Peter Whitehead (racing driver)

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Peter Whitehead
Nationality Flag of the United Kingdom British
Formula One World Championship career
Active years1950 - 1954
Teamsprivateer Ferrari, Alta and Cooper,
Scuderia Ferrari
Races12 (10 starts)
Championships0
Wins0
Podiums1
Career points4
Pole positions0
Fastest laps0
First race1950 Monaco Grand Prix
Last race1954 British Grand Prix

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

Career synopsis

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.

Sports car racer

Whitehead teamed with Peter Walker to win the 1951 24 Hours of Le Mans with an average speed of 93.112 miles per hour. They drove a Jaguar.[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 Rheims, driving a Jaguar.[3] Whitehead and Ken Wharton piloted a new model Jaguar over a 5 mile closed circuit, regular asphalt highway, at Rheims, in 1954. 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. The event was 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

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.

Complete World Championship results

(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
SUI
BEL
FRA
3
ITA
7
9th 4
1951 Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 125 Ferrari V12 SUI
13
500
BEL
NC 0
Graham Whitehead Ferrari 125 Ferrari V12 FRA
Ret
GER
ITA
Ret
ESP
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
Sporting positions
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


References

  1. Two Britons Drive Record 93.112 M.P.H. For 24 Hours to Capture French Auto Race, New York Times, June 25, 1951, Page 24.
  2. Schell Speeds 121.803 M.P.H., New York Times, July 5, 1952, Page 10.
  3. French Auto Races To British Drivers, New York Times, July 6, 1953, Page 22.
  4. Article 3-No Title, New York Times, July 5, 1954, Page 15.
  5. Laureau, in French Car, Takes Ulster Trophy, September 12, 1954, Page S9.
  6. Brooks Captures Belgian Auto Race, New York Times, August 26, 1957, Page 29.
  7. British Driver Killed On Tour in France, New York Times, September 21, 1958, Page C2.