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At 19 years and 182 days old, New Zealander Mike Thackwell became the youngest driver ever to start a World Championship Grand Prix when he qualified his Candy Team Tyrrell-Ford for the 1980 Canadian Grand Prix. Here, a week later, he attempted to repeat the feat at the US Grand Prix at Watkins Glen, but his Tyrrell-Ford let him down. As an 18-year old, he had been rated as one of the rising stars of the future after he burst into the 1979 Vandervell British Formula 3 series, with five wins and finished 3rd in the championship. After his debut in Formula One he expected to stay, but finding no competitive Formula 1 opportunity in 1981, he returned to racing in Formula 2. He won his first race at Silverstone from pole, but suffered a huge crash a month later that damaged his legs and ended his season. He returned in 1982 on a shoestring budget and finished 10th, finished 2nd in 1983, and finally winning the European Formula 2 title in dominating form in 1984. He continued to look for a Formula 1 seat while winning in Formula 3000 and for Mercedes in the 1986 Nurburgring 1000. When those efforts failed to reward him with a full-time Formula 1 drive, he walked away from the sport forever. He was just 26-years old.