TeamsGould's Garage: 1954 Formula One Season By Jeremy McMullen
In the minds of many, life of a Formula One racing driver is already larger than life. Driving the best cars on the absolute limit seems like the ultimate adventure but it requires a commitment, a desire, that only a select few have. The Formula One racing driver is rare and special for sure. But there often are those within the sport that have a personality and a determination about them that causes them to transcend even the sport. And though he would not be the most famous of racing drivers, Horace Gould would be one such example.
Born in September of 1921 in Southmead, Bristol, Horace Gould would actually be born Horace Twigg. In time, he would come to be a car dealer in the Bristol area. Not one to be missed in a crowd, Gould would come to be called 'the Gonzalez of the West Country'. This nickname would come as a result of his rather stout frame similar to that of the Argentinean Jose Froilan Gonzalez.
Gould would begin his major motor racing career in 1953 driving a Cooper T21 sports car at the Dundrod Circuit. At the time, the World Championship was still conducting its races according to Formula 2 regulations. This opened the door to many that would otherwise not have been able to enter the realm of Formula One racing. However, he would enter the realm rather late with the new Formula One regulations coming into affect the following season.
In spite of the new regulations, there would be many that would take the underpowered Formula 2 machines and would still compete against cars built according to the new Formula One regulations. In fact, many of the races around England would still have a good majority of their fields comprised of Formula 2 cars simply because of the cost involved in trading out a couple year old car just for one that was more powerful. So while the races in 1954 would consist mostly of Formula One regulated events there would still be a place for the Formula 2 machines, and therefore, many a British driver.
At the time, Cooper was quite a popular company given its involvement in sports cars, and, in the junior formulas. And for the British driver, there were really very few other companies that built grand prix cars, especially cars that were any more successful than Cooper. As a result, Gould would purchase a Bristol-powered Cooper T23 and would prepare for the start of the grand prix season.
The first race of the grand prix season for Gould would not come at a World Championship race, but it would take place overseas. Gould would gain some grand prix experience while in Australia and New Zealand. The first race would be a match race against Jack Brabham in which Brabham would have an advantage off the line and would dominate from then on. After that, Gould would travel to New Zealand and would take part in a race that would include Tony Gaze, Ken Wharton and others. In that race, Gould would finish 4th behind Stan Jones (Alan's father), Ken Wharton and Tony Gaze. Each of these races would be non-championship events. When Gould returned to England, he would take part in more of the same.
However, when Gould returned to England, he would take part in one of the bigger races in all of England at the time. On the 15th of May, Gould would be at Silverstone preparing to take part in the 6th BRDC International Trophy race.
Held at what was formerly RAF Silverstone during World War II, the former bomber training base would come to host the International Trophy race for the first time in 1949. At that time, the circuit utilized a large portion of the former base's three runways. However, for simplicity it would be decided to change the layout of the circuit to just include the 2.88 miles of perimeter road travelling around the training base. This 2.88 mile layout would become synonymous with the Silverstone name and the British Grand Prix although the first British Grand Prix held at the base would actually be one year earlier in 1948 and would use the runways.
The International Trophy race was one of the bigger races on the calendar in Britain as it was anything but easy. The total race distance would be nearly 144 miles but it would be broken down into heat races and a final.
Two heat races consisting of 15 laps each would help whittle down the field in preparation for a 35 lap final. And while the final would certainly be important, so too were the heat races themselves. The reason the heat races would be so important is because they would determine starting position for the final. Finishing times between the two heats would determine the starting positions for the final.
Because of the format with the heats and the final, the entire entry field would be split up between the two heats. Gould would find himself in the second heat for his first ever Formula One non-championship race. This would actually be good as he would have the opportunity to watch the first heat and learn from their mistakes and abilities.
The first heat would have Jose Froilan Gonzalez battling it out in his Ferrari against the likes of Stirling Moss, Jean Behra, Tony Rolt and a certain Colin Chapman. In wet conditions, Gonzalez would be years ahead of the rest of the field in practice taking the pole with a time of one minute and forty-eight seconds. Jean Behra, Stirling Moss and Alan Brown would end up joining Gonzalez on the front row for the heat.
In the wet conditions, Gonzalez would be untouchable in the Ferrari 553. He would lead right from the start and would maintain a comfortable pace throughout the heat. Prince Bira would put together an impressive performance coming from 8th place, the third row of the grid, to be inside the top three battling it out with Stirling Moss. Alan Brown and Jean Behra would fade in the conditions. This would allow Umberto Maglioli to battle with the two for a position inside the top five.
Aided by the fastest lap time of the heat, Gonzalez would just cruise. It would take him just thirty-one minutes and forty-nine seconds to complete the heat and take the victory averaging better than 82 mph. Fourteen seconds would be the margin between Gonzalez and Prince Bira after a phenomenal performance. Stirling Moss would complete the podium in the first heat finishing the race just some two seconds behind Bira.
Gould had seen how it was done. However, Gould would have problems of his own in the second heat race. Maurice Trintignant, Reg Parnell and Robert Manzon would all be at the wheel of Ferrari 625 Formula One single-seaters. Roy Salvadori would also be present in the field with a Maserati 250F. This would be a formidable lineup for Gould to go against.
Sure enough, practice would prove just what the challenge was Gould would have to deal with. Formula One cars would sweep the first three positions with Trintignant taking the pole in his Ferrari 625. Reg Parnell would join him on the front row in the 2nd position at the wheel of another Ferrari 625. Andre Simon would place his Equipe Gordini T16 on the front row in 3rd place while Bob Gerard would round-out the front row in an underpowered Cooper-Bristol T23.
In spite of this being his first Formula One race, albeit a non-championship one, Gould would still be impressive qualifying. He would push really hard and would end up just a couple of seconds slower than Gerard. As a result, Gould would start the 15 lap heat in 5th position.
