TeamsConnaught Engineering: 1956 Formula One Season By Jeremy McMullen
By the end of the 1955 season British marques were beginning the rise to the top of grand prix significance. Long dominated by Italian efforts, grand prix racing would see more than one British manufacturer act as a thorn in the side of the established aristocracy. Promised since the days of the BRM project, the British manufacturers were beginning to find reliability and speed. However, it would be the rather unlikely British effort that would cause the first bit of stir.
Connaught Engineering's invitation to the Gran Premio di Siracusa in late-October of 1955 had been more of a gesture by organizers to fill the ranks of the grid than to invite a truly competitive team to add to the show. In fact, Connaught Engineering was believed to be quite the opposite at the time.
The rather humorous attitude concerning the team by its competitors would only be further helped along when the team from England was late arriving for practice. The factory Maseratis had already been out in practice and had been comfortably lapping seconds faster than their nearest competitors. They believed it would be the same story with the Connaughts…whenever they showed up.
The humorous script got even better when Connaught arrived with a driver that had only been in dental school a week or two prior to the race. Needless to say, Connaught didn't get too much attention when they arrived. However, within just a few minutes the dental student would cause the factory Maserati drivers to have to scramble to save their reputations.
Tony Brooks would be quickly on the pace in the Connaught B-Type chassis and would be soon lapping a bit quicker than the Maseratis of Luigi Musso and Luigi Villoresi. Both Maserati drivers would quickly get behind the wheel and would go out and better Brooks' time, but it was clear the British effort had caught the attention of the Italian sovereign.
Though Connaught would lose out on the pole, the tiny British team would manage to thoroughly and easily usurp Italian authority during the race as Brooks would cruise home to a victory of more than 50 seconds over Luigi Musso. Luigi Villoresi would be thorough deposed as he would come through to finish over two laps down in 3rd.
The British threat had arrived. The defense of Britain seemed to have come to an end. The invasion of Europe now seemed likely…and it would be Connaught Engineering many thought would be leading the charge through the hedgerow.
Following the first British victory on the European mainland since 1924 there would be some changes at Connaught Engineering. The Surrey-based company wasn't the only British-based motor racing company on the rise. Vandervell Products had also been showing some marked improvement, but it hadn't turned into any success yet, at least not outside of the English shores. Nonetheless, the promise the team showed would be enough to attract the talents of Tony Brooks. This would leave Connaught Engineering scrambling to look for a driver as talented as Brooks. The team believed they had found someone of potential. Archie Scott-Brown would come and join the team. He would join Connaught regular Les Leston.
Connaught would look to enter more than two cars over the course of the season. However, they would need to find talented individuals to fill those slots. Early on, those slots would be given to experienced and steady drivers.
The B-Type chassis had certainly proved itself in Syracuse. Therefore, it was believed the car would really hit its stride throughout the 1956 season since it had made its debut later on in the 1955 season. Therefore, as the team looked forward to the start of the season there was great reason for optimism.
Although the team had been the ones to give Britain its first grand prix victory on European soil since the 1920s, the manufacturer was still small enough that it would not look forward to the first round of the 1956 Formula One World Championship as it took part in Argentina, all the way across the South Atlantic. No, the season would start a bit later for Connaught. In fact, it wouldn't be until the 2nd of April at the Easter Monday Races that Connaught Engineering would make its first appearance of the 1956 season.
The race on the 2nd of April would be the 4th Glover Trophy race and it would be just one of a number of races as part of the Easter Monday Races held at Goodwood Motor Racing Circuit.
Following the end of the Second World War, Goodwood Motor Racing Circuit would remain quite a busy venue, but for obviously different reasons. During the war, RAF Westhampnett, as Goodwood had been known, would serve as an auxiliary station to RAF Tangmere. First built in 1938, the airfield station would be often used throughout the early part of the Second World War and then would be decommissioned by 1946. Soon afterward, the Duke of Richmond, the title holder of the land and keen motor racing enthusiast, would determine to turn its 2.39 miles of perimeter road into a motor racing circuit.
Becoming a motor racing circuit, Goodwood Motor Racing Circuit would quickly become a popular venue and the Easter Monday Races would be one of the circuit's most popular events.
The Richmond Formula 1 race would be nearly an all-British affair were it not for the presence of Equipe Gordini and its two cars driven by Robert Manzon and Elie Bayol. Louis Rosier would also be present in the field with his single Maserati 250F.
In spite of the foreign presence in the field, the greatest threat to the Connaught team that consisted of Archie Scott-Brown, Les Leston and the veteran Bob Gerard would come in the form of Stirling Moss and his Maserati 250F. He would end up fastest around the circuit with a time of 1:32.0 and would earn the pole for the 32 lap race. Starting beside Moss in the 2nd place position would be Connaught's Scott-Brown. His best lap in practice would be just six-tenths of a second slower than Moss and would be in a strong position for the race. Mike Hawthorn would take the new BRM 25 and would capture the 3rd place spot on the front row. The final spot on the four-wide front row would go to yet another Connaught driver. Bob Gerard would show his proficiency behind the wheel and would capture the final spot with a lap time just a little more than two seconds slower than Moss. Les Leston would be a little more than three seconds behind Gerard on the circuit, and as a result, would start from the 7th place position, or, what was the outside position on the three-wide second row.
At the start of the race, Hawthorn would get away from the grid well and would be running quite strongly. One that would not get away very well would be Ken Wharton in a Ferrari 500. He would complete a lap and then would have his engine fail him taking him out of the race altogether.
Les Leston would overcome his second row starting spot and would be right up there with the front-runners. Leston would be pushing hard while Gerard and Scott-Brown would be holding station right near where they started the race.
A lot would change before the race would even reach three-quarters distance. Tony Brooks' move to Owen Racing Organization would not be immediately successful as he would retire after just 9 laps due to oil pressure problems. Then trouble would come visiting Brooks' replacement.
Archie Scott-Brown would start the race from 2nd place on the grid and would look strong during the early part of the race. However, chasing Stirling Moss would take its toll on his Connaught as he would be forced out of the race after 17 laps because of engine trouble.
The most dramatic and terrifying exit of the race would be made by another front row starter. Mike Hawthorn would be still running quite strongly when his BRM suddenly suffered a failure that would end up sending him through the infield. Suddenly, the car would turn end over end throwing Hawthorn clear of the car. The car would continue to turn end over end until it came to a rest upside down in the grass. Hawthorn would be rather bruised but the car would be written off almost entirely.
The loss of Scott-Brown, Hawthorn and others would leave Moss all by himself well out in front of the rest of the field. Chased by Reg Parnell in the Walker Racing Team Connaught B-Type, Les Leston and Bob Gerard would be leading the chasing pack behind Moss and Salvadori.
