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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 January 2007, 11:54 GMT
Memorial for racing driver Pryce
Tom Pryce
Many thought Tom Pryce could have become world champion
A council wants to set up a memorial to Formula 1 racing driver Tom Pryce to mark the 30th anniversary of his death.

Councillors in Ruthin, Denbighshire, have invited the public to submit ideas for the tribute.

Pryce, who was from Ruthin, was tipped to be a Formula 1 world champion, but was 27 when he died on the Kyalami circuit in South Africa in March 1977.

Lifelong friend Cledwyn Ashford said the tribute would be a "fitting memorial to a fine sportsman".

Pryce took up serious motorsport at the age of 21, racing in Formula Ford in 1970.

He rose through the ranks quickly, progressing to Formula 2 by 1973, before making his Formula 1 debut with the Token team a year later.

He went on to enjoy success at Formula 1 tracks around the world, including pole position at the British Grand Prix in 1975 - regarded as his most successful year.

In that year, he also finished third in Austria, fourth in Germany and won a place in the top six at three other meetings.

But the highlight came when he won the Race of Champions at Brands Hatch.

Tom Pryce
Tom Pryce at the Race of Champions at Brands Hatch in 1975

However, his career was tragically cut short in 1977.

At Kyalami Pryce was unable to dodge 19-year-old marshall Jansen van Vuuren, who was running across the track to attend a small fire.

The teenager died instantly, and a fire extinguisher he was carrying struck Pryce on the head - also killing him straight away.

Now Ruthin Town Council wants to erect a tribute to the driver somewhere in the Vale of Clwyd, and have asked the public for suggestions.

Town councillor Gwilym Evans said: "Many people have corresponded with us, enquiring whether there would be an occasion where they would be able to participate or remember Tom Pryce and what he did as a racing driver."

Childhood friend Cledwyn Ashford said: "He's one of the greatest racing drivers that Britain's seen, and he's the biggest Welsh driver we have ever had.

"If he could be remembered in his home town it would be a fitting memorial to a fine sportsman who could have become the best in the world."




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