As the second heat started it would be clear that Trintignant would be more than up to challenge posed by any other in the field. He would stand on it and would gradually begin to pull away from Parnell in 2nd place. Behind Parnell, Robert Manzon would copy Prince Bira from the first heat. After starting from the 8th position on the grid, Manzon would be on the rise in the heat race. He would move his way up through the field and would take over Simon's 3rd place position. While Manzon's rise in the running order would be spectacular, Roy Salvadori's would be phenomenal. After starting 12th, and on the last row, Salvadori would be on the move in the heat. He would make his way up through the field and would follow the path forged by Manzon.
Gould would look good during the early part of the heat race but would begin to fade with Manzon and Salvadori coming on strong from behind. Out front, Trintignant would continue to turn up the wick. Setting the fastest lap of the heat with a time of one minute and fifty-seven seconds, the rest of the field, including Gould, would feel the pressure the Ferrari driver was placing on everyone else. Gould was asking a lot from his Bristol engine. Unfortunately, after 12 laps, it would be obvious he had asked too much as his engine would expire.
Trintignant would be under no duress at really any point of the second heat race. He would average over 87 mph, 5 mph more than Gonzalez in the first heat, and would go on to win with a finishing time a minute and forty seconds faster. Reg Parnell would do everything he could to hang tough. While he would finish in 2nd, he wouldn't be blown away. Parnell would cross the line some six seconds behind. Forty-one seconds would pass before Manzon would come through in 3rd place.
The finishing times of the two heats made it more than apparent who would start on the pole for the 35 lap final. But it wouldn't be as cut and dried as that. After the first heat race, Gonzalez's engine would seize. This left him without a car. However, instead of taking Umberto Maglioli's Ferrari 625, it would be decided that Maurice Trintignant would have to give up his 625, even after he set the fastest finishing time between the two drivers. As a result, the starting grid would look quite a bit different. Basically what it meant is that after setting a blistering pace and looking unbothered in the second heat, Trintignant would be penalized by his time some five places on the starting grid while Gonzalez would be given a five-place bump.
While Gonzalez would be blessed to have another car in which to enter the final, Gould wouldn't be as blessed. His engine failure would be too much to get righted before the final. Therefore, his first race in a Formula One non-championship event would end with a retirement.
It really wouldn't matter all that much, for just as the race got underway it basically came to an end. Gonzalez would lead the field in the wet conditions and would look quite strong. Starting 6th on the grid, Trintignant would be mired behind some slower traffic and just could not get the performance out of the 625 he was now piloting compared to the one now carrying Gonzalez out front of the field.
Races at Silverstone have the tendency to turn into heavy attrition events and the International Trophy race would be no exception. Of course Maglioli was already out because his car was being used by Trintignant. Gould was out because of engine failure. But during the final, more and more would join Maglioli and Gould out of the race. Manzon's final would last just a couple of laps before transmission failure. A couple of laps later, the prop shaft would break on Parnell's Ferrari ending his race. Soon, Bira, Moss and others would all retire from the race. In all, seven out of twenty-four would retire from the race.
Gonzalez would be absolutely untouchable in the race. In fact, the only one that managed to stay on the lead lap with him would be Jean Behra, but even he would be more than thirty seconds behind coming into the final couple of laps.
Anchored by a fastest lap touched nearly 96 mph in average, Gonzalez would power his way to victory in Trintignant's car. Gonzalez would complete the distance in one hour, six minutes and fifteen seconds at an average speed of nearly 93 mph, in wet conditions. Jean Behra would carry on to finish the race in 2nd place, the only one still on the lead lap with Gonzalez. Behra would come across the line thirty-six seconds behind. Andre Simon would make it two Equipe Gordini team cars in the top three when he finished a lap down in 3rd place.
Gould had looked impressive in his first Formula One race. Unfortunately, he would be at the wheel of a British-made Formula 2 car that had neither the power nor the reliability of the cars being produced on the European mainland. Nonetheless, he had looked impressive and set the stage for a good season of racing around England.
Three weeks after his first non-championship Formula One race at Silverstone, Gould would mean to enter his Cooper-Bristol T23 in another non-championship race. On the 5th of June, Gould had an entry for the 2nd Curtis Trophy race held at Snetterton. However, Gould would not make the trip to the eastern part of England. He would abandon his entry, and instead, would take part in a race held just a couple of days later.
Instead of heading east, Gould would make his way west. He would make his way to Cornwall, nearly as far west on the English mainland one could travel. His destination would be Davidstow. Actually, he destination would be what was formerly called RAF Davidstow-Moor. Utilizing portions of the old airbase would be a 1.85 mile circuit that would be used to hose the 1st Cornwall M.R.C. Formula One race on the 7th of June.
Built in 1941, RAF Davidstow-Moor would have a surprisingly quiet life during World War II. Most of the missions conducted out of the airbase would be for air-sea rescue or anti-submarine patrols. The bases most intense involvement in the war would come throughout the month of June with the D-Day landings. The base's fighters would help protect the men on the beaches and would have the duty of destroying any German naval forces in the area.
The base's lifespan would be short as it would be decommissioned in December of 1945. Then, in the early 1950s the longest runway and the perimeter road adjacent would be used to create the 1.85 mile road course that would be used in the Cornwall M.R.C. race.
Gould would come to this race with a different car. After having blown his engine at Silverstone, Gould would come to Davidstow with a Bristol-powered Kieft. The race distance was 37 miles or 20 laps, and it would fare little better for Horace.
The starting grid for the race is something of a mystery, but what is known is that Charles Boulton retired from the race early. Unfortunately, so too would Gould. Engine-related problems would again plague his race and he would be forced to retire before reaching the finish.
