(c) 'Who is Who' by Steve Small, 2000 Родился: 06.11.1931 Киддерминстер, Уорчестершир Умер: 03.08.1958 Бонн, Германия Сезонов в Ф1: Лет в Ф1: 7 Гран При: Старты: 32* *не стартовал: 4 Победы: подряд: 2 Подиумы: подряд: 3 Поул-позиции: подряд: Первый ряд: подряд:
Сезонов в Ф1:
Лет в Ф1:
7 Гран При: Старты: 32* *не стартовал: 4 Победы: подряд: 2 Подиумы: подряд: 3 Поул-позиции: подряд: Первый ряд: подряд:
32* *не стартовал: 4 Победы: подряд: 2 Подиумы: подряд: 3 Поул-позиции: подряд: Первый ряд: подряд:
4 Победы: подряд: 2 Подиумы: подряд: 3 Поул-позиции: подряд: Первый ряд: подряд:
2 Подиумы: подряд: 3 Поул-позиции: подряд: Первый ряд: подряд:
3 Поул-позиции: подряд: Первый ряд: подряд:
Peter Collins' death at the Nurburgring in August 1958, just two weeks after his wonderful performance at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, left the racing world shocked. For although he was indisputably one of the fastest men around, he was also regarded as being one of the safest.
Handsome and congenial, the young Collins graduated from the 500 cc school, driving Coopers and then the JBS-Norton in 1951, both on the circuits and in hill-climbs, winning his class with BTD at Prescott and Shelsley Walsh.
With Formula 2 effectively becoming the premier racing class in 1952, John Heath of HWM signed the promising Collins to partner Moss and Macklin in a three-car team which roamed the Continent over the next two seasons. Peter proved to be extremely quick, but the cars were fragile and decent finishes were few and far between, though he managed a second place at Les Sables d'Olonne in 1952 and a third at the Eifelrennen the following year.
Collins' potential had been spotted by Aston Martin, who took him into their sports car squad with immediate results. Sharing a DB5 with Pat Griffiths, he won the 1952 BARC Goodwood 9 Hours and the 1955 Tourist Trophy, and he achieved many other good results (including second places at Le Mans in 1955 with Frere and in 1956 with Moss) in what was to be a very happy association with the team.
In 1954 Peter was recruited by Tony Vandervell to drive his Ferrari 'Thinwall Special', with which he was to delight British crowds in the popular Libre events of the day, winning at Snetterton and Goodwood. He was also one of the first to handle the new Vanwall Special, but at this stage it was still very much in its infancy. Having found him a constant thorn in their flesh in Libre racing, BRM signed him for a full season in 1955, but in the event their programme was behind schedule, and he mainly raced the Owen team's Maserati 250F until the P25 was ready. Late in the year Collins ran the new car in the Gold Cup at Oulton Park where it proved staggeringly quick before he retired it, erroneously as it turned out, due to a lack of oil pressure.
Peter accepted the chance to join Ferrari in 1956 alongside the great Fangio with glee, and the Maestro' was to have a big influence on his racing. From then on he began to take a much more serious attitude to his craft, though thankfully he never lost his fun-loving, light-hearted spirit off the track. For a new boy at the Scuderia, he settled in very quickly. After handing his machine to Fangio at Monaco, Collins took Grand Prix wins in Belgium and France and then shared second place at Silverstone. Although he drew a blank at the Nurburgring, come the Italian GP at Monza he still had an outside chance of the championship. When Fangio was forced to retire his car early in the race, Peter was asked to hand his car over to the Argentinian at a pit stop and did so without hesitation, even though it meant the end of his own title bid. His actions were particularly appreciated by Enzo Ferrari, who had a special affection for the loyal Englishman from that moment on. However, the 1957 season was not one of the Scuderia's better ones, and Peter scored Formula 1 wins only in the relatively minor Syracuse and Naples Grands Prix, and third places in France and Germany, where Fangio put on such an unforgettable display.
The following season began promisingly for Collins with sports car victories in the Buenos Aires 1000 Km and the Sebring 12 Hours, driving with Phil Hill. Peter had already raced the new Ferrari Dino 246 at the tail-end of the previous year, finishing fourth in the Modena GP, and a win in the International Trophy race at Silverstone boded well for a Ferrari revival. Arriving at the Nurburgring for the German Grand Prix, Peter lay third in the championship standings behind Mike Hawthorn and Stirling Moss, but in the race, with Tony Brooks leading in the Vanwall and Peter in hot pursuit, it seems he made a simple but costly error of judgement, clipping a bank, which somersaulted the car at over 100 mph over a hedge and down into a field. The luckless Collins was hurled from his machine, suffering severe head injuries from which he died soon after in hospital in Bonn, without regaining consciousness.
(c) 'Who is Who' by Steve Small, 2000
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