CONSTRUCTORS: TOLEMAN MOTORSPORT
Name: Toleman Motorsport
The Toleman Group was involved in a variety of forms of racing in the 1970s and moved into FF2000 in 1977. The following year it entered F2 as a backer of Rad Dougall in a F2 March. That year Toleman hired ex-Royale designer Rory Byrne but in 1979 Toleman ran Ralts for Dougall and Brian Henton, Henton finishing second in the title and Dougall fifth. In 1980 the first Toleman arrived - the TG280 - which was designed by Byrne and engineered by John Gentry. Powered by a Hart engine and using Pirelli tires, the car dominated F2 in 1980: Henton and Derek Warwick finished 1-2 in the championship.
In November 1980 Toleman's Managing Director Alex Hawkridge announced that the team would be entering F1 in 1980. After discussions with Lancia over a turbocharged engine the team decided to stick with Brian Hart. The drivers would be Brian Henton and probably Derek Warwick and the team would use Pirelli tires. Sponsorship was rumored to be coming from Candy.
The TG181 which took Toleman into F1 in 1981 featured a Hart turbo engine and ran on Pirelli tires. Henton and Warwick failed to qualify in all races until Henton made the cut at Monza on September 13. Warwick qualified once as well, in the last race of the year at Las Vegas. In 1982 upgraded T181s were run for Warwick and Teo Fabi until August when a carbon composite T183 was ready. This was raced only twice in 1982 but Warwick recorded the fastest lap in Holland. The T183B for 1983 was a much better car and had backing from Candy, Magirus and BP. It was driven by Warwick and Bruno Giacomelli and impressed at the European GP at Brands Hatch. Warwick scored Toleman's first points in Holland (where he finished fourth) and he scored in all three of the races which followed in Italy, Europe and South Africa, collecting 10 points, giving the team ninth place in the Constructors' Championship.
This success gave Warwick the chance to drive for Renault in 1984 but helped Toleman to attract young rising star Ayrton Senna and Venezuelan Johnny Cecotto. There was sponsorship from Segafredo and Magirus and Senna came close to winning at Monaco - Toleman's first podium finish. Senna finished third at the British GP but the same weekend Cecotto was badly hurt in a practice crash and the team ran one car in Germany, Austria and Holland. Senna was suspended by the team for the Italian GP for having signed a contract with Lotus for 1985 (despite a Toleman contract). Stefan Johansson took the drive and finished fourth. Pierluigi Martini tried to qualify a second Toleman at Monza but failed to make it and the Senna/Johansson duo finished off the year.
For 1985 there was a new T185 - the first in-house monocoque produced by the team - and Teo Fabi was signed to drive with Johansson. Tire supply problems meant the team missed the first three races of the year and Johansson drove for Tyrrell in Brazil and then joined Ferrari. Initially there was just one car for Teo Fabi but in May the Benetton Group signed a three year sponsorship deal with the team. Toleman bought a supply of Pirelli tires from Spirit and expanded to two cars again - the second being for Piercarlo Ghinzani - but the the team scored no points. That winter the team was sold to Benetton.