After setting the fastest lap of the race with a lap of one minute and twenty-seven seconds, John Riseley-Prichard would go on to average a little more than 74 mph en route to victory over Jack Walton and Anthony Brooke in an HWM-Alta.
The unfortunate engine trouble once again would prohibit Gould from showing what he could do in the more major formulas. He had proven to be fast, but needed some reliability to turn that into a positive result. He needed to get some positive momentum. Perhaps his next race would do that for him.
Gould's next race would happen to be the same day and at the same place. The race would be the 1st Cornwall M.R.C. race, but, this event would be the Formula 2 race. While the Formula One race would be open to Formula One cars being entered in the race, the field would consist of nothing but Formula 2 cars. Therefore, the Formula 2 race would be really nothing more than a second chance race for drivers like Gould.
Gould would enter his Cooper-Bristol in the race. Once again, practice and the starting grid would be something of a mystery. But one thing would be for certain: Gould would show just how fast he could be.
The Formula 2 race would be the same as the Formula One race when it came to race distance. The race would be 20 laps of the 1.85 mile circuit. And Gould would be on it from the very start.
The field would be filled with five Cooper-Bristol T23s, while four Connaught-Lea Francis would also start the race. In spite of the tough competition, Gould would prove to be the fastest in the race turning the fastest lap with a time of one minute and twenty-five seconds at an average speed of a little more than 78 mph.
Though Gould would prove to have the speed, his Cooper-Bristol would once again prove to not have the reliability to make it count. In fact, none of the Cooper-Bristols would be fighting for the top three by the end of the race. Instead, the top four would be swept by Connaught A-Type chassis.
John Riseley-Prichard proved to have the pace in the Formula One race. And he would have everyone's number in the Formula 2 race as well. Riseley-Prichard would power his way to a second victory on the day. He would overcome Leslie Marr and Charles Boulton, who had fallen out of the Formula One race that same day.
The day would be absolutely forgettable for Gould. However, given the type of man that he was known to be, it certainly would not have let it ruin his day. Always enthusiastic and beaming with personality, Gould would simply move on to his next race.
Gould would have little time to be overcome or distraught over the retirements that had marked his first three races of the season. After the poor showing at Davidstow, Gould would pack everything up and would head home for a short interval before heading back east. On the 19th of June, Horace would be in the south of London. He was there busy preparing for yet another race. It was the 2nd Crystal Palace Trophy race.
Moved up a month from the previous season, the Crystal Palace Trophy race, as the name would suggest, took place at the 1.35 mile Crystal Palace Park Circuit. The circuit consisted of nothing more than park roads. However, being the highest point in London, the circuit would be anything but flat. Though it was situated in a park setting, the Crystal Palace Park featured some undulating terrain that made for a rather dramatic setting. After leaving the starting line, the drivers would be greeted with a climbing right-hander that would continue to ascend until reaching North Tower Crescent. The North Tower Crescent right-hander was a long right-hand bend that also dropped-off significantly and continued dramatically downhill until bending right onto the start/finish straight. Though not as high speed as it may have seemed, navigations around the circuit would take just a little over a minute in 1954.
The Crystal Palace Trophy race would be another race featuring heat races and a final. While there would be similarities between this one and the International Trophy race at Silverstone, there would still be some differences. The biggest difference would be the fact that there would be no difference in the number of laps between the heat races and the final. At just 10 laps each, the drivers would be encouraged to let it all hang out given the brevity of the overall race.
Unlike at Silverstone, Gould would start the race in the first heat along with Reg Parnell, Peter Collins, Les Leston and others. Just six cars would make up the first heat. In practice, Collins would end up being the fastest man and would start from the pole. Les Leston would even manage to take the small JAP-powered Cooper and out-duel Parnell for 2nd place on the starting grid. Horace would make his presence known by starting 4th, the final position on the front row.
The heat race would see everything work out as one would guess it should have. Parnell would make a good start and would take over the lead of the race. Peter Collins would do everything he could to keep touch with Parnell but was fighting a losing battle having less power. The real battle would be between himself and Leston for 2nd place. Gould would fade from the battle at the front but would maintain his hold on the 4th position throughout the early part of the race.
Parnell would turn it on. He would push his Ferrari a little bit and would set the fastest lap of the heat with a time of one minute and seven seconds. On a whole, Parnell was averaging more than 72 mph and this would be too much for Collins to contend with in a Connaught.
Parnell would cruise to victory completing the 10 laps in just eleven minutes and twenty-six seconds. The advantage would end up being nine seconds over Collins in 2nd place, who would hold off Leston by a little less than three seconds. Gould would finally make it through a heat race and would finish a strong 4th place.
The second heat would have more cars than the first. Instead of six, nine would start the second. Included in the second heat were Don Beauman, Rodney Nuckey, Jack Fairman and others. In practice, Beauman would set the pace and take the pole. Joining him on the front row would be Nuckey, Paul Emery and Charles Boulton.
Although Beauman took the pole, Nuckey would be the hard-charger during the race itself. Nuckey would take over the lead and would fight hard to stay there. Beauman would keep the pressure on, but when Nuckey set the fastest lap of the heat, it was clear Nuckey was turning the pressure right back around on Beauman. Bill Whitehouse would put together probably the best performance of the second heat. Starting dead-last, Whitehouse would push hard and would steadily climb the order. As Boulton faded, Whitehouse would battle his way past Fairman and Emery and would find himself in 3rd with just a couple of laps remaining.
Aided by the fastest lap, Nuckey would hold on to take the victory. The gap would be four seconds between himself and Beauman in 2nd place. Around eight seconds would make up the difference between Beauman's 2nd place and Whitehouse who would earn a well-deserved 3rd place.
