St. John Horsfall

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St. John Ratcliffe Stewart "Jock" Horsfall (31 July 1910 – 20 August 1949)[1] was a British motor racing driver.

During the late 1930s Jock Horsfall became a familiar and popular competitor at British and European motor races, commonly driving his Aston Martin 2 litre Speed Model, nicknamed the 'Black Car'. Driving the Black Car Horsfall won the 1938 Leinster Trophy race at Brooklands. In the same year the pairing took victory in the 2 litre class, and finished second overall, in the RAC Tourist Trophy race at Donington Park, beating the more fancied BMW works cars.

In addition to his competitive career, during World War II he was employed as a specialist driver for the British secret service. During this time he was involved in Operation Mincemeat, a famously successful disinformation plot to convince the Germans that the Allies planned to land in Greece rather than Italy.[2][3] This operation was featured in the film "The Man Who Never Was".

Returning to the track following the cessation of hostilities Horsfall drove the Black Car to victory in the 1946 Belgian Sports Car Grand Prix.[4] In 1948 he and co-driver Leslie Johnson won the Spa 24 Hours race, sharing a prototype Aston Martin 2-Litre Sports car. He was killed in an accident while driving an ERA racing car in the 1949 BRDC International Trophy race at Silverstone Circuit. [5] Today, the Aston Martin Owners Club maintains an annual race meeting in his memory.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "St John Horsfall". StatsF1.com. Retrieved 5 December 2012. 
  2. ^ Macintyre, Ben (2010). Operation Mincemeat: How a Dead Man and a Bizarre Plan Fooled the Nazis and Assured and Allied Victory. New York: Harmony Books. p. 416. ISBN 978-0-307-45327-3. 
  3. ^ Malcolm Gladwell, "Pandora's Briefcase" The New Yorker" May 10, 2010 http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/atlarge/2010/05/10/100510crat_atlarge_gladwell
  4. ^ "The Belgian Sports Car Grand Prix of 1946". AM Magazine (8.14): 93. Summer 1962. 
  5. ^ "Italians Win Auto Race; British Pilot Is Killed," New York Times, August 21, 1949, p. S3