Tommy and The Art of Villainy
Thomas joined Marcos for the Le Mans 24 Hours in June 1995, and having made such a high-profile and impressive debut, was adopted into the factory squad for the remainder of the season. Marcos was competing in the BRDC GT Championship, and Tommy soon dominated the final rounds at Oulton Park, Brands Hatch and Silverstone. Some of the lap records he set that season stood for more than three years, and he stunned everyone by placing his GT2 Marcos LM600 third overall in first (very wet!) qualifying for the BPRO 4 Hour Endurance at Silverstone, sandwiched between GT1 McLarens. After nearly four years in the wilderness, Thomas Erdos was back.
Thomas paired up with Dutch motorsport legend Cor Euser for the 1996 BPR Series in the Marcos racing International LM600. The pairing proved to be world-beaters, raising the Brazilian to new heights in the eyes of GT pundits everywhere. Tommy and Cor claimed GT2 pole on all but two occasions in 1996, although podium success was often hampered by unreliability. Erdos was frequently the one to pick up fastest race lap, proving himself the equal of his highly regarded and experienced team-mate.
The Erdos/Euser partnership made two guest appearances in the British GT Championship in 1996, with Thomas setting pole and fastest lap on both occasions. The duo won outright every time. His 1996 GT lap record at Thruxton (above) remained unbeaten until 2003. Thomas also appeared in a GT3 Marcos LM500 during 1996. In qualifying at Silverstone he qualified 4th overall in the 30-car field, out-pacing the entire GT2 grid! His race drive established a class record that still stands.
1997 started with disappointment when the team he was contracted to join backed out at the last minute. Too late to find an alternative regular position, Tommy filled the season with guest drives in the FIA and BRDC Championships. Much to the delight of spectators everywhere, this included bringing the venerable Jaguar XJ220 back into the GT limelight. He also shared the No. 46 Lister Storm GT1 at Le Mans with ex-F1 racer Julian Bailey and Australian Mark Skaife.
1998 began, as had 1997, with the late withdrawal of a GT1 seat. One of the sport’s most talented drivers was again without a full-time drive. He attempted to pre-qualify the MacQuillan Porsche 911 GT2 at Le Mans, but fastest in the wet by 8 seconds was not enough to secure a space when the track dried and the engine blew. The next day he travelled to Oulton Park. He’d never raced a TVR Cerbera before, but still managed to set a time several seconds quicker than the car’s regular driver.
Thomas joined NCK Motorsport in their Marcos LM600 for the last half of the 1998 British GT season, securing the team’s first ever GT2 win at Spa. He then agreed to remain with NCK for the full 1999 season, and proceeded to urge their five-year-old LM600 to front-run against all-new or ex-GT1 machinery. Erdos claimed five poles and was never lower than class third on the grid. He and Andy Purvis finished on the podium in every race the car completed, and Tommy’s brilliance in qualifying secured NCK the BRDC GT Team Trophy for the season.
He raced with NCK again in 2000 with an all-new Marcos LM600, which he urged to the front in qualifying, claiming four more front-row starts and two poles. Unfortunately, the LM600 proved woefully unreliable and rarely went the distance, leaving the Brazilian’s efforts unrewarded.