Posting a fastest lap time just two-tenths of a second slower than his own pole-winning effort, Moss would cruise to victory. Averaging a little more than 94mph around the circuit, Moss would take the victory by more than a minute over Roy Salvadori making it two Maserati 250Fs in the top-two finishing positions. About 30 seconds behind Salvadori would come the first of three Connaughts. Les Leston would overcome his 7th place starting position to finish the 32 lap race in the 3rd position. A little more than a lap would be the gap from Moss back to the 4th place finisher, which happened to be Bob Gerard.
Although Scott-Brown's retirement would take away from an even better result for the Surrey-based manufacturer, Connaught would still enjoy a solid result having two of its cars finish in the top five and one on the podium. Unfortunately, the B-Type would have revenge served. After thoroughly destroying the Maserati challenge in Sicily, the Modena-based company would get its revenge, and would do so with a British driver.
The result at Goodwood in the Glover Trophy would be something of bittersweet result for Connaught. Yes, the team had come away with two very good results. However, the team was not able to challenge Moss and the latest evolution of the Maserati. This would be frustrating after the way the team dominated in Syracuse only months earlier. But, Connaught would have little time to be concerned with the frustrating result at Goodwood. Instead, the team had a very important race to get ready for, and it would take place on the 15th of April, just two weeks after the events at Goodwood.
The Gran Premio di Siracusa had offered Connaught Engineering one of its greatest moments in single-seater racing. The amazing and dominant victory was certainly still in the minds of everyone at the factory. However, there would be little time to reminisce as the same race for 1956 would be moved back to the early spring. Therefore, following the race at Goodwood, Connaught would switch its focus back to defending its victory on the island of Sicily.
Measuring 3.48 miles in length, the Syracuse street circuit would consist of public roads laying just to the west of the city's downtown and would be a mixture of fast straight sections and quick corners. All-in-all, average speeds around the circuit approached 100 mph, and yet, the Connaught B-Type seemed perfectly at home when it made its visit to the circuit in late October of 1955.
In that race the Maserati drivers were slowed slightly because of the track breaking up under the heavy use. However, Brooks and the B-Type just rode over the bumps without a second thought and cruised to an absolutely dominant victory.
Only a handful of months later, Connaught would find it rather difficult to dominate as it did back in late October. This would be due to the presence of Scuderia Ferrari and their Lancia-Ferraris. Besides a gaggle of Maserati 250Fs in the field, the 1956 edition of the Gran Premio di Siracusa would also feature no less than four Lancia-Ferraris driven by Juan Manuel Fangio, Eugenio Castellotti, Luig Musso and Peter Collins. Of course, Luigi Musso certainly would be out to revenge for the embarrassing loss a few months before, but the presence of Fangio meant Connaught would have an even tougher assignment if it had any allusions of repeating.
Those allusions would become more and more like illusions following practice for the 80 lap race. Fangio would set the pace in the Lancia-Ferrari. His best lap around the circuit would be 1:58.0 and would be more than enough for the Argentinean to take pole. Eugenio Castellotti would then snatch 2nd place away by posting a lap nine-tenths of a second slower than Fangio. The final spot on the front row would go to the Frenchman Jean Behra. Behind the wheel of one of the factory Maseratis, Behra would capture 3rd place with a time a little more than a second and a half slower than Fangio.
Connaught Engineering would have two cars entered under the team name though one was more of a privateer entry. The factory itself would come to the race with just one car for Desmond Titterington. However, Piero Scotti had come to be one of the company's clients. Therefore, he too would enter the race but would be so entered under the factory name.
Back in October, Brooks stunned just about everyone posting faster and faster lap times in the Connaught. The fastest of the race would end up being a lap of 2:00.2. Desmond Titterington would not be able to approach that time. And, given the fact Fangio posting a time a couple of seconds faster than Brooks' own fastest lap, it was clear where Titterington would start the race. As a result of Titterington's fastest lap time of just 2:06.6, he would start the race down in 8th place, the outside of the third row. Piero Scotti would not have a time posted, and therefore, would start the race down on the sixth row of the grid in the 15th position overall—dead-last.
With the exception of Equipe Gordini, Connaught Engineering would be the lone foreign team in the field. Surrounded by a sea of Italian Red, the British Racing Green colors would stand as a marked contrast. And, the race in April would stand in marked contrast to the glorious event back in late-October.
At the start of the race the Ferraris streaked out into the lead of the race. However, Jean Behra wouldn't let them escape very easily. Driving the latest evolution of the 250F, Behra would maintain a gap of a few meters between himself and the Ferraris. Behra would be quick right away and this would cause Fangio and the other Ferrari drivers to respond.
Castellotti would be quick and would actually set the fastest lap of the race until he was eclipsed by Fangio with a time of 1:59.8. This put tremendous pressure on Behra to respond and stay in touch. This would be too much for the experimental Maserati and Behra would be out of the race after just a single lap because of lubrication problems. Horace Gould, another Maserati driver, would be out of the race after two laps because of transmission problems.
At 278 miles total distance, the Gran Premio di Siracusa was certain to claim its share of victims and the majority of those that would find themselves out of race would do so prior to the halfway mark of the race.
One of those that would find himself out of the race before the halfway mark of the race would be Scotti. His gearbox would give him troubles and would dog him until he finally retired from the race after 21 laps.
It was not looking good for Connaught. Reality had come crashing back in on the team after its glorious coup. Just two laps after Scotti found himself out of the race with gearbox problems, Titterington would come pulling into the pits with ignition problems. He would be out of the race. Connaught's defense was over.
It was highly unlikely Connaught would have been able to survive the Ferrari onslaught even on the best of days. Out front, three of the four Ferraris were steamrolling through the field. Running nose-to-tail lap after lap, the might of Scuderia Ferrari would plow its way through the defenses of its fellow competitors and would leave everyone else wanting. Aided by the fastest lap of the race, Fangio would go on to lead the way for a dominant Ferrari victory. Averaging a little more than 97 mph, Fangio would lead home a Ferrari trio that would include Luigi Musso in 2nd place and Peter Collins in 3rd. Everyone else in the field would be at least 3 laps behind.
The 1956 edition of the Gran Premio di Siracusa would see yet another dominant victory, but it would not come at the hands of the British. The Lancia-Ferraris would absolutely steamroll the competition while Connaught would be left wondering what had happened. Amazingly, in a matter of just a couple of weeks, Connaught had gone from strong contenders to troubled also-rans. If they were to be Britain's hope for taking the fight to the Italian teams they would have to pray for one incredible miracle.
