd. Five onlookers were hit but thankfully without serious injury.
Richardson was BRM’s development driver and the much hyped but overly complicated machine finally made its GP debut in the 1951 British GP. Reg Parnell and Peter Walker finished in fifth and seventh positions respectively and the team entered Richardson for the Italian GP. He set the 10th quickest time in practice but was refused a licence to race at the last minute.
He joined Standard Triumph in 1952 and was instrumental in developing its TR2 sports car while also leading the company’s competition department. He raced a Triumph TR2 in the 1954 Mille Miglia and 1955 Le Mans 24 Hours – finishing 15th in the latter. During his 10 years with Triumph, the marque gained precious publicity through its success in European rallying.
Standard Triumph briefly closed its motorsport division at the end of 1961 so Richardson moved to TVR. He continued to compete from time-to-time but it was as an engineer and organiser that he contributed most to the sport and to his employers.