Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Win Percy & TWR

Win Percy entered the BTCC in 1975, driving for Toyota. In the pits after his first race he was approached by Tom Walkinshaw, who told him 'one day I'll have my own team, and I'd like you to be my driver'. True to his word, Walkinshaw offered Percy a drive in 1980 with the new Mazda RX-7; he was offered £6000 for the season as long as he won, otherwise he wouldn't be paid a penny. He did as he was told and took the championship, despite the difficulties experienced by the radical Mazda: the pecularities of the rotary engine meant that it was hard to get off the line cleanly and offered little engine braking, while the rear brakes were ineffective drums and the exhausts were painfully loud. Nevertheless, Win Percy's performance was flawless for TWR in 1980, and he repeated it in '81.

Unfortunately, due to a misunderstanding with Walkinshaw's offbeat sense of humour (telling Percy just after he'd won in '81 that he wouldn't have a drive the next year), Percy signed back to Toyota for 1982. While this was a shame for Walkinshaw at the time, it does mean that the combination of Win Percy, TWR and Mazda remains a slice of perfection in BTCC history.

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