Unlike the previous year, Connaught's foray across the Channel had come a cropper. Instead, the team returned to English shores looking to rebuild its cars and its confidence. There would be little time to prepare the cars, however, as the next race for the team would come on the 21st of April, the following week. The race was the 11th BARC Aintree ‘200'.
Taking place on the 3.0 mile Aintree circuit, the BARC Aintree event would take place with mostly British entrants, and therefore, offered Connaught a great opportunity to get its confidence back after the disappointment experienced in Syracuse.
Formerly the JCC 200, the Aintree ‘200' event would take place at the Aintree Circuit. Though 3.0 miles in length, the circuit situated within and without the Aintree Racecourse, famous for the Grand National, would offer the B-Types a great opportunity since the circuit was much more of a medium speed circuit.
Given the financial resources and shortage of time, Connaught would enter just two cars for the 67 lap, 200 mile race. Desmond Titterington would again be back driving for the team. However, Archie Scott-Brown would also be back driving for the team.
In the hands of Scott-Brown, the B-Type Connaught would be the class of the field in practice around the relatively featureless Aintree Circuit. Posting a best lap of 2:03.8, Scott-Brown would take the pole by more than two seconds over Mike Hawthorn in the Owen Racing BRM 25. These two had been on the front row during the Glover Trophy race at Goodwood back earlier in the month. However, the man that would complete the front row for the Aintree ‘200' wouldn't even be at the race at Goodwood. Desmond Titterington would take advantage of the performance of the B-Type to grab the final front row starting position and make it two Connaughts on the front row.
While the Connaughts looked strong in practice, there was reason for concern and it came from the second row. Right behind Scott-Brown would be Stirling Moss. Roy Salvadori would also be right there with him on the second row of the grid in the Gilby Engineering Maserati and he also looked strong at Goodwood earlier in the month.
There would be 201 miles lying before the 13 car field as it prepared for the start of the race. As with the event at Goodwood, there would be a good deal of change-up at the front over the course of the race.
Moss would get away well from the start and would be right up at the front from the very beginning of the race. Mike Hawthorn would also look to take advantage of his front row starting position right along with the two Connaught drivers.
However, while Moss would get on with his duties, those that started on the front row would run into a brick wall. The first to suffer would be Hawthorn. His race would last just 4 laps before brake failure ended his day. Just 13 laps into the race Scott-Brown would be forced out of the running with an engine problem. And, less than 15 laps from the finish Titterington would also be forced out of the race due to brake failure. This meant the entire front row was out of the race by the time just 10 laps remained in the race.
However, this was just a handful of the retirements. Reg Parnell and Roy Salvadori would be out after 5 laps. Three others, including Bob Gerard, would be out before the 40th lap of the race.
Despite the fact Tony Brooks would go on to set the fastest lap of the race with a time two seconds faster than his own qualifying effort, Stirling Moss would be out front and pulling away from the rest of the field.
Nobody capable of challenging Moss meant the Maserati pilot would escape into the distance. Having earned his first-ever World Championship victory on the very same circuit the year before, Moss would be untouchable. Averaging a little more than 82 mph over the course of the 67 lap race, it would take Moss a little more than two hours and 23 minutes to come across the line and take yet another victory.
Despite Brooks' fastest lap time, he would finish the race a little more than a lap behind Moss in 2nd place. More than 3 laps would be the difference from Moss back to Jack Brabham finishing in 3rd place.
Connaught would face another disappointing result. The team had started the race with two cars on the front row, and yet, would come away without anything to show for the effort. It seemed incredible the team was not vastly more improved following the amazing victory at the end of the 1955 season. All of a sudden, Connaught seemed the same as it had following its late debut in 1952.
Connaught had returned to English shores to overcome its disappointment in Syracuse. However, the team would find disappointment had followed them. The team needed things to turn around quickly, or else, they would have no momentum whatsoever when they decided to take part in a World Championship event.
The next World Championship events were rapidly approaching as it was not May. However, Connaught had another opportunity to take part in a non-championship race and restore its confidence. Interestingly, the next race on the team's calendar would come at the same site as the 1956 round of the British Grand Prix—Silverstone.
The team had left one British Grand Prix venue—Aintree—without having had any success. However, on the 5th of May, Silverstone would play host to the popular BRDC International Trophy race. Seeing that Silverstone would be the host for the British Grand Prix in a couple of months the 8th edition of the International Trophy race would see a number of top teams and drivers make the trip to the former bomber training base in order to take part in the race as an important test. This would provide teams, like Connaught, an opportunity to see how it stacked up against other teams on a circuit to be used for the sixth round of the World Championship.
Since the very first impromptu race held at the former airbase in 1947; cars, drivers and teams have constantly made the trip to Silverstone to test itself against one another. Wide open, featureless and relatively flat, the Silverstone Circuit seemed an unlikely road course for grand prix racing. However, by the time it hosted the first-ever round of the Formula One World Championship in 1950 the circuit had truly become one of Britain's homes for motor racing.
The BRDC International Trophy race had been one of the more popular non-championship races on the calendar and it was not at all surprising to see Scuderia Ferrari and the factory Maserati team make the pilgrimage to the new site of British motor racing. Sure enough, the 1956 edition of the International Trophy race would see two cars entered under the Scuderia Ferrari banner. The Equipe Gordini team and Ecurie Rosier would also make the trip to the circuit.
Despite the presence of some strong foreign teams, there would be a large fleet of British marques that would make up the majority of the field. Vandervell Products would enter two of their Vanwalls. Owen Racing would enter a single car effort for Mike Hawthorn. Then there would be a number of other single-car privateer entries. By far, the largest team present for the 60 lap race would be Connaught. No less than five Connaughts would be entered in the race.
The addition of a few cars for Connaught meant the addition of a few more drivers. Archie Scott-Brown and Desmond Titterington would be the two expected. However, Piero Scotti would be back driving under the Connaught team name while Jack Fairman and Mike Oliver would also join the team for the race.
The cars would take to the 2.88 mile circuit for the start of practice. It wouldn't take too long before Stirling Moss kept his roll going setting the fastest lap time around the circuit, but this time behind the wheel of a Vanwall. His lap of 1:42 would barely edge out his Vandervell teammate, Harry Schell, but it would be good enough for the pole. Starting beside Schell in the 3rd position would be Juan Manuel Fangio in one of the Lancia-Ferraris. His best was a second off of Moss' best. The final position on the front row would go to Mike Hawthorn in the BRM 25. He too would only be about a second off of Moss' pace.
