|Date of Birth||17/11/1939|
|Date of Death||Unknown|
|Début||The Daily Mirror Trophy (Snetterton) 1964|
|Championships||0 (2nd 1969)|
|Previous Teams||R. Trustram|
Superspeed Conversions Ltd.
Gordon Spice Group
|Total Entries||0 (0 Starts)|
|Wins||0 (0 in Class)|
Background[edit | edit source]
How Craft began his career is largely unknown before he entered the BSCC, although he is known to have entered sports car races shortly before ne started in the championship in 1964.
BTCC History[edit | edit source]
Craft made his debut at the Daily Mirror Trophy race at Snetterton in 1964. Using a privately entered Lotus Cortina, Craft finished sixth in his Class, having battled amongst the leading contenders for a time. At the sixth meeting of the year, Superspeed Conversions Ltd. asked Craft to drive one of their Anglias in Class A, although he could not challenge the Minis at the front. Craft and team mate Mike Young then took a one-two at Brands Hatch, before both were disqualified (after Craft had handed the lead to Young) for a mechanical issue.
Sticking with the Anglia, Craft entered the 1965 season with high hopes, with the Anglia challenging the Mini better than before. In a sense of deja-vu, however, Craft finished second at the opening round of the year, only to be disqualified for an undeclared manifold. Missing the next three rounds, Craft claimed sixth, before taking his first podium (and keeping it) at the sixth meeting.
Superspeed Conversions Ltd. returned to running a team in 1966, running two cars for Craft and Young. Craft demonstrated how far the Anglia had come, taking victory at the first two races. Craft then suffered three retirements on the trot through mechanical failures, before putting himself into a spin at the following round. Sixth overall was the result from the year, with Craft taking a further victory at the penultimate race. Craft missed the first six races of the 1967 season, returning at Silverstone only to retire through a blown engine. His bad luck continued through the remainder of the year, retiring from the final three races as well.
A New Team[edit | edit source]
Team Broadspeed picked up Craft and his Anglia when Superspeed Conversions left the championship before the 1968 season. Craft looked to have put his bad luck behind him, taking victory in the first heat at Brands Hatch at the start of the year, only to retire in the second heat an excluded from the results. Craft put this poor start behind him, claiming four victories through the year, although he would suffer from three retirements as well.
The aging Anglia was retired before the end of 1968, with Broadspeed purchasing a pair of Ford Escort 1300 GTs for Craft and John Fitzpatrick to use in 1969. Both were classified as retiring at the opening round, with Craft taken out in a multiple car pile-up at the start. Another retirement for Craft came from the second race, before he got to grips with the Escort, taking six wins and a further three podiums, ultimately missing out on the title by nine points. Broadspeed then decided to use the Ford Escort TCs they had purchased to replace the Anglias in 1968 for the 1970 season. Five wins through the year saw him take the Class C title for the second year in a row, yet a retirement while he was leading at Thruxton may have cost him more.
The Second Stint[edit | edit source]
Craft left the championship at the end of the 1970 season, pursuing his dream of competing in Formula One (Competing at one race in 1971). He would return, however, in 1974, using a Ford Capri 3000 GT at the end of the season for Wisharts Garage. After failing to start in the eleventh round, Craft put his Capri on the podium at the penultimate race of the year, before taking fourth in a Triumph Dolomite Sprint at the final race of the year. He returned in 1975 four times for the team, using the upgraded Capri II 3.0. He took a victory at the penultimate round, establishing a connection with the Capri that would define the second part of his BSCC career.
Tricentrol took on Craft in 1976, giving his a new Ford Capri II 3.0, with Craft taking thirty four points through the year to repay them. Craft's now legendary bad-luck in his career (which had also seen him fail to start one Formula One race) also cost him a race victory, having been disqualifed at Silverstone for lacking an air filter. The Hammonds Sauce Group were the next team to adopt Craft and his Capri, providing him with enough support to take three wins in 1977. It would be his best season of his return, although his final position in the points table is unknown.
The final win for Craft came in 1978, when Gordon Spice gave him a drive for his team: the Gordon Spice Group. Running a Ford Capri III 3.0S, Craft took 42 points, although his bad luck struck three times to end his chances of taking another class title. For 1979, Craft raced again for Spice's team, taking seven podiums. His 100th race saw him take third place at Donington Park, before he ended his BSCC career after competing in 105 races. After retiring completely from motorsport, Craft teamed up with car designer Gordon Murray to create the Light Car Company.
BTCC Record[edit | edit source]
A table containing Chris Craft's best results in the BTCC. The figures after the information about the car used indicate Chris Craft's best finish at that meeting in his class.
|Chris Craft's BTCC Record|
|1964||bgcolor="Purple" style="color:white; border-radius:7px;"|NC||Lotus Cortina||bgcolor="#214B9B" rowspan="2" style="border-radius:5px; color:white;"|B||6||R||8||5||R||6*||bgcolor="black" style="color:white; font-size:90%; border-radius:5px;"|DSQ||R||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|1965||R. Trustram||6||Ford Anglia Super||bgcolor="black" style="color:white; font-size:90%; border-radius:5px;"|DSQ||N||6||3||bgcolor="white" style="color:black; font-size:90%; border-radius:5px;"|DNS||4||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|1966||Superspeed Conversions Ltd.||8th||24||1||1||R||11||1||3||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|1967||bgcolor="Purple" style="color:white; border-radius:7px;"|NC||bgcolor="#E52525" rowspan="2" style="border-radius:5px; color:white;"|A||N||R||-||-||-||-||-|
|1969||2nd||67||Ford Escort 1300 GT||bgcolor="#214B9B" rowspan="2" style="border-radius:5px; color:white;"|B||R||1||1||1||2||2||5||1||1||1||2||-||-||-|
|1970||5th||60||Ford Escort TC||1||1||R||2||1||1||10||1||7||2||2||N||-||-||-|
|1974||Wisharts Garage||6||Ford Capri 3000||bgcolor="#008000" rowspan="2" style="border-radius:5px; color:white;"|C||N||bgcolor="white" style="color:black; font-size:90%; border-radius:5px;"|DNS||3||4***||-||-|
|1975||bgcolor="Purple" style="color:white; border-radius:7px;"|NC||N||3||N||R||4||1||N|
|1976||Tricentrol||34||bgcolor="#FFA500" rowspan="2" style="border-radius:5px; color:white;"|D||2||bgcolor="black" style="color:white; font-size:90%; border-radius:5px;"|DSQ||N||3||2||bgcolor="white" style="color:black; font-size:90%; border-radius:5px;"|DNS||2||2||2||R||-||-||-||-||-|
|1977||Hammonds Sauce||bgcolor="Purple" style="color:white; border-radius:7px;"|NC||R||bgcolor="white" style="color:black; font-size:90%; border-radius:5px;"|DNS||2||6||4||1||N||1||1||N||2||2||-||-||-|
|1978||Gordon Spice Group||42||R||3||5||R||2||1||4||4||4||5||2||R||-||-||-|
References[edit | edit source]
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