Peter Whitehead (racing driver)

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Peter Whitehead
Born (1914-11-12)12 November 1914
Died 21 September 1958(1958-09-21) (aged 43)
Formula One World Championship career
Nationality United Kingdom British
Active years 19501954
Teams privateer Ferrari, Alta and Cooper,
Scuderia Ferrari
Races 12 (10 starts)
Championships 0
Wins 0
Podiums 1
Career points 4
Pole positions 0
Fastest laps 0
First race 1950 Monaco Grand Prix
Last race 1954 British Grand Prix

Peter Whitehead (12 November 1914, Menston – 21 September 1958, Lasalle, France) was a British racing driver from England.

Career synopsis[edit]

Whitehead was able to fund his racing largely through the family wealth, gained from the wool industry. He began racing at the age of 20 in 1935, initially racing an Alta before buying an ERA B Type in 1936. Whitehead took the ERA to Australia in 1938 while touring on business, where he won the 1938 Australian Grand Prix and the 1938 Australian Hillclimb Championship. After World War II he participated in 12 World Championship Grands Prix, debuting on 2 July 1950. In his career he achieved a single podium, and scored a total of 4 championship points. He also drove in several non-Championship Formula One races. In addition to his Formula One career he shared victory in the 1951 24 Hours of Le Mans race with Peter Walker, racing for Jaguar.

Peter Whitehead is notable as the first person to whom Enzo Ferrari ever sold a Formula One car : a Ferrari 125 and for being the first driver to win a motor race on the Mount Panorama Circuit.

Sports car racer[edit]

Whitehead teamed with Peter Walker to win the 1951 24 Hours of Le Mans, in a Jaguar, with an average speed of 93.112 miles per hour.[1] In July 1952 Whitehead qualified his Alta 2nd to Harry Schell for the Grand Prix of Rouen.[2] In July 1953 Whitehead won a 12-hour endurance race together with Stirling Moss, at Reims, driving a Jaguar.[3] In 1954 Whitehead and Ken Wharton piloted a new model 'D' type Jaguar to win the 12-Hour Race of Reims on 4 July. They were victorious with an average speed of 104.3 m.p.h.[4] The same driving pair placed 5th at Belfast, Northern Ireland, in September, in the Ulster Tourist Trophy road race.[5] Whitehead was behind the wheel of an Aston Martin DB3S when he placed 7th in a 1957 Belgian Royal Automobile Club Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps.[6]

Death[edit]

Whitehead's last great performance was at Le Mans in 1958 where he came second in an Aston Martin, sharing the driving with his half-brother Graham Whitehead. A couple of months later Peter and Graham were competing together in the Tour de France, when their Jaguar crashed off a bridge into a 30-foot ravine at Lasalle, after overturning twice,[7] with Graham at the wheel. Graham was badly injured, but Peter was killed instantly.[8]

Complete World Championship results[edit]

(key)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 WDC Points
1950 Peter Whitehead Ferrari 125 Ferrari V12 GBR
MON
DNS
500
FRA
3
ITA
7
9th 4
Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 125 Ferrari V12 SUI
DNA
BEL
1951 Peter Whitehead Ferrari 125 Ferrari V12 SUI
13
500
BEL
FRA
Ret
GER
ITA
Ret
NC 0
Ferrari 375 Ferrari V12 ESP
DNA
G A Vandervell Ferrari 375 Thinwall Ferrari V12 GBR
9
1952 Peter Whitehead Alta F2 Alta Straight-4 SUI
500
BEL
FRA
Ret
NC 0
Ferrari 125 Ferrari V12 GBR
10
GER
NED
ITA
DNQ
1953 Atlantic Stable Cooper T24 Alta Straight-4 ARG
500
NED
BEL
FRA
GBR
9
GER
SUI
ITA
NC 0
1954 Peter Whitehead Cooper T24 Alta Straight-4 ARG
500
BEL
FRA
GBR
Ret
GER
SUI
ITA
ESP
NC 0


Non-Championship Formula One results[edit]

(key)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39
1949 Peter Whitehead Ferrari 125 Ferrari V12 BUE EVA RIO SRM
Ret
PAU RIC PAU JER
7
ROU MAR GBR
8
EMP FRO BEL
4
SUI
9
ALB FRA
3
ZAN
DNS
ACF INT LAU
10
ITA
Ret
GOO AUS CSR
1
SAL PER
1950 Peter Whitehead Ferrari 125 Ferrari V12 PAU RIC
Ret
SRM
Ret
PAR EMP BAR JER
1
ALB NED
4
NAT NOT ULS
1
PES STT INT
3
GOO
Ret
PEN
1951 Peter Whitehead Ferrari 125 Ferrari V12 SYR PAU RIC SRM
Ret
BOR
3
INT PAR ULS
DNS
SCO NED
ALT
ALB PES
5
BAR
6
GOO
1952 Peter Whitehead Ferrari 125/166 Ferrari V12 RIO SYR
5
VAL
4
RIC
DNA
LAV PAU IBS
DNA
INT
5
ELÄ NAP EIF ALB
5
FRO ULS DAI
11
COM NAT
Alta F2 Alta L4 MAR
Ret
AST PAR
Ret
MNZ
Ret
LAC ESS MAR
Ret
SAB
DNA
CAE BAU
Ret
MOD CAD SKA MAD
4
AVU JOE
Ret
NEW
7
RIO
1953 Peter Whitehead Cooper T24 Alta L4 SYR
5
PAU LAV
5
AST
3
BOR
Ret
INT
8
ELÄ NAP ULS
4
WIN FRO COR
3
EIF ALB
5
PRI GRE ESS MID ROU STR CRY
5
AVU USF LAC DRE BRI CHE
2
SAB NEW CAD SAC RED
2
SKA LON MOD MAD BER JOE CUR
1954 Peter Whitehead Cooper T24 Alta L4 SYR PAU LAV
Ret
BOR
Ret
INT
DNA
BAR CUR ROM FRO COR BRC CRY ROU CAE AUG COR OUT RED
Ret
PES SAC JOE CAD BER GOO DAI

References[edit]

  1. ^ Two Britons Drive Record 93.112 M.P.H. For 24 Hours to Capture French Auto Race, New York Times, 25 June 1951, Page 24.
  2. ^ Schell Speeds 121.803 M.P.H., New York Times, 5 July 1952, Page 10.
  3. ^ French Auto Races To British Drivers, New York Times, 6 July 1953, Page 22.
  4. ^ Article 3-No Title, New York Times, 5 July 1954, Page 15.
  5. ^ Laureau, in French Car, Takes Ulster Trophy, 12 September 1954, Page S9.
  6. ^ Brooks Captures Belgian Auto Race, New York Times, 26 August 1957, Page 29.
  7. ^ British Driver Killed On Tour in France, New York Times, 21 September 1958, Page C2.
  8. ^ The Manchester Guardian, 22 September 1958, Page 2.
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Les Murphy
Australian Grand Prix Winner
1938
Succeeded by
Allan Tomlinson
Preceded by
Louis Rosier
Jean-Louis Rosier
Winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans
1951 with:
Peter Walker
Succeeded by
Hermann Lang
Fritz Riess