Once again, the average pace around the Silverstone would be high enough that the Connaughts struggled slightly. Scott-Brown would be the fastest of the five. His best effort would be about 4 seconds slower than Moss and would lead to the number 5 B-Type starting from the second row of the grid in the 7th position. Titterington would only be a second off of Scott-Brown's pace, and therefore, would start in the 8th position but on the third row. Right beside Titterington would be yet another Connaught driver. This would belong to Jack Fairman. Fairman had posted a best lap of 1:50, which was about 8 seconds slower than Moss.
The next Connaught wouldn't be found until one looked down on the fifth row of the grid. And, there in the 15th position would be found Piero Scotti. He was more than 20 seconds off Moss' pace but was still around the middle of the field. Mike Oliver, on the other hand, would be well down in the field. In fact, while he may not have been the slowest to qualify for the race he would end up the last starter on the grid since others around him would decide not to start the race.
As the cars were rolled out onto the grid, gray skies greeted everyone, but there was little threat of rain as the drivers and spectators took their positions awaiting the start of the 60 lap race. Despite starting from the pole, Moss would have a terrible start to the race and would be a distance back as the field filed its way through Copse for the first time. The first into Copse would be Fangio followed by Hawthorn. Scott-Brown would get squeezed off to the outside on the run down to the first turn and would have to fight hard to regain lost momentum. The rest of the Connaughts would get away well holding onto their stations rather well through the first part of the lap.
One Connaught that would not get away well would be that of the Walking Racing team with Reg Parnell at the wheel. The 1951 winner of the race would barely go a few hundred yards before gearbox brought an end to his race before he even had the opportunity to complete a single lap.
Although he would suffer a poor start, Moss would quickly recover and would post some truly incredible lap times with a majority of them coming within a second of his pole time. This would help close the distance to Fangio.
Hawthorn would suffer yet another terrible outing in the BRM. His race would come to an end after 13 laps of fine driving. Moss would find himself a little concerned smelling the fumes of burning oil. He would then back off and the odor would subside. However, even though he backed off slightly, he would still find himself capable of keeping pace with, and even capable of passing, Fangio. This was to be understood in time as Fangio's car would end up out of the race after 20 laps due to clutch failure.
The attrition would continue to take its toll. Just before Fangio parked his Lancia-Ferrari, Jack Fairman would retire from the race with an expired engine. And, four laps after Fangio parked his car, Mike Oliver would suffer a crash with his B-Type taking out a second of the factory Connaughts. Three laps after Oliver's crash, Fangio would again be out of the race. He had taken over Peter Collins' Lancia-Ferrari only to be let down by yet another clutch failure.
No such failures were happening for Moss after he backed off his pace slightly. No such problems were also befalling the remaining factory Connaughts either. For the three Connaughts remaining in the race, the day had the potential of restoring some of Connaught's lost confidence.
Due to the attrition, all of the remaining Connaughts in the field were to be found inside the top eight heading into the final moments of the race. Finally, the Connaughts were showing their promise with two cars in the top five. Unfortunately, Moss' pace, despite backing off, was still more than enough for the rest of the field. All he needed to do was hold the Vanwall on the circuit and victory would be certain.
Moss had no problems holding the Vanwall on the circuit, and, after almost one hour and 45 minutes would come around Woodcote and across the line to take the victory having averaged a little more than 100 mph en route.
Moss was truly by himself in the remaining moments of the race for he was the only car on the lead lap. This could have had a demoralizing effect on some, but as Scott-Brown roared around the final corner to finish in 2nd place Connaught would care very little that one of its cars finished more than a lap behind the winner. It would care even less when Titterington came around to finish the race in 3rd place, three laps behind. But where was Scotti? He too would eventually make it to the finish, but like the others would be laps behind Moss by the end. In fact, he would finish the race 7 laps behind but would still finish in 7th place.
The International Trophy race had been a rather good one for Connaught Engineering. Not only did the team have two cars finish on the podium, but it had three finish inside the top ten. This was a very good result for the team given its last couple of races. However, there were still some obvious concerns, namely overall pace, or lack thereof. But, given what the results of the race actually were, Connaught certainly had reason to leave Silverstone with confidence and its head held high.
Not too often throughout a Formula One season is a team or driver presented the opportunity of a second chance, especially at one particular circuit. However, on the 24th of June, Connaught Engineering would have just such an occasion when it returned to Aintree to take part in the 1st Aintree 100.
By the end of June the World Championship had kicked well and truly into gear. The Monaco Grand Prix had been in May while the Belgian Grand Prix had taken place just a couple of weeks prior to the non-championship event at Aintree. However, after the struggles the team had been experiencing prior to Silverstone, and the team's financial situation, it was not at all surprising the team did not make the trip to either.
The Aintree 100 would obviously run a total of 102 miles around the 3.0 mile circuit compared to the BARC Aintree 200 held back in April. Still, it was the same 3.0 mile circuit and a wonderful opportunity for Connaught to get a second crack at the circuit that saw them suffer a double-retirement.
Seeing that the race would take place in between rounds of the World Championship it was not surprising the entry list for the race would be small. However, just nine cars would still be rather disappointing for sure. Connaught itself would only bring one car to the race and that would be entered for Scott-Brown. The vast majority of the Connaughts would be Formula 2 A-Types entered by privateers.
Archie Scott-Brown would take advantage of the situation in practice and would post the fastest lap around the circuit. His time of 2:05.8 would earn him the pole by nearly 5 seconds over Roy Salvadori driving a Connaught A-Type. The rest of the front row would include Horace Gould in 3rd place with his Maserati 250F and Bill Holt at the wheel of another A-Type.
Prior to the start of the race the field would get even smaller when engine-related problems would cause Tony Brooks to fail to start the race in the BRM 25. This meant just 8 cars would prepare to take the green flag to start the 34 lap race.
Scott-Brown had to be considered one of the favorites heading into the race, provided the reliability would be there. Unfortunately, it would soon become apparent it wasn't. Scott-Brown would look strong through the first few laps of the race, and then, would begin to fade until he would be entirely out of the race after just 8 laps.
Over the course of the race Salvadori would have to fight hard in a Formula 2 A-Type just to keep up with Horace Gould in his Maserati. Then there would be Bob Gerard in his 2.3-liter Bristol-powered Cooper and Bruce Halford in another Maserati 250F. Each presented a great challenge to even the fastest Formula 2 car.
Sure enough, Gould would take advantage of the situation and would go on to set the fastest lap of the race and pull out a comfortable margin over the only other Formula One cars following along behind.
In a little under one hour and 14 minutes Gould would come around to take a convincing victory beating Bob Gerard to the line by about 35 seconds. Another 25 seconds later, Bruce Halford would come across to claim 3rd place.
