Tommy Byrne (racing driver)

Thomas Byrne (born 6 May 1958 in Drogheda, but grew up outside Dundalk [1][2] County Louth) is a former racing driver from Ireland. He participated in two Formula One Grands Prix in 1982 with the backmarker Theodore team, failing to qualify for another three. He failed to finish in either of the Grands Prix he started and scored no Formula One championship points.

Tommy Byrne
Born (1958-05-06) 6 May 1958 (age 61)
Drogheda, County Louth, Ireland[1][2]
Formula One World Championship career
NationalityRepublic of Ireland Irish
Active years1982
Entries5 (2 starts)
Career points0
Pole positions0
Fastest laps0
First entry1982 German Grand Prix
Last entry1982 Caesars Palace Grand Prix

After performing well in the Irish Formula Ford Championship in 1981, Byrne won the 1982 British Formula 3 Championship even though he missed some races while he competed in Formula One. At that time, he also tested a McLaren MP4/1 Formula One car in October 1982 against Marlboro-backed Spirit Racing's European F2 drivers like Stefan Johansson and Thierry Boutsen.[3] After a brief return to Formula Three in 1983, where he raced for Eddie Jordan, Byrne moved to the United States and began racing in the American Racing Series in 1986, where he won ten races in 55 starts, both second place in the series record books. He also was the championship runner-up in 1988 and 1989. He raced in the series until 1992 and then retired. Despite his extended career in the States, Byrne never made a Champ Car start. He lives in Florida, and teaches Honda Teen/Adult Defensive Driving, Advanced Defensive Driving, Acura High Performance and Acura Advanced Performance Driving during the race season at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. He is also a driver coach for Indy Lights team Brian Stewart Racing.

He co-authored a book with Mark Hughes which was released in the UK on 8 August 2008, titled Crashed and Byrned: The Greatest Racing Driver You Never Saw. The book won the William Hill Irish Sports Book of the Year for 2009.[4]

Byrne was the subject of Seán Ó Cualáin's documentary Crash and Burn in 2016.[5]

Complete Formula One resultsEdit


Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 WDC Points
1982 Theodore Racing Team Theodore TY02 Cosworth V8 RSA BRA USW SMR BEL MON DET CAN NED GBR FRA GER
NC 0


  1. ^ a b O'Rourke, Steve. "'Better than Senna' - Tommy Byrne was the greatest racing driver you've probably never heard of". Retrieved 8 July 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Crash and Burn review: Tommy Byrne - Far beyond driven". Retrieved 8 July 2017.
  3. ^ The Greatest Racing Driver You Never Saw: excerpt from Tommy Byrne's book
  4. ^ Review of Crashed and Byrned archive at Wayback Machine
  5. ^ -, Steven (27 November 2016). "Review of Irish Film @ Cork Film Festival: Crash and Burn". Film Ireland. Archived from the original on 28 November 2016. Retrieved 18 June 2018.

External linksEdit

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
first winner
National Racing Driver of the Year

Succeeded by
Martin Brundle
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Roberto Moreno
Formula Ford Festival Winner
Succeeded by
Julian Bailey
Preceded by
Jonathan Palmer
British Formula Three Champion
Succeeded by
Ayrton Senna