Peter Whitehead (racing driver)
|Born||12 November 1914|
|Died||21 September 1958 (aged 43)|
|Formula One World Championship career|
|Active years||1950 – 1954|
privateer Ferrari, Alta and Cooper,|
|Races||12 (10 starts)|
|First race||1950 Monaco Grand Prix|
|Last race||1954 British Grand Prix|
Whitehead was able to fund his racing largely through the family wealth, gained from the wool industry. He began racing at the age of 20 in 1935, initially racing an Alta before buying an ERA B Type in 1936. Whitehead took the ERA to Australia in 1938 while touring on business, where he won the 1938 Australian Grand Prix and the 1938 Australian Hillclimb Championship. After World War II 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.
Sports car racer
Whitehead teamed with Peter Walker to win the 1951 24 Hours of Le Mans, in a Jaguar, with an average speed of 93.112 miles per hour. In July 1952 Whitehead qualified his Alta 2nd to Harry Schell for the Grand Prix of Rouen. In July 1953 Whitehead won a 12-hour endurance race together with Stirling Moss, at Reims, driving a Jaguar. In 1954 Whitehead and Ken Wharton piloted a new model 'D' type Jaguar to win the 12-Hour Race of Reims on 4 July. They were victorious with an average speed of 104.3 m.p.h. The same driving pair placed 5th at Belfast, Northern Ireland, in September, in the Ulster Tourist Trophy road race. 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.
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, with Graham at the wheel. Graham was badly injured, but Peter was killed instantly.
Complete World Championship results
|1950||Peter Whitehead||Ferrari 125||Ferrari V12||GBR|| MON
|Scuderia Ferrari||Ferrari 125||Ferrari V12|| SUI
|1951||Peter Whitehead||Ferrari 125||Ferrari V12|| SUI
|Ferrari 375||Ferrari V12|| ESP
|G A Vandervell||Ferrari 375 Thinwall||Ferrari V12|| GBR
|1952||Peter Whitehead||Alta F2||Alta Straight-4||SUI||500||BEL|| FRA
|Ferrari 125||Ferrari V12|| GBR
|1953||Atlantic Stable||Cooper T24||Alta Straight-4||ARG||500||NED||BEL||FRA|| GBR
|1954||Peter Whitehead||Cooper T24||Alta Straight-4||ARG||500||BEL||FRA|| GBR
Non-Championship Formula One results
- Two Britons Drive Record 93.112 M.P.H. For 24 Hours to Capture French Auto Race, New York Times, 25 June 1951, Page 24.
- Schell Speeds 121.803 M.P.H., New York Times, 5 July 1952, Page 10.
- French Auto Races To British Drivers, New York Times, 6 July 1953, Page 22.
- Article 3-No Title, New York Times, 5 July 1954, Page 15.
- Laureau, in French Car, Takes Ulster Trophy, 12 September 1954, Page S9.
- Brooks Captures Belgian Auto Race, New York Times, 26 August 1957, Page 29.
- British Driver Killed On Tour in France, New York Times, 21 September 1958, Page C2.
- The Manchester Guardian, 22 September 1958, Page 2.
|Australian Grand Prix Winner
| Succeeded by|
|Winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans
| Succeeded by|