Connaught had obviously calculated its risks heading into the race. Unfortunately, the risks feared would come true. Instead of coming home with some sorely needed prize money, Connaught would have to spend even more repairing the B-Type to get it ready for the next race of the season. The team had had some good results but they were terribly tempered by some truly disappointing performances. Unfortunately, Aintree had proven to be an Achilles heal for the team. Thankfully, the team's next race would be back at a circuit in which they had performed well just a couple of months earlier.
Finances and confidence running short, Connaught would avoid making the trip across the Channel to Reims in order to take part in the French Grand Prix. The potential for a return on investment certainly seemed too little to justify such a trip. However, a return to Silverstone to take part in the British Grand Prix on the 14th of July certainly seemed within the realm of possibility and was the team's intention from the very beginning of the season.
Earlier in the year, Silverstone, surprisingly, had provided Connaught a sorely needed lift after a period of some truly terrible results. The team had taken on some of the best teams and drivers in the world and had come away with a 2nd and 3rd place finish, as just some of the highlights. Returning to the circuit in mid-July, Connaught could be somewhat confident since it would face some of the very same competitors it had overcome earlier. However, the full might of such teams as Scuderia Ferrari, Officine Alfieri Maserati and the numerous other privateer teams would be felt.
To even give themselves a chance, Connaught would come to the event with its own gaggle of B-Types. In total, four cars would be entered by Connaught. The driver lineup was to be Scott-Brown, Titterington, Fairman and Oliver. However, a fourth car did not arrive, and therefore, Oliver would not take part in the race.
The number of Maserati 250Fs in the field would be utterly amazing. No less than 11 250Fs would be entered in the race. This would be enough for Connaught to deal with, but the team would also have five cars from Scuderia Ferrari, three from Owen Racing, three from Vandervell Products and a host of other privateers to deal with over the course of the weekend.
The car would take to the circuit for practice and a usual sight would take place. Stirling Moss would be quickest around the 2.88 mile circuit with a time of 1:41, a second quicker than his time in the International Trophy race back in early May. This would give Moss the pole by a second over Juan Manuel Fangio in the Lancia-Ferrari D50. Mike Hawthorn would find himself in 3rd spot on the front another second off of Fangio's pace. Hawthorn would barely edge out his good friend Peter Collins in another D50.
Both Scott-Brown and Titterington would be impressive in practice in the B-Type. Scott-Brown would prove to be the fastest in practice. His best time around the circuit would be 1:45, just about 4 seconds slower than Moss. This would give him a third row starting spot. On the third row of the grid, Scott-Brown would start beside Tony Brooks in the 10th position while his teammate Titterington would be just on the other side of him in the 11th spot.
Jack Fairman would be a little bit off the pace of his teammates. His best lap around the circuit would end up being 1:51.0, some 10 seconds slower than Moss. Therefore, Fairman would find himself down on the sixth row of the grid in the 21st position.
Once again, overcast skies would be the prevailing sky condition on the day of the race. But, like the International Trophy race, the circuit would be dry. The grandstands would quickly fill up, as would much of the rest of the circuit. The cars would be rolled out to their places on the grid. The teams and the drivers would be greeted with great cheers from the large crowd assembled.
Engines come to life, as too does the crowd. Then the flag dropped to start the race. As with the International Trophy, Moss would have a poor start off the line while Hawthorn would streak off the line to lead the field into Copse for the first time. Following Hawthorn would be his teammate Brooks.
The Connaught crew of Scott-Brown and Titterington would get away well and would hold station through the first few corners of the race. One of the Connaughts to absolutely rocket off the line was the one piloted by Jack Fairman. Though he would start all the way down in 21st place he would find himself well inside the top 15 by the time the first lap was drawing to a conclusion.
At the end of the first lap it would be Hawthorn in the lead with Brooks following along in 2nd place. Fangio would be a few seconds back in 3rd place while Moss would be trying to recover after falling all the way down to 8th place at the end of the first lap. Moss would only be a couple of places and a couple of seconds ahead of Scott-Brown and Titterington, who would come across the line at the end of the first lap in 10th and 11th respectively. Fairman would be quite impressive as he would complete the first lap of the race in the 14th position.
Hawthorn would continue to hold onto the lead while Brooks and Fangio became embroiled in a battle for 2nd. Fangio would be pushing Brooks when he would make a rare mistake and would drop down to 6th place overall. This would put him just ahead of Scott-Brown who gradually made his way further up the running order. Titterington's progress would be in the positive but it would not be at the rate of his teammate. At the same time Scott-Brown found himself in 7th, Titterington would be rather stuck in 10th. Fairman, however, continued to be on the rise. By the 16th lap of the race he would make his way all the way up to 12th, and this after starting 21st.
At the same time all of the Connaughts were running inside the top 12, there would be a lot of change happening at the front of the field. Hawthorn's BRM would be running into engine troubles and this would enable Moss, who had been mired down in the field, to come up and take over the lead of the race. Hawthorn's downward descent is on and this would allow Roy Salvadori to come up and take a surprising 2nd in the running order. Right behind these two Brits would be Fangio in the Lancia-Ferrari.
By this point in time things were beginning to go terribly wrong for Connaught. After more than a half dozen laps in the 7th position, Scott-Brown would be forced out of the running due to a lost wheel. Laps later, Titterington begins to run into trouble and ends up off the pace. By the halfway point in the 101 lap race he would be all the way down in 15th and 16th place fighting hard just to stay in the race.
At the halfway mark it would be Moss holding onto the lead clearly ahead of Salvadori who has troubles all over his backside. Not only is he under pressure from Fangio in his Lancia-Ferrari but the tank strap has come loose on his Maserati. This would lead to Salvadori needing to make a pit stop and being dropped firmly out of contention. This would bring Fangio into 2nd place and Peter Collins, another Ferrari pilot, into 3rd. Jack Fairman would continue to impress as he would be well inside the top ten by this point in the race and showing no signs of any kind of problem.
Moss would find he had a problem. Just like at Aintree the year before, the Brit would be leading the British Grand Prix, and would do so for more than a majority of the race. However, with about 30 laps remaining in the race he would have Fangio all over his rear end. There was really nothing Moss could do against the might of Fangio and the Lancia-Ferrari, and, on the 69th lap of the race it would be Fangio in the lead.
Heading around the circuit with 20 laps still remaining in the race it would be Fangio in the lead by a clear margin over Moss in 2nd place. Moss would be struggling now with his Maserati as little naggling gearbox issues began to show themselves. Following along behind Moss would be de Portago in another Ferrari followed by Jean Behra in another Maserati. Well back of Behra and Fangio in 5th place would be the surprising figure of Fairman and the Connaught. On this day the Connaught was showing itself to be exactly what the team believed it would be right from the very beginning of the season.