As was usual, finishing times would determine the starting grid for the 10 lap final. This meant Reg Parnell would start on pole with Peter Collins starting alongside in 2nd place. The 3rd place position on the front row would go to Rodney Nuckey. The 4th, and final, position on the front row would end up going to Les Leston. Out of the 12 car field, Gould would find himself in the middle starting the race from 7th. This wouldn't matter though as he would certainly be more concerned with finishing the race well than with trying to fight for the win, especially with Parnell and his Formula One Ferrari in the field.
Gould would have valid concern for not making it to the end of even a short 10 laps race. Les Leston's engine would let go right at the start and he wouldn't even complete a lap. Jack Fairman's race would last just 3 laps before gearbox problems forced him out. Horace had reason to be nervous.
Parnell would seem anything but nervous. From the start of the race he looked to be in control and held onto a safe margin over Collins, who was doing everything within his power to try and reel in Parnell.
Content with just trying to finish a race, Gould would sit where he started and would allow those ahead of him to battle it out. Leston's lost engine would help him move up one. Otherwise, Gould sat content lapping the circuit.
Parnell was content being up front. He would set the fastest lap of the race just to make sure he maintained his advantage over Collins in 2nd place. Peter would push his Connaught hard but really could only get close, but not close enough.
In exactly the same time it took him to complete the first heat race, Parnell would come across the line to take the victory. The margin would be less in the final, however. Instead of eight seconds as in the first heat, Collins would fight hard and would come through just five seconds behind. Don Beauman would complete the distance some twelve seconds behind Collins, but would finish in 3rd place.
One of the real winners of the race would be Gould. He would sit content throughout the 10 lap race and would enjoy a 6th place result in the end. Though only a 6th place, it was even better than that after all of the trouble he had been experiencing throughout the first couple of races of the season. Now, Gould could finally start to actually look ahead with some expectation. He had some momentum now, and that was very important considering his very next race.
The last time Horace had visited Silverstone it was for the BRDC International Trophy race which was one of the bigger races in all of England. However, on the 17th of July, Gould would be back at Silverstone for an even bigger race. The race was the British Grand Prix, and it was the fifth round of the Formula One World Championship for 1954.
Heading into the British Grand Prix the scene was quite similar to that of the German Grand Prix throughout 1952 and 1953. Most all of the German racers could not afford the Formula One cars from the west. Therefore, during Formula One's first visit to Germany in 1951 there would only be one German driver in the entire field. However, the change to Formula 2 regulations opened up a whole German racing scene that only really existed within the German borders. And therefore, for just the one race of the World Championship, the German Grand Prix, the field would be filled with numerous German racers. Well, in 1954, as with 1952 and 1953, the field of the British Grand Prix would be filled with numerous British drivers, including Gould.
The British Grand Prix would be similar to the German Grand Prix of 1952 and 1953 in one other important way. With the exception of Mike Hawthorn, and perhaps Stirling Moss, the vast majority of the British drivers in the race were nothing more than extras in a much larger storyline. Amazingly, in 1954, that larger storyline wouldn't really include its winner from the previous couple of seasons. After two years with Scuderia Ferrari that would include two World Championships, Alberto Ascari would have a falling-out with Enzo Ferrari and would move on to Lancia. However, Lancia's new car still would not be ready in time for the British Grand Prix. Therefore, Ascari, and his good friend Luigi Villoresi, would move on to Maserati for the race. Juan Manuel Fangio, who had been with Maserati before the French Grand Prix, would arrive at Silverstone with his new team, Mercedes-Benz.
There was a lot of excitement surrounding the British Grand Prix given the impressive debut of Mercedes-Benz's sleek W196, but it would not be such a memorable occasion for its driver. Fangio would complain about the car at just about every turn because of the fact he would lose sight of the apexes of the corners because of the beautifully-shaped fenders. However, this would not prevent Fangio from breaking the track record and posting an average speed around the 2.88 mile circuit in excess of 100 mph. This would earn Fangio the pole despite being uncomfortable going through the corners.
The rest of the front row would include a couple of Ferrari teammates and a privateer Maserati. The two Ferraris would be piloted by Jose Froilan Gonzalez starting in 2nd and Mike Hawthorn in 3rd. Stirling Moss would be the one piloting the Maserati starting in 4th position.
Being at the wheel of a Formula 2 Cooper-Bristol T23, Gould was already at a disadvantage. He certainly would not be battle for a position on the first couple of rows. However, he would be quite impressive against some of his fellow countrymen driving similar Formula 2 machines. Setting a best time of one minute and fifty-six seconds, Gould would out-qualify John Riseley-Prichard and would start the race from the sixth row of the grid in the 20th position overall.
The day of the race would see a familiar sight. Teams would be busy preparing their cars for the 90 lap race in cold conditions. What's more, it was raining at the circuit. These were similar conditions in which Gonzalez had taken the victory in the International Trophy race back in May. As a result, when the race began, Gonzalez would shoot into the lead and would have control of the field. Fangio would make a poor start and would even lose position to Hawthorn. Gould would make a clean getaway and would be busy going through Copse, Maggotts and Becketts trying to avoid trouble and get into a smooth flow. Unfortunately, compared to Gonzalez up at the front of the field, Gould's comfortable pace in his first-ever World Championship race would be slow, even for Formula 2 standards.
Gonzalez continued to carry on in the lead of the race and would even increase his lead over the rest of the field. Fangio would recover from his poor start and would begin to apply pressure on Hawthorn for 2nd place overall. Shortly, Fangio would pass Hawthorn, much to the delight of the British fans as it would set up a great battle between Hawthorn and Moss.
Gould would not be any kind of battle throughout much of the race. His main threat throughout the 263 miles was attrition. And there would be enough of that throughout the field.
