Robert Kenneth “Ken” Tyrrell, the founder of the Tyrrell Formula One constructor and a British Formula Two racing driver, was born on this day in 1924 in East Horsley, Surrey, England. In 1952 he began racing a Norton-powered Cooper in 500 cc Formula 3. In 1958, he advanced to Formula Two in a Cooper-Climax. He achieved a number of good placings and the occasional win, but upon realizing he would never reach the top as a driver he decided to focus on team management. In 1959 he stepped out of the driver seat and began to manage several teams for John Cooper, who is infamous for John Cooper Works MINI Coopers.
Starting in 1970 Tyrrell Racing began building its own cars. The team experienced its greatest success in the early 1970s when it won three Drivers’ Championships and one Constructors’ Championship with driver Jackie Stewart. The team continued to win races through the 1970s and into the early 1980s, but never reached such spectacular heights again. The team was bought by British American Tobacco in 1997 and completed its final season as Tyrrell in 1998. Ken Tyrrell passed away in October 2001 after a battle with cancer.