Just 7 laps away from the checkered flag and the final bit of drama would play out before the British crowd. Stirling Moss, after leading for so long in the race, would finally find his race come a cropper when the gearbox finally failed. This would promote Collins to 2nd place and Fairman up into 4th.
Unchallenged due to being more than a lap ahead of the rest of the field, Fangio would come around Woodcote and across the line to take the victory. Over the course of the 101 laps Fangio would average a speed of more than 98 mph. Peter Collins would be at the wheel of de Portago's Ferrari and would come through a lap down but in 2nd place. The steady Jean Behra would be yet another lap further down but would complete the podium in 3rd.
Fairman would prove quite impressive in the B-Type Connaught. Despite starting the race from all the way down in 21st place with a best time 10 seconds slower than Moss', he would be fast when it counted. In the race, Fairman would take advantage of his rocket start to climb up the running order. Aided by attrition that would end up claiming his teammate Scott-Brown after 16 laps and Titterington after 74, Fairman would be able to climb all the way up to a fantastic 4th place at the drop of the checkered flag. What was thoroughly impressive about Fairman's performance was not only did he finish the race in 4th place, but he was also well clear of his challengers from behind having more than a lap in hand over Horace Gould in 5th.
Connaught had done it again. Not since their debut in the World Championship back in 1952 had the team scored any championship points. But, Fairman's 4th place in the British Grand Prix meant he would come away 3 championship points. Suddenly, Fairman would find himself inside the top 20 in the battle for the championship.
Though still tempered by the unfortunate failures for Scott-Brown and Titterington, Fairman's 4th place would be a welcome bit of good news for Connaught. The team had reason to celebrate. Though issues remained and the season had proven difficult, their B-Type had proven itself in a World Championship event and had come away with championship points. Silverstone, at least for Connaught, was a welcome sight to behold.
On the 22nd of July, just one week after Fairman brought home a 4th place finish for the team in the British Grand Prix, Connaught would be busy preparing for its next race on the calendar. That next race would be a non-championship event that would take place on English soil once again. The race would be the 1st Vanwall Trophy event and it would be held on the 2.70 mile Snetterton Motor Racing Circuit located near Attleborough in Norfolk.
In its prior life, Snetterton had been known as RAF Snetterton-Heath. But while the motor racing circuit may have been just one of a number of former bases-turned motor racing circuit, RAF Snetterton-Heath would be anything but an obscure part of the war effort.
RAF Snetterton-Heath would be built in 1942 and would originally be delegated to the Royal Air Force for use. However, the United States' involvement in the war would prompt the airbase being turned into the home for the 386th and 96th Bombardment Groups. These would be heavily involved in the bombing operations of the war and would launch B-17s from its runways in order to take part in such famous raids as those on Schweinfurt, Weisbaden, Chemnitz and many others. Following decommission in 1948, the defunct airbase would follow the lead of Silverstone, Goodwood and others to become a motor racing venue. Opened in 1953, Snetterton would become yet another popular venue for motor racing.
In late-July Snetterton was to host the 1st Vanwall Trophy race around its 2.70 mile circuit. The race distance was to be 15 laps totaling nearly 41 miles. Averaging over 90 mph around the circuit, the Formula One cars would be certain to complete the race distance in under 30 minutes and was just one of a number of races the weekend of the 22nd.
Seeing that the German Grand Prix was just a couple of weeks away, the field for the 15 lap race would be small. The large number of entries that would fail to show for the event would make the field even smaller. In total, just 6 cars would arrive to take part in the race.
Connaught would dispatch just a single entry for the race and it was to be driven by Archie Scott-Brown. His chances of earning a strong result appeared good given the field of 6 cars featured two Formula 2 cars. All he would have to do was beat Roy Salvadori, Horace Gould and Jack Brabham and the victory was likely to be his.
Things would look promising following practice. At the wheel of his Connaught, Scott-Brown would be quick around the circuit, but just not quite quick enough to keep Salvadori off of the pole. Horace Gould would start alongside of him in 3rd place while Jack Brabham completed the front row in his own Maserati.
At just 6 cars, the field would consist of just two rows, a rather dismal showing really as the cars were rolled out onto their grid positions. As the flag dropped and the field roared away, Scott-Brown would make a strong start and would be past right away.
Almost immediately Scott-Brown would be on the pace and turning fast laps. Right there with Salvadori and the others, Scott-Brown would go on to turn what would end up being the fastest lap of the race with a time of 1:41.4 at an average speed of almost 96 mph. If he could keep such a pace up he would not be easily beaten.
However, the other drivers wouldn't have to fight Scott-Brown as his Connaught would take care of that. After just 6 laps an oil pipe would break leaving Scott-Brown to again ponder what might have been. This would give Salvadori a clear lead and he would continue to stretch the lead over the remainder of the field.
On this day, Scott-Brown certainly appeared to be the only one capable of keeping touch with Salvadori. However, his departure enabled Roy to open up an impressive lead over Gould and Brabham.
Heading into the final lap of the race, Salvadori was still averaging more than 90 mph around the circuit and only padding his advantage over the remainder of the field. After 26 minutes and nearly 25 seconds Salvadori would come through to take the win. Nearly a minute and 10 seconds would pass before Horace Gould would come across the line to claim 2nd place. Jack Brabham would be disappointed with his Maserati but would still manage to come home in 3rd place a little more than a lap behind Salvadori.
The race at Snetterton could have been a prime opportunity for Scott-Brown to earn some badly needed confidence. Instead, he would end up leaving the circuit with his frustrations awry. He continued to prove fast behind the wheel of the B-Type but its lack of reliability was absolutely leaving him demoralized.
Following the strong result in the British Grand Prix, the Connaught Engineering team would decide to take some time and thoroughly prepare for one more World Championship event of the season. However, it was not to be the German Grand Prix held on the infamous Nordschleife. Instead, the team would not take part in any event throughout the month of August and would choose, instead, to concentrate on the Italian Grand Prix on the 2nd of September.
Connaught had travelled to Italian soil in late-1955 and had come away victorious. The victory would shock the Italian teams and the Italian fans assembled witnessing the event. Connaught had returned to the scene of its triumph earlier in 1956 and had found order had been restored when not a single one of the Connaughts finished the race and Fangio led home a Ferrari one-two-three. There was, however, one final opportunity for Connaught to test themselves and prove to the Italians, and everyone else, they were a real contender. And that one final opportunity would come at the ultra-fast Monza circuit.