Two cars would not start the race. Two more, including Louis Rosier, would be out after just a couple of laps. Alberto Ascari would take his Maserati 250F and would be one of seven to set the fastest lap time of the race, but after 21 laps his car would be out because of engine failure. He would then take over Luigi Villoresi's Maserati and would last just 19 more laps before retire with another engine failure. By the time there were just 10 laps remaining in the race there were just 15 cars remaining in the race. However, Gould would be out of the race well before the end.
Though Gould continued to lap the circuit he would be paid a visit by Gonzalez just about every 2 laps. He would be paid so many visits before the end of the race that he would end the event 'not classified' and some 46 laps down to Gonzalez. Actually, the reason why Gould would be visited by Gonzalez so many times over the course of the race would be because Gould spent over forty-five minutes of the race in the pits with a seized bearing. It wouldn't be until his crew took the bearings out of a car in the parking lot and placed them in his Cooper-Bristol that Gould would return to the race. But the damage was certainly already done.
Fangio had made his way past Hawthorn but the sleek fenders of the car continued to cause him problems. He consistently would hit barrels placed on the inside of the corners ironically placed there to help with identification of the corners. The resulting damage, and gearbox problems, would end up allowing Hawthorn come back past into 2nd place. Onofre Marimon would also manage to get by Fangio for 3rd place. Because Maurice Trintignant was down two laps just to Fangio a 4th place result would be safe if he could just make it to the finish.
Averaging nearly 90 mph, Gonzalez would cruise to victory. Hawthorn would delight the British faithful by crossing the line in 2nd place, albeit some fifty seconds behind Gonzalez. Marimon would actually come across the line ahead of Hawthorn but would end up in 3rd place due to being a lap down. And though not classified at the end of the race, Gould would manage to keeping running and would be the 15th car still running out on the circuit.
Gould had thoroughly been destroyed in the race, but after the way his season had been going before Crystal Park, his main competition would be attrition and he had beaten it, albeit at something just a little faster than a snail's pace.
After his showing at the British Grand Prix, Horace would be back behind the wheel of his Cooper-Bristol just two weeks later. On the 2nd of August the 1st August Cup race would be held and it would be held at the same place that Gould would score his first race finish of the season, Crystal Palace.
The August Cup race would follow the exact pattern of the Crystal Palace Trophy race. It would consist of two heat races and a final. Even the race distance would be the same with each heat going for 10 laps just like the final.
Gould would be listed in the first heat and he would have some tough competition to face. Reg Parnell would again be in his heat along with Roy Salvadori. Both men would be behind the wheel of Formula One cars that were certain to make them the favorite for the overall victory.
In practice, Parnell would set the fastest lap in his Ferrari and would take the pole. Not surprisingly, Salvadori would be the next quickest in the field and would line up 2nd on the grid. Gould, however, would be very impressive. Still in just his first few Formula One races, Gould would be third-fastest in practice and would start on the front row of the grid. Keith Hall would complete the front row starting in the 4th position.
Surprisingly, the heat race would be something of a yawner. Parnell would lead the way with the rest of the field following along just as they started. Throughout the 10 lap heat race, the only change to take place in the order would come amongst those further down in the running. Paul Emery had started the race from 6th place. But during the heat race, Emery would battle with Gerry Dunham and would take his position away by the end. That would be the only change to the running order after 10 laps. The second heat would fare only a little better.
The second heat would have Tony Rolt, Tony Crook, Jack Fairman and others. In practice leading up to the second heat race, Rolt would be fastest in the R.R.C. Walker Racing Team Connaught. Crook would start in 2nd place while Ted Whiteaway and Fairman would start 3rd and 4th.
In the second heat race, Rolt would lead the field holding onto his position over Crook. Whiteaway would be all over Fairman and would end up pushing his way past into 3rd place. Most would only lose one position over the course of the 10 lap race. However, Ron Searles would end up being the biggest loser of the field as he would start from 5th place and would end up 7th.
Rolt had been absolutely masterful at Crystal Palace in 1953 and looked to be on similar form as he would pull away from Crook to take the victory by a little more than seventeen seconds. Fairman would beat Whiteaway for 3rd place but would end up nearly another nine seconds further back.
Rolt's time in a Formula 2 Connaught would be nowhere near the times of Parnell and Salvadori. However, the finishing times of Rolt and Gould would be quite close and seemed to indicate a strong battle between the very good Rolt and the newcomer Gould.
Parnell had started the final from the pole over Salvadori, Gould and Rolt and would lead the way when the final got underway. It had been proving to be a great race for Gould as he would remain on the front row throughout the whole of the event between the heat race and the final. In fact, he had improved his starting position between the heat and the final. The only question remaining was whether he could put the pressure on Rolt or not.
Rolt was very strong and vastly more experienced. Rolt would make a great start and would get by Gould for 3rd place. Once in 3rd, Rolt would gradually pull away from Gould, but not terribly bad. Gould, however, would end up being locked in a battle with Keith Hall who had started the final from 5th place on the grid. Gould and Hall would fight it out all throughout the race. It would be a delight to the crowd since the fight between Parnell and Salvadori would fade about halfway through.
Aided by a fastest lap time of one minute and six seconds, Parnell would break away slightly from Salvadori. From that moment on, Parnell would maintain position over Salvadori shadowing anything Roy tried in order to pull Parnell back to himself. Parnell would drive controlled and would go on to take the victory by about three seconds over Salvadori. Twenty-six seconds, or thereabouts, would be the gap between Salvadori in 2nd place and Rolt in 3rd.
The real battle would be for 4th place. Hall and Gould would go at it tooth and nail. However, the passionate and stout man from Bristol would hold on by only about half a second to take 4th place.
It had been a great performance by the inexperienced Gould. The confidence his Cooper-Bristol could complete the distance at speed certainly aided him in his fight with Hall. Momentum was building all the more.
