Tony Brooks started racing in 1952 and for three years, he was a successful club racer, first with a Healey and later with a Frazer-Nash.
By 1955, he was being noticed for his success at Goodwood, where he shared third place with Peter Collins in the Aston Martin DB3S in the 9 Hour Race. In July of that year he was invited by John Riseley-Pritchard to drive his Connaught A3 under the Equipe Endeavour brand in the London Trophy at Crystal Palace. Brooks finished fourth with the F2 car, behind the Formula One cars of Hawthorn, Schell and Salvadori. He was 3rd in the Formula Libre race at Aintree in September. A Fifth overall meant a win in the F2 class of the Avon Trophy at Castle Combe on 1st October, his third result of the year.
Then came the offer from Connaught to drive for them in the Syracuse Grand Prix. Because Tony was studying for his finals in dentistry, he did not have too much time to worry about the race itself and the fact that he had never previously even sat in a Formula One car. The favourites on the day were the three Maseratis, driven by Luigi Musso, Harry Schell and Luigi Villoresi. By comparison with the Maserati team, Connaught was totally outclassed. The old Alta engine had been developed to its limit and there were no spare engines in case of disaster, yet in spite of having less power, Brooks was soon lapping his opponents and by the end, he had won his first Formula One race.
He was the first British driver to win a Formula One Grand Prix in a car designed, developed and built in Britain and the first to win a significant continental Grand Prix since Sir Henry Segrave in 1924.
Over the next three years, he won 6 World Championship Grands Prix from 21 starts for Vanwall (1957/8) and Ferrari (1959) finishing 3rd in the Drivers' Championship in 1958 and 2nd in 1959. He has been described as the most underrated Grand Prix driver of the post war era.