|Born||2 September 1919|
Kensington, London, England
|Died||29 August 2002 (aged 82)|
Tenterden, Kent, England
|Formula One World Championship career|
|Active years||1952 – 1955|
|Entries||15 (13 starts)|
|First entry||1952 Swiss Grand Prix|
|Last entry||1955 British Grand Prix|
Macklin's father was the automotive entrepreneur Noel Macklin, founder of both the Invicta and Railton car companies, as well as Fairmile Marine, a manufacturer of motor gun and torpedo boats during World War II. Macklin was born in Kensington, and educated at Eton College. He volunteered for service with the Royal Navy in 1939 and (in line with his father's business) was assigned to work on motor gun boats.
On demobilisation after the Second World War, Macklin followed his early ambition and became a racing driver, although an early attempt to enter a race on the Isle of Man was refused on grounds that he had no experience.
He secured an entry to the 1948 Grand Prix des Frontières, and practised for the event by driving his Invicta at high speeds on public roads, teaching himself to four-wheel drift around Belgrave Square in London's Mayfair. He impressed in the race and eventually earned a signing with Aston Martin. He was made a reserve driver for Le Mans and raced at the Spa 24 Hours, finishing fifth.
He finished fifth at Le Mans in 1950 alongside teammate and HWM owner George Abecassis. Abecassis invited him to join HWM for several races, culminating with victory in the 1952 BRDC International Trophy, his biggest success in motor racing. HWM also gave Macklin his debut in the Formula One World Championship, but the small team was not competitive against the better-funded works entries and he scored no world championship points. While at HWM, Macklin formed a close bond with young teammate Stirling Moss.
He returned to Le Mans with Aston Martin in 1951, finishing third overall and taking his second S3.0 class victory, although class victories were not celebrated at that time. He left Aston Martin in 1952, dissatisfied with his retaining fee, and joined Bristol for the following year. The new team found little success, failing even to start the 1952 12 Hours of Reims, but such issues typically did not faze him. Macklin's social confidence and smooth demeanour made him popular with women, and he would sometimes be more interested in them than racing. Abecassis had been critical of this easy-going attitude: "He never cared whether he started in a race or not... Sometimes it was a nightmare to make him practice at all. If there was some blonde he was after he just wouldn't show up."
Role in the 1955 Le Mans disaster
In the 1955 24 Hours of Le Mans he was involved in the most catastrophic accident in racing history, which killed Pierre Levegh and 83 spectators. Macklin swerved to avoid hitting the Jaguar of Mike Hawthorn, who was braking hard in a late attempt to pit, and moved into the path of Levegh's car causing it to clip his. Although Macklin's car crashed, he was uninjured. Macklin was deeply affected by the incident. He felt that Hawthorn had tried to alleviate himself of responsibility, and that the racing community was turning the blame to him as a result.
He continued to race, but another tragic experience followed in the Tourist Trophy at Dundrod. Macklin crashed his Austin-Healey 100S avoiding an accident in which Jim Mayers and William T. Smith were killed. Soon after, Macklin retired from motor sport at the urging of his then-girlfriend.
Macklin was married twice; firstly to Shelagh and subsequently to Gillian. He had two children from his first marriage and one from the second.
Complete Formula One results
|1952||HW Motors Ltd||HWM||Alta Straight-4||SUI
|1953||HW Motors Ltd||HWM||Alta Straight-4||ARG||500||NED
|1954||HW Motors Ltd||HWM||Alta Straight-4||ARG||500||BEL||FRA
|1955||Stirling Moss Ltd||Maserati 250F||Maserati Straight-6||ARG||MON
Complete 24 Hours of Le Mans results
|1950||Aston Martin Ltd.||George Abecassis||Aston Martin DB2||S3.0||249||5th||1st|
|1951||Aston Martin Ltd.||Eric Thompson||Aston Martin DB2||S3.0||257||3rd||1st|
|1952||Aston Martin Ltd.||Peter Collins||Aston Martin DB3 Spyder||S3.0||?||DNF|
|1953||Bristol Aeroplane Company||Graham Whitehead||Bristol 450 Coupé||S2.0||29||DNF|
|1954||Automobili O.S.C.A.||Pierre Leygonie||O.S.C.A. MT-4||S1.5||247||DSQ|
|1955|| Lance Macklin
|Les Leston||Austin-Healey 100 S||S3.0||28||DNF|
Complete 12 Hours of Sebring results
|1954||Donald Healey Ltd.||George Huntoon||Austin-Healey 100||S3.0||163||3rd||1st|
|1955||Donald Healey Motor Co.||Stirling Moss||Austin-Healey 100 S||S3.0||176||6th||5th|
|1956||Donald Healey Motors Co. Ltd.||Archie Scott Brown||Austin-Healey 100 S||S3.0||110||DNF|
- Nixon, Chris (November 1997). "The Player". Motor Sport. p. 38. Retrieved 13 May 2021.
- Spurgeon, Brad (11 June 2015). "On Auto Racing's Deadliest Day". The New York Times Company, Inc. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
- "Mike Hawthorn & the 1955 24 Hours of Le Mans: The Cause and the Effect". ConceptCarz.com. Retrieved 15 April 2013.
- Deadliest Crash:the Le Mans 1955 Disaster (Programme Website), BBC Four documentary, broadcast 16 May 2010.
- "Lance Macklin". Daily Telegraph. 4 September 2002. Retrieved 11 January 2014.
- Small, Steve (1994). The Guinness Complete Grand Prix Who's Who. Guinness. p. 234. ISBN 0851127029.