Originally built in the 1920s, the Autodromo Nazionale Monza was all about speed from its very beginnings. Originally, the circuit measured 6.2 miles and featured a loop section of track combined with a 3.42 mile road circuit. This circuit would be fast and would lead to a number of deaths in the earlier years of grand prix racing. This would lead to the loop track being forgotten about for more than a couple of decades. Then, leading up to the 1955 edition of the Italian Grand Prix the circuit would undergo a change. The 3.91 mile road course remained. However, work would be done on the old loop track. A high-banked 2.6 mile oval would be built and would be re-integrated with the road course. So, once again, the 6.2 mile circuit would return.
The same combined circuit would be in use for the 1956 edition of the Italian Grand Prix and would prove an competitor to Connaught just in its own right as the ultra-high speeds and the bumpy concrete banking determined to find any weak link in a car's reliability. And, unfortunately, Connaught was finding it had a number of weak links up to that point in the season.
On top of the circuit, the team would face another race in which the number of entrants would be large and threatening. Of course, being on Italian soil, Connaught could expect the Italian teams to arrive in force and that would certainly be the case as the factory Maserati team would arrive with no less than six cars. Scuderia Ferrari would have five of their own. However, Connaught also had to be on the look out for Vandervell Products. This team had been showing great form over the last few races and the three cars that would show up at Monza would certainly be worth the team's attention.
To counter the fleet of cars from the other factory teams Connaught would come with a fleet of their own. The number of races left on the season was dwindling down to just a couple. This enabled Connaught to bring a force of four cars to the race. The driver lineup would see some usual names, but there would also be some changes as well. Archie Scott-Brown and Les Leston were familiar. So too was Jack Fairman. The other driver had been in the British Grand Prix but with Owen Racing. Ron Flockhart would come and join Connaught for the race giving the British team a talented lineup of all British drivers.
At the faster circuits on the World Championship calendar the Lancia-Ferraris had shown themselves to have an advantage on horsepower and top end speed. This would hold true in practice for the Italian Grand Prix as well, as Juan Manuel Fangio would go on to turn the fastest lap in practice with a lap time of 2:42.6 and an average speed of 137 mph. Next fastest around the circuit would be Eugenio Castellotti in another Ferrari. His best lap time would be 2:43.4, just eight-tenths slower than Fangio. The final spot on the front row would end up going to yet another Ferrari. This one would be piloted by Luigi Musso. His best would be just three-tenths slower than Castellotti.
The Vanwalls would show good pace around the circuit. The Connaughts, to be fair, would be a bit off the pace. The fastest of them all would be Fairman. Coming off his surprising 4th place in the British Grand Prix, Fairman would show his pace and would end up on the fifth row of the grid in the 15th position. The next-fastest Connaught would belong to Les Leston. His best effort would be a lap of 3:04.3 and would lead him to being down on the seventh row of the grid in the 19th starting spot. The final Connaught in the field would belong to Ron Flockhart. His best time would be over 25 seconds slower than Fangio and would lead to him starting the race from the eighth, and final, row of the grid in the 23rd position.
Archie Scott-Brown would actually be the quickest of the Connaught drivers though the record books would not show him as such. In fact, Scott-Brown won't even be found in most results pages concerning the 1956 Italian Grand Prix because his entry for the race would be refused because of medical reasons. It is hard to believe that some kind of medical reason could have excluded him, especially after he had achieved the provisional pole, until Fangio and others went faster. Nonetheless, Scott-Brown would not be a part of the Italian Grand Prix for 1956.
Mild conditions settled upon the area heading into the day of the race. Before the 56 lap race was to come to an end there was to be a period, or two, of rain even. So everything was setting up for one dramatic finish to the 1956 Formula One World Championship.
As the field roared away at the start of the race, the drama would start. Instead of Fangio leading the way it would be Castellotti and Musso running up at the head of the field. Further down in the field, all of the Connaught drivers would get away on strong starts and would improve their positions by the end of the first lap.
At the conclusion of the first lap it would be Castellotti running just feet ahead of Musso. These two had opened up a gap of a few car lengths over Fangio and Harry Schell in one of the Vanwalls. Jack Fairman would manage to pull off another fantastic start and would find himself in 10th place after having lined up on the grid 15th. The same kind of story would be true of the other Connaught drivers as well. Les Leston would start the race 19th. However, by the end of the first lap he would be running 16th, right behind his other Connaught teammate Ron Flockhart. Flockhart would be relishing his opportunity with Connaught and would earn the best start of just about anyone in the field. Though he would line up on the grid in 23rd, he would cross the line at the conclusion of the first lap in 15th.
The race was just beginning to get interesting. One of the dramatic twists would come early in the plot when both Castellotti and Musso would be forced to make pitstops after just 4 laps in the lead of the race due to throwing treads. However, Fangio would be considerate of the situation and would be unable to take advantage of the situation. One who would take advantage would be one Stirling Moss. Moss would start the race in 6th place, but by the 5th lap of the race would be leading the way over Harry Schell. Fangio and Collins, ever-mindful of the Lancia's tire problems, would be holding station in 3rd and 4th. Meanwhile, Fairman would continue to improve his position. After losing a couple of spots after the first lap he would regain his 10th place sport in the running order. Flockhart would benefit from Castellotti and Musso's problems and would be just beginning his ascent up the running order.
Les Leston, on the other hand, would find his role in the story was about to come to an early end. Having completed 6 laps, the torsion bar on his Connaught would fail on the bumpy circuit causing him to have to retire from the race. He wouldn't be alone as Alfonso de Portago, Robert Manzon and even Eugenio Castellotti would all find themselves out of the race before even 10 laps had been completed.
Moss and Schell would be involved in a close battle throughout the first 25 laps, or so, of the race. After 17 laps another twist of drama would come into play as Fangio would have to pit because of a bent steering arm. Minutes would be lost as he waited for the car to be repaired and another drive offered. By the 20th lap of the race there would be only 15 cars still in the running, but Connaught would be down just one. The other two would be on the move. Flockhart, by this time, would be flying in 7th place while Fairman would also be looking quite strong in 10th.
Schell's incredible effort in the Vanwall would finally come to an end by the 32nd lap of the race as the transmission in the Vanwall had given up. Moss would still be out front but Musso, shod with fresh rubber, would be on a tear and would be in 2nd place. Collins, after suffering tire problems himself, would be right back up near the front in 3rd place.
Schell's retirement and a successful scrap with Jean Behra meant Flockhart would be in 4th place by the 33rd lap. Fairman would hold steady right where he was but would be promoted to 7th as a result of Schell's misfortune.
Despite still being in the picture for the World Championship title, Peter Collins would come into the pits to hand his car over to Fangio for the remainder of the race. This gentlemanly gesture would enable the Argentinean to get back into the race after he had come in to hand his beaten car over to Castellotti for the remainder of the race. Fangio would take the second chance given him and would immediately set off to make his intentions for yet another World Championship title well known.