A little less than two weeks after the August Cup race at Crystal Palace Park, Gould would finally make his appearance at Snetterton after abandoning the Curtis Trophy race earlier on in the season. On the 14th of August, Gould would be at Snetterton to take part in the 2nd RedeX Trophy race.
Like Silverstone and Davidstow, the Snetterton Motor Racing Circuit would start out life as a World War II bomber base hosting the United States Army Air Force's 96th Heavy Bombardment Group. Being a base for a heavy bombardment group, RAF Snetterton-Heath, as it would be known during the war, would be involved in some of the major bombing raids throughout the European mainland. It would even be involved in ferrying operations all the way to North Africa.
After the war, like Silverstone and others, the base would lie dormant. No doubt inspired by other airbases turned into motor racing circuits, it would be determined that the 2.70 miles of perimeter road would serve as the perfect road course. The new motor racing circuit would then come to host its first motor races in 1952.
One of the many races Snetterton would come to host would be the RedeX Trophy race. First held the year before in the midst of Formula 2 regulations, the RedeX Trophy race would change in 1954 and would become a Formula One regulated event.
And though it would allow Formula One cars into the field for the 40 lap, 108 mile, race there would actually be very few that would actually make the trip to be part of the event. In fact, the only Formula One car in the field would be Reg Parnell's Ferrari 625. Peter Collins was slated to be at the race with the Vanwall 01 but he would not arrive. Roy Salvadori would also not arrive with his Maserati 250F entered by the Gilby Engineering Ltd.
Horace Gould would be at the race with his Cooper-Bristol T23 entered under the team name 'Gould's Garage'. He had been on a roll lately. The reliability problems seemed to have left and he had managed to enjoy some top results. With only Parnell's Formula One car in the field, Gould would have another chance to mainly worry about other Formula 2 cars in order to earn a top result.
Practice and the starting grid would be unknown, but in the race itself, Parnell would have to concern himself with a man driving a Formula 2 car. Bob Gerard was known for being a tough competitor, and throughout the race, he would give Parnell a good deal of trouble.
Gould would make a good start and would run up toward the front of the field throughout. He would soon find himself trying to chase down Don Beauman all while leaving others behind.
Parnell would have to do something to break away from Gerard. He would remain consistently fast each and every lap and would even turn it up some to set the fastest lap of the race with a lap time of one minute and forty-eight seconds. This would help increase Parnell's average speed over the course of the race to above 88 mph and break away from Gerard as the race progressed.
Gould would push hard to try and stay with, and pass, Don Beauman. In the course of trying to keep touch with Gould would pull away from the rest of the field, namely Rodney Nuckey. Though Nuckey was driving the same Cooper-Bristol chassis, Gould would manage to put him a lap down before the end of the race.
Averaging a little more than 88 mph, it would take Parnell one hour, thirteen minutes and sixteen seconds to complete the 40 laps and take the win. Following along behind Parnell by some forty-eight seconds, Gerard would drive an impressive race and would finish in 2nd place. And although Gould would challenge and push hard, he just would not be able to track down and pass Beauman for 3rd place. Instead, Gould would have to settle for a well-deserved 4th place result that would only increase his momentum heading into the final few races of the season.
Another two weeks would pass by between races for Gould. Next on his schedule, Gould would get to head home. Being from Bristol, the Castle Combe circuit was only about 20 miles to the east. There, at Castle Combe, he would come to take part in the 3rd Joe Fry Memorial Trophy race.
Famous for his record in hillclimbs with his Freikaiserwagen, Joe Fry was a favorite in British motor racing. His death in his Freikaiserwagon at Blandford hillclimb would end up being a huge blow in British motor racing at the time of his death in 1950. Being from Chipping Sodbury, also about 20 miles away from Bristol, the perfect location for a memorial race would certainly be Castle Combe.
Like so many circuits in England after World War II, Castle Combe would begin its life as a practice landing airfield associated with nearby RAF Hullavington. Consisting of Sommerfeld Tracking and a perimeter road, the airfield would remain in service all the way until 1948. It would then be thought that the triangular-shaped 1.85 miles of perimeter road could be used as a motor racing circuit. And in 1950, Castle Combe Circuit would open.
The Joe Fry Memorial race would be a rather short event. Lasting just 15 laps or 27 miles, it would be important in the race to have a good starting position and to make a good start. Being a circuit with a rather high average speed it would certainly play into the hands of any Formula One car entered in the field. Unfortunately for Gould and the rest, Reg Parnell would be present with his Ferrari 625.
Though unclear how the cars lined up on the grid, it would have been rather certain that Parnell would have been toward the front of the grid. It would also become apparent, as a result of the race, that Gould likely started the race from a good position as well.
Gould and the others in the field had a tough road ahead. Not only was Parnell present but Bob Gerard was also in the field for the race. Gerard had hung in there against Parnell at the last race. And as the race began to unfold, it would become apparent that Gerard, again, wasn't going to go down without putting up a fight.
The complexion of the race would change after the very first lap of the race when Parnell's engine would let go in the Ferrari. This would open the door for Gerard who would go on to set the fastest lap of the race with a lap time of one minute and sixteen seconds. Jack Fairman would exit the race also with engine failure. The doors were really beginning to open for other drivers in the field to make themselves known.
Gerard had the lead of the race but it wouldn't last. Laps before the end of the race, suspension failure would lead to Gerard exiting the race. All of a sudden, Gould had the lead of the race with a sizable lead over the rest of the cars in the field.
