Tony Rolt

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Tony Rolt
Born (1918-10-16)16 October 1918
Died 6 February 2008(2008-02-06) (aged 89)
Formula One World Championship career
Nationality United Kingdom British
Active years 1950, 1953, 1955
Teams privateer ERA, Rob Walker Racing Team, Connaught
Entries 3
Championships 0
Wins 0
Podiums 0
Career points 0
Pole positions 0
Fastest laps 0
First entry 1950 British Grand Prix
Last entry 1955 British Grand Prix

Major Anthony Peter Roylance "Tony" Rolt, MC & Bar, (16 October 1918 – 6 February 2008)[1] was a British racing driver, soldier and engineer. He won the 1953 24 Hours of Le Mans and participated in three Formula One World Championship Grands Prix. He was the longest surviving participant of the first ever World Championship Grand Prix at Silverstone in 1950.[2]

Early life[edit]

Rolt was born in Bordon, Hampshire, the fourth child of Brigadier Stuart Rolt, and educated at Eton. After a brief pre-war career as a racing driver, he entered the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, and in 1939 received a commission in the Rifle Brigade.

Second World War[edit]

During the Second World War, Rolt was a lieutenant in the Rifle Brigade and in 1940 was awarded the Military Cross during the defence of Calais. He was then taken prisoner of war during the fall of France, and after persistent escape attempts was sent to Oflag IV-C in Colditz Castle, where he was involved in the audacious glider escape plan.[3] For his determined escape attempts, Rolt was awarded a Bar to his Military Cross.

After the war Rolt resigned his commission with the rank of Major to develop advanced automotive technologies.[4]

Racing career[edit]

Tony Rolt competed in three Formula One World Championship races, the British Grands Prix of 1950, 1953, & 1955, but all three outings ended in retirement. At the 1950 British Grand Prix, the first-ever round of the F1 World Championship, he started 10th on the grid in an ERA that had been qualified by Peter Walker, but the gearbox failed after four laps. In the 1953 race, again starting 10th, a half shaft on his Connaught failed after 70 laps. He shared a drive with Peter Walker in 1955, the last F1 outing for both drivers: their Connaught started 14th and retired with transmission trouble after 18 laps.

Rolt competed in every 24 Hours of Le Mans race from 1949 to 1955, famously winning the 1953 event in a Jaguar C-Type shared with Duncan Hamilton.

He was the last surviving driver from the inaugural World Championship Grand Prix held at Silverstone; also the last pre-World War member of the British Racing Drivers Club (BRDC), having been elected in 1936.[5]

He retired from racing in 1955 and concentrated on his work with Ferguson Research Ltd., the successor to the partnership he formed with racing driver and Riley tuner Freddie Dixon after the war. In 1971 he founded FF Developments.

He was instrumental in the development of early four wheel drive systems for racing cars; also for production cars such as the Jensen FF.

Complete Formula One World Championship results[edit]


Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 WDC Points
1950 Peter Walker ERA E-Type ERA Straight-6 GBR
1953 RRC Walker Racing Team Connaught A Type Connaught Straight-4 ARG 500 NED BEL FRA GBR
1955 Connaught Engineering Connaught B Type Connaught Straight-4 ARG MON 500 BEL NED GBR
* Indicates shared drive with Peter Walker


  1. ^ "Tony Rolt". Retrieved 7 February 2008. 
  2. ^ "Tony Rolt: Obituary". Retrieved 2 November 2010. 
  3. ^ "The Colditz Story". Imperial War Museum. 
  4. ^ 4WD Online, Four Wheel Drive Racing Cars, subhead "1961" para 2. Retrieved on 10 March 2008.
  5. ^ British Racing Drivers' Club

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Hermann Lang
Fritz Riess
Winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans
1953 with:
Duncan Hamilton
Succeeded by
José Froilán González
Maurice Trintignant