Former F1 driver Tomáš Enge turns 36 years old today. The Czech Republic’s one and only Grand Prix racer contested three events with the cash-strapped Prost team in 2001, earning the drive by dint of his backing from Coca-Cola.
His performances in the AP04 weren’t enough to earn him a full-time F1 berth in 2002, and so he returned to Formula 3000 competition. After staging a solid championship challenge, he was disqualified from the penultimate round of the championship at the Hungaroring when he tested positive for marijuana.
Aside from it being one of the few instances of a drugs test failure in motorsport, the indiscretion cost Enge a shot at the title and he was kept on the sidelines while serving out a one-year ban from competitive driving.
He returned to F3000 in 2004, before crossing the Atlantic to contest the 2005 season in the IndyCar Series with the Panther Racing squad, having made a two-race appearance for the team the year before.
His name returned to European competition when he was signed onto race for Team Czech Republic in the A1 Grand Prix championship, joining fellow ex-F1 racers Alex Yoong, and Jos Verstappen. After claiming back-to-back podium finishes for the team at Sepang and Dubai, he went on to win the season-ending feature race at Shanghai.
This year, he switched to the Reiter Lamborghini squad, but his season was cut short when he failed another drugs test – this time a banned prescription drug – for which he has been hit with an 18-month ban from racing.
Enge has announced that he will appeal the decision.