Peter Collins was at Snetterton, which is where Owen Racing should have been with the Maserati. Despite Owen Racing's failure to show with the Maserati, Collins would remain at Snetterton. He was also under contract to drive for David Brown's Aston Martin sportscar team and they had a race at Snetterton that same weekend. Therefore, the race at Davidstow on the 30th of May would be devoid of the presence of Owen Racing precisely because Collins would be back at Snetterton taking part in the sportscar race there. As a result, over the course of one weekend, Owen Racing would fail to take part in two races in which it likely could have won. Yet again, problems and issues curse the team and take away from the potential results that team could have experienced. And then, one month later, a much bigger tragedy that Owen Racing would not be involved in, would only further affect the season and the opportunities for the team and the new car.
On the 12th of June, one of the greatest tragedies in all of life, especially of motorsports, would take place on the 8 mile Le Mans circuit. A collision between a couple of cars would send one car flying through the air with parts from the car breaking loose and striking the packed grandstands along the start/finish straight. When it was all over, one driver would be dead and more than 80 spectators would lose their lives. The tragic event would sent shockwaves through halls of government and would greatly affect many of those that had a great love affair of motor racing. On that day, much of the innocence of motor sport would be lost. Death had always been a part of the sport, but not to the degree and terror that would be witnessed at Le Mans in 1955. As a result, motorsport, on a whole throughout Europe, would be thrown up in the air. Many race organizers would cancel events. Many teams would abandon their original intentions and would go the way of that which would seem much more sociably acceptable.
No fewer than four rounds of the Formula One World Championship would be cancelled as a result of the tragedy at Le Mans. This meant teams like Owen Racing, which only took part in one of two World Championship events anyway, would find themselves with only one possible alternative and far fewer options should they desire to look elsewhere.
The Belgian Grand Prix would take place the week before the Le Mans tragedy. Amazingly, the Dutch Grand Prix would remain on the schedule despite being the following week after Le Mans. But then there would be a break of about a month before the sixth round of the championship in 1955. What was worse, there would only be seven rounds of the World Championship in 1955. Therefore, for British teams like Owen Racing, there would really only be one possible option should they have any aspirations of taking part in a Formula One World Championship race.
The tragedy at Le Mans would see a lot of things change or come to an end. One change that would already be on the books would be the change in venue for the British Grand Prix for 1955. After serving as host for the British Grand Prix since its inception in 1948, Silverstone would no be the site of the home World Championship grand prix starting in 1955. Instead, the new home for the grand prix would be the 3.0 mile circuit intermingled within and around the famed Aintree Racecourse.
A place already famous for such names as The Chair, Beecher's Bend and Valentine's Brook would now also add such names as Tatts Corner, Village Corner and Railway Straight to its many famous and identifiable calling cards. Where Silverstone had once been a World War II bomber training base, and therefore, was nothing more than a wide-open field of concrete and grass, Aintree offered a number of advantages. The main advantage would be the simple fact the layout for the grand prix circuit would also make use of the same grand stands that would be used for viewing the Grand National, and therefore, meant very little construction needed to take place to prepare the site to host the race.
The site of the greatest steeplechase race in the world, Aintree would welcome the best Formula One teams in the world. With such names as Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari and Maserati, Aintree was now going to serve as the home to the most famous of motor racing thoroughbreds, and therefore, would be reason enough for the incredible throng of spectators that would travel to Liverpool for the race on the 16th of July.
If the caliber of manufacturers present wasn't enough, the fact the British fans had a number of top flight drivers in the field to cheer on would make up for any lack of interest in the manufacturer's battle.
Mercedes-Benz would bring no less than four of the updated W196 Silver Arrows machines. Scuderia Ferrari would bring three cars to enter, the Maserati factory team would bring four cars as well and Equipe Gordini would bring three. Then there would be a number of talented privateer teams that would complete the rest of the 25 car field.
One of those smaller privateer teams would be Owen Racing Organization and their single Maserati 250F piloted by Peter Collins. Unfortunately, against such impressive competition, the Dunlop-shod Owen Racing Maserati would struggle in practice. Stirling Moss would be the quickest in practice lapping the 3.0 mile circuit in 2:00.4. Juan Manuel Fangio, who was on the verge of his second-straight World Championship title, would be just two-tenths of a second slower than Moss and would start in the 2nd place spot along the front row. Jean Behra would upset the Mercedes domination by claiming the final spot on the front row by recording a time eight-tenths of a second slower than Fangio.
Despite being behind the wheel of the same type of car as the 3rd place starter Jean Behra, Peter Collins would struggle mightily to match the pace of those that would start in the first couple of rows on the grid. The top thirteen would be separated by just five seconds. However, the final twelve on the grid would find themselves separated by nearly twenty-one seconds. Collins would be one of those mired well down in the field after practice. His best effort would be exactly thirteen seconds slower than Moss' pole time. Therefore, Collins would find himself starting all the way down on the tenth, and final, row of the grid in the 24th starting spot overall.
Collins and the Owen Racing Organization had a tall order before them heading into the 90 lap, 270 mile, race. Additionally, the weather on the day of the race would be hot and dry, and therefore, would only further test a car's endurance if pressed, which was likely to happen under such conditions, especially when Collins had a lot of ground to try and make up.
The two o'clock starting time was fast approaching. The teams would make final adjustments to their cars. Then, with mere moments to go, the cars would be started and the drivers would pull forward to their starting positions on the grid. The crowd's anticipation would grow as it prepared to witness horses of a different kind about to be set loose. The tense excitement of the crowd would be drowned out by the sound of the engine's coming up to full song straining against their reins until the flag dropped.
Just then, the flag would drop and the race would come to life amongst soaring engines and tire smoke. Despite his impressive performance in practice, Behra would have a poor getaway from the line and would be a number of spots back as Fangio and Moss headed the field into Waterway for the first time. The delay by Behra would allow Mercedes to run 1st through 4th through the first corner, but it would not stay that very long as Behra would make a quick recovery.
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