The momentum had continually built from race to race and it looked to be culminating in more than just a podium finish. All Gould would have to do would be to hang on throughout the remaining moments of the race. Passionate and determined, there wasn't anything that was going to separate Gould from his first Formula One non-championship victory. Gould would keep his foot on it and would come across the line to take the victory! Eleven seconds would pass before Bill Whitehouse would come through to finish in 2nd place. John Riseley-Prichard, the man who had beaten Gould on other occasions, would end the race in 3rd place some seventeen seconds behind Gould.
It had been an incredible race for Gould, make no mistake. Though he had received some help along the way, he still had the pace to overcome others in the field with more experience than what he had. That, perhaps, is what made the victory all the more impressive. There would be many, many single-seater grand prix drivers that would go numerous races and never score a victory, in either a World Championship or non-championship race. And yet, Gould would end up doing it in just eight races! Of course, the only thing better would be if he could keep the victories coming.
Gould next opportunity to add to his victory tally would come at the end of September. On the 25th of September he would be at Goodwood near Chichester. Goodwood would host a number of races for many different categories and classes of racing cars on the 25th. There would be a couple of races in which Gould would enter. One of those races he would enter would be the 7th Madgwick Cup Formula 2 race.
Goodwood Motor Racing Circuit would be yet another that would be birthed out of the years after World War II. RAF Westhampnett during the war, the airfield would be used as an auxiliary field to RAF Tangmere. It would even host a squadron of Spitfire and Hurricane fighters. After the war, it would come to host the best in British motor racing when the Duke of Richmond, a racing enthusiast, would decide the airfield resting on his Goodwood Estate would be used to be an airport and a motor racing circuit.
Goodwood would come to host a number of races throughout the course of a single year. Often times, the 2.39 mile circuit would host events with numerous shorter races taking place all on the same day. The fall at Goodwood would have such an event and the Madgwick Cup race would be just one of those races. Just 7 laps or nearly 17 miles, the Madgwick Cup race would last under twelve minutes and would require no mistakes while going flat out.
The Madgwick Cup race would be strictly for Formula 2 cars and the field would be filled with Connaughts and Cooper-Bristols. In fact, out of the fifteen that would start the race, only two would be chassis something other than Connaughts or Cooper-Bristols.
Practice would see Bob Gerard the fastest, and therefore, the pole-sitter. Don Beauman would join Gerard on the front row starting in 2nd place. Leslie Marr and John Riseley-Prichard would also join Gerard on the front row in 3rd and 4th place. Horace Gould would have a decent starting position. He would start from the second row of the grid in the 6th position.
Gerard would be tough to beat and he would quickly prove this when the race started. He would take the lead over Beauman who would fight hard just to stay with Gerard. Neither Riseley-Prichard nor Marr would get away well from the starting line and would struggle during the race. This would open the door for Mike Keen to take advantage and come up through the field after starting 5th. Marr's poor performance in the race would also enable Gould to move up the order slightly.
Nobody would be able to overcome Gerard, however. He would go on to set the fastest lap of the race and would control the rest of the field despite Beauman doing everything he could to stay close and give Gerard trouble. Gerard would go on to average nearly 87 mph and would complete the 7 laps in just eleven minutes and thirty-six seconds to take the victory. A little more than three seconds later, Don Beauman would come across to claim 2nd place. Mike Keen would put together a strong performance and would have a little more than three seconds in hand himself over Riseley-Prichard for 3rd place. Although Gould would not follow up his victory with another, he would still turn in a very solid performance. Gould would finish the race in 5th position.
Following up the strong performance in the Madgwick Cup Formula 2 race, Gould would enter the 7th Goodwood Trophy race. This race would feature Formula One cars, as well as, Formula 2 cars in the field. And the field for this race wouldn't just have one or two Formula One cars in it. The race would draw teams from Europe's mainland, as well as, from around the British Isles.
Stirling Moss, driving a Maserati with a green nose, would take the pole for the 21 lap race. Peter Collins would start from the front row in the 2nd position with the Vanwall 01. Bob Gerard would continue to impress with the Formula 2 Cooper-Bristol T23 as he would also start on the front row in the 3rd position. Gerard would even out-perform Reg Parnell who would start 4th.
Four of the first five positions on the starting grid would be occupied by Formula One cars. In spite of the presence of the more-powerful machines, Gould would put together an impressive display himself by setting the seventh-fastest time in practice, and therefore, starting from the second row of the grid.
In spite of all the apparent promise, the race would not keep Gould's momentum rolling. In fact, it would hit a snag, or a bump, when the car retired early due to mechanical problems. But he wouldn't be alone. Reg Parnell would suffer yet another retirement due to an engine failure. In all, six would retire from the race before the end.
Driving a car with the performance and the reliability able to showcase his talent, Stirling Moss would lead the field almost from before the race began. He would go on to set the fastest lap of the race and would complete the 21 laps at an average speed of more than 91 mph. Peter Collins would try and put up a fight in the Vanwall but just would not be able to keep touch with Moss.
The greatest battle amongst the front-runners would be between 3rd through 5th. All three cars, which would include Salvadori, Gerard and Beauman, would be separated by no more than eight seconds. Everyone else still running in the race at the end would find themselves at least a lap down to Moss.
It would take Moss thirty-three minutes and three seconds to complete the 21 laps and take the victory. Twenty seconds would be the difference between himself and Peter Collins in 2nd place. Nearly a minute would pass after Collins crossed the line before Roy Salvadori would come through in 3rd place.
Though the race had not proven to be a good race for Gould, he had turned his season around from what it was in the very early part of the season. He could not prevent every failure. Therefore, as a result of the stretch after the British Grand Prix, Horace could have confidence going into what would be his last race of the season.
Only one week would pass before Gould was busy preparing for his last race of the season. Not only would Gould be busy preparing his Cooper-Bristol for a new race, the race would take place at a new venue for the man from Bristol. The venue was Aintree. The race would be the 1st Daily Telegraph Trophy race held on the 2nd of October.
