Tiff is a motoring legend who has had a glittering career spanning touring cars to Formula 1. He has driven the world’s most exotic cars and entertained millions as a television presenter on both Top Gear and Fifth Gear.
He first raced at a driving school at Brands Hatch in 1970. He progressed to Formula Ford, his progress assisted by the use of a Lotus 69 FF he won in an Autosport magazine competition.
Needell’s Formula Ford period culminated in his acquiring a Crossle 25F with which he won the Kent Messenger FF Championship after competing for only half of the remaining season. This success landed him a partly paid drive in the Formula Ford 2000 Championship in a Hawke chassis provided by McKinstry Racing. Needell was completely dominant in that car and series which provided him with the springboard into Formula 3. The remainder of the 1970s saw Needell as a front runner in the British Formula 3 series and then in the Aurora British Formula One championship.
Needell made his first appearance at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1981 driving a Ibec-Hesketh 308LM alongside Tony Trimmer. His best result at Le Mans was 3rd in 1990. He then had a couple of years in the British Touring Car Championship with Nissan, before returning to sports cars in 1995, driving a Porsche at Daytona and a Jaguar XJ220 at Le Mans.
Needell is best known in the United Kingdom as a television presenter and motoring journalist, in particular in association with the BBC TV series Top Gear which he started co-hosting in 1987. He is also a contributer to Top Gear magazine.
In 2009 he appeared on James May’s Toy Stories featuring the building of a Scalextric around Brooklands. In 2011, he appeared on Top Gear, driving the Ariel Atom V8 in a race against a BMW S1000RR around the Top Gear Test Track.
Needell has lent his voice to the first and second games in the ‘TOCA Touring Car series’ for British video game developer Codemasters. His voice is also featured in the ‘Ferrari Challenge’ and ‘Le Mans 24 Hours’ video game for racing game developer Eutechnyx.
It was confirmed in the February 2012 issue of Evo magazine that Needell will be part of the contribution team going forward in 2012.
From his exciting background in motoring and motorsport, Tiff has acquired a wealth of anecdotes and fascinating true stories that captivate the enthusiast and layman alike.