Moss had been running some incredibly fast laps, even turning the fastest lap of the race on lap 47 with a time of 2:45.5. However, it would not be enough to hold back Musso, who would take the lead again with just 5 laps remaining in the race. As with the British Grand Prix, it seemed Moss would do all the work only to miss out on the reward. Flockhart and Fairman were being rewarded, however. Their dogged persistence over the bumps and the distance of the race would see them running 4th and 6th respectively.
And then came the final twist in the plot. Just 3 laps from the end of the race, Musso's Ferrari would throw another tread taking him entirely out of the race. This handed the lead back to Moss who had Fangio, only a little ways back in 2nd place. The loss of Musso also promoted Flockhart. It was setting up to be Connaught's best result of the year, at least as far as the World Championship went.
Moss would finally have one come back to him. After leading 40 laps, by far the most of any of the rest of the drivers in the field by a multiple of ten, he would have what seemed like victory snatched from his hand, given back. After averaging more than 129 mph over the course of the race, Moss would come through to take the victory by a mere 5 seconds over Fangio in Collins' Ferrari. Collins' gesture would ensure that Fangio earned his third-straight World Championship title. And while most of the Tifosi would be lost in the achievement of Fangio and its beloved Scuderia Ferrari, there would be some truly amazing surprise endings coming across the line.
Ron Flockhart had started the day with his car lined up on the eighth, and last, row of the grid. However, through sheer speed and determination, and with the help of some attrition, he would come away with a podium finish. The 3rd place had helped Connaught to reclaim much of the glory it had lost following its tremendous surprise victory in Syracuse the year before. But it would get better. Jack Fairman would end the race three laps down. However, because of Musso's retirement due to the thrown tire tread, he would finish the race in 5th place giving Connaught a double-points scoring effort.
Yes, the team had struggled throughout the vast majority of the season and had lost about all of the momentum it had coming into the season. Coming into the season it was believed Connaught was going to be the British manufacturer that would take the fight to the Italian teams. This didn't seem to be the case in a number of the non-championship events in which the team took part. However, when it really counted, as it did at the British and Italian grand prix, the team delivered and in a big way.
Leaving Italy, Connaught could hold its head up very high knowing that it did stand up to the Italian attack and came through very well. It seemed as though the team had achieved what they believed would be the reality from the very first moments of the 1956 season. What was really amazing was the fact Flockhart would leap up the order in the title fight and would end up 14th in the standings while Fairman would use his extra two points to finish out the year in 10th. Despite all of the troubles, it had been a good year for Connaught when it came to the World Championship.
Non-championship events were another matter entirely. However, with the World Championship now over, all Connaught had to look forward to were non-championship events. Actually, following the Italian Grand Prix, there wouldn't be too many of those to worry about either. The final Formula One race of the season, in Europe, would take place in the middle of October on English soil. The race would take place at Brands Hatch on the 14th of October and it would be the 1st BRSCC Formula One race.
Located near Swanley in Kent, Brands Hatch would actually have a long history dating back to the 1920s when the area had been used as a dirt track motorcycle racing venue. However, it wasn't until the 1950s when tarmac would be laid down creating a proper car and motorcycle racing circuit. By 1954, the circuit would be 1.24 miles in length and would feature corners that have now become famous in motor racing circles. Short and fast, the Brands Hatch circuit required a quick and balanced car for a quick lap around the circuit.
Having earned a 3rd place result with Ron Flockhart at Monza, Connaught certainly proved the B-Type was fast. And, in the hands of Archie Scott-Brown, Les Leston, Jack Fairman and talented newcomer Stuart Lewis-Evans, Connaught certainly had to be considered favorites coming into the 15 lap, 19 mile, race.
Lewis-Evans wouldn't disappoint at the wheel of the B-Type. A record holder at the circuit, Lewis-Evans would set off in practice and would soon be turning some really fast lap times around the circuit. His fastest lap of 58.8 seconds would earn him the pole. His time would beat out Scott-Brown by a mere two-tenths of a second. Les Leston would make sure all three Connaughts started from the four-wide front row when he put in a lap just four-tenths slower than Scott-Brown. Roy Salvadori would garner the final front row starting position but he would be a full second slower than Leston. The only one of the Connaught drivers to struggle in practice would be Fairman. His best lap would be six-tenths of a second slower than Salvadori and would lead him to start from the second row of the grid in the 5th position, right behind Lewis-Evans and Scott-Brown.
Against a fleet of four fast Connaughts, Salvadori would have a tall order ahead of him. And, sure enough, Lewis-Evans and Scott-Brown would be quick right off the start and would be out front of the rest of the 12-car field. Each lap taking just about a minute, the 15 lap race was to only last about 15 minutes. Therefore, it would be of utmost importance not to have any mistakes or there would be little opportunity of overcoming.
Archie would work out his frustrations from Monza on the Brands Hatch circuit. He would end up getting the upper hand on Lewis-Evans and the two would end up swapping positions. Immediately, Scott-Brown would take advantage of the situation and would turn out a fastest lap time that would end up standing for the entire race. Posting a fastest lap time averaging nearly 76 mph, Scott-Brown would be able to stretch out a small advantage over Lewis-Evans while Les Leston and Jack Fairman would be trying their hardest to bring him a one-two-three-four for Connaught upon which to end the season.
Leston and Fairman would be unable to keep touch with Salvadori, but Lewis-Evans would find his mirrors filled with the Gilby Engineering Maserati. Still, Lewis-Evans would hold onto the position continually frustrating Salvadori at just about every turn.
Turning a number of laps in under one minute, Scott-Brown would be heading to the finish line in just a little more than 15 minutes after the race started. Crossing the line in 15 minutes and 7 seconds, Scott-Brown would get some retribution for being turned away in Monza. He would end up taking the victory by a little more than three seconds over Lewis-Evans, who would manage to hold onto 3rd place by a mere two and a half seconds over Salvadori. Leston and Fairman would not be able to give Connaught the clean sweep, but, their being able to finish in 4th and 5th place respectively would certainly help the team to end the season on an incredible high point after some terrible lows almost throughout.
Prior to the team engaging in rounds of the World Championship, it seemed Connaught had effectively stepped backward after their amazing victory at Syracuse in October of 1955. Throughout the early and middle part of the season decent results would be badly muted by disastrous follow-up races. However, when it really counted the most, Connaught managed to hit its stride.
By the end of it all, Connaught drivers had managed to earn a total of 9 championship points. And, going strictly by results, Connaught remained the strongest British team in the field. The only problem the team had going forward would be the same one they had had for a while—financing. Nonetheless, such results in the British and Italian Grand Prix were certain to give the team confidence moving forward. Connaught Engineering