|First race||Belgian Grand Prix||Nivelles||May 12, 1974||Race results|
|Last race||South African Grand Prix||Kyalami||March 5, 1977||Race results|
Tom Pryce was one of several British drivers of great promise to die in the 1970s. His career started when he won a Formula Ford car in a competition in 1970, and he soon moved onto Formula Three. His debut season in 1972 was prematurely ended by a broken leg, but he returned and moved to Formula Two in 1973.
He got his Formula One break with the small Token team, racing once before he was refused entry to the Monaco Grand Prix. He switched to a Formula Three race which he won, and on the strength of that got a drive with Shadow, scoring his first points at the German Grand Prix.
In 1975 his progress continued with five top-six finishes, including a third in Austria, and he also won the non-championship Race of Champions at Brands Hatch. His fourth place in Germany came despite him rupturing a fuel pipe early on, and he completed the race knowing his car could explode at any time. He was again consistent in 1976 with a brace of fourths and a third in Brazil.
He started 1977 with a couple of disappointing races, but in South Africa he appeared to be on the way back when he set the fastest time during practice. On the 22nd lap, at Kyalami, Pryce was killed when he struck a marshal who was running across the track to deal with a fire in another car; the fire extinguisher the marshal was carrying stuck Pryce in the head, with such force that he almost certainly died instantly.
Martin Williamson November 2009