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Tony Rolt
Born (1918-Template:MONTHNUMBER-16)16 1918
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Died Template:Death date and age
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Formula One career
Nationality 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom British
Years 1950, 1953, 1955

Major Anthony Peter Roylance "Tony" Rolt, MC medal bar & 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 lifeEdit

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

World War IIEdit

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 careerEdit

Tony Rolt competed in three Formula One World Championship races, the British Grands Prix of 1950, 53 & 55, 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 II 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 resultsEdit

(key)

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
Ret*
MON
500
SUI
BEL
FRA
ITA
NC 0
1953 RRC Walker Racing Team Connaught A Type Connaught Straight-4 ARG
500
NED
BEL
FRA
GBR
Ret
GER
SUI
ITA
NC 0
1955 Connaught Engineering Connaught B Type Connaught Straight-4 ARG
MON
500
BEL
NED
GBR
Ret*
ITA
NC 0
* Indicates shared drive with Peter Walker

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

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

Template:24 Hours of Le Mans winners


Smallwikipedialogo.png This page uses some content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Tony Rolt. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Autopedia, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.

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