A Metropolitan Borough of Sefton to the north of the Liverpool city center, Aintree draws its name from Saxon origin meaning 'one tree'. The 'one tree' would continue to exist until 2004 when it needed to be cut down because of being diseased and falling over. Of course, Aintree would become most famous for the racecourse bearing its name.
Aintree Racecourse would come into being near the middle of the 19th century when steeplechase racing was introduced at Aintree in 1939. The racecourse would become both famous and infamous for its intimidating obstacles and fences. The names alone would be instantly recognizable. Aintree would become the site for The Grand National. In many ways a grand prix race for steeplechase horse racing, The Grand National is run over 4.5 miles and on just about every type of surface imaginable. So tough is the race that in 1928 42 horses would start the race but only 2 would actually finish.
Already hosting the grand prix of horseracing, Aintree would be considered the perfect setting for a motor racing circuit as well. What was more, it was determined the circuit could fit inside the grounds of the Aintree Racecourse, thereby using the same grandstands. The early developers of the idea of the motor racing circuit would include Raymond Mays, the same man behind the embarrassing BRM project. However, the Aintree idea would be much more well received.
The idea for the circuit would be anything but some token course laid out in one portion of the Aintree Racecourse. No, the circuit layout would be some 3 miles and would pass along the outside, inside and everywhere in between. The start/finish straight would be between the Grand National course and the grandstands. The circuit would then follow along around the outside of the racecourse before bending in towards the infield section where it would twist and turn a number of times before heading back to the outside of the racecourse just before heading back to the start/finish line. While flat and rather characterless, the draw of the Aintree Grand Prix Circuit would be the setting. And while it would not be a former airbase turned into a motor racing circuit, the venue, the feel and the atmosphere would lead to the Aintree Circuit becoming known as the 'Goodwood of the north'.
The Daily Telegraph Trophy race would prove to be an attractive event. It would draw a number of Formula One cars from the European mainland, and, it would draw a number of teams and drivers from the European mainland as well. Stirling Moss would be again driving a Maserati with a red finish and green-painted nose. He would drive the Maserati for Officine Alfieri Maserati and would be joined by Sergio Mantovani in another Maserati 250F. The French Equipe Gordini team would come to the event bringing with them two cars driven by Jean Behra and Andre Pilette. About the only one of the big teams missing from the lineup would be Scuderia Ferrari. However, Mike Hawthorn, one of its drivers, would be entered in the race driving for Vandervell Products Ltd. in their Vanwall 01 chassis.
Against so many Formula One cars, Gould would have a difficult time ahead of him. Certainly, Gould would come into the race looking to fight it out with the other Formula 2 cars in the field. Of course, probably the toughest of the Formula 2 competition would be Gerard in another Cooper-Bristol T23.
Practice would see a case of déjà vu. Just like at the actual Goodwood, Stirling Moss would be fastest in practice. He would take the pole in a Maserati 250F having set the bar with a time of two minutes and three seconds. Jean Behra would be nearly a second and a half off the pace of Moss and would start on the front row in 2nd. Mike Hawthorn and Harry Schell would end up finishing the front row starting in 3rd and 4th respectively.
The fastest amongst the Formula 2 ranks would end up not being Bob Gerard. Don Beauman would take the honor of being the highest-starting Formula 2 car in the field in 8th place. Gould would look impressive considering his inexperience. His best time would be about thirteen seconds slower than Moss' pole but Horace would still start a respective 12th in the field, which meant he would start the race from the fourth row of the grid.
Moss had been incredibly strong at Goodwood, and as the field roared away at the start of the 17 lap race, he would maintain the lead and would control the field from the very start. Hawthorn would give chase in the Vanwall but would be countered at every move by Moss. Moss would continue to hold onto the lead and would pull away from the rest of the field as the race wore on.
Behind Moss dominating the whole of the field, Gould would be in a battle of his own a little further down in the field. Although he had started ahead of Roy Salvadori on the grid, Roy would get by Gould in the race and would only climb up the running order. This would not be all that surprising since Salvadori was at the wheel of a Formula One Maserati 250F. Of course, amongst the Formula 2 field, Gerard would be incredibly tough once again and would actually move up the running order as the race wore on. Gould would make a decent start and would be all over Beauman after Beauman had a poor getaway and early part of the race.
The race would see rather low attrition. Charles Boulton would be lost after just one lap, but after that, just five others would retire from the race. Of course, two of the bigger retirements in the race would come with just a couple of laps remaining in the race. Reg Parnell would depart the race after 14 laps because of gearbox failure. One lap later, Jean Behra's clutch would be gone ending his day. This would open the door to some other competition driving Formula One cars.
Harry Schell was driving a Maserati 250F entered under his own team name. He had started the race from 4th place on the grid and would benefit from Behra's late retirement to move up to 3rd place overall and was within a couple of car lengths of Hawthorn for 2nd place. Behind Schell, just about two and a half seconds behind was Sergio Mantovani.
Gould could not keep up with the pace of the Formula One cars. Heading into the final couple of laps of the race, Horace would be down a couple of laps and would be fighting to keep it that way. Moss' performance, aided by a fastest lap time that put his average speed for the entire race at well over 85 mph, would cause all of the Formula 2 cars to be at least two laps down. Gould would be impressive by being one of those Formula 2 drivers that was just two laps in arrears.
Despite Hawthorn giving chase in the very good Vanwall, Moss would control the entire event and would be pretty untouchable throughout the 17 laps. It would take him just thirty-five minutes and forty-nine seconds to complete the race distance and take his second win in a row. Actually, over the course of that weekend, Moss would win all three races in which he would enter. Mike Hawthorn would be impressive in the race. He would finish in 2nd place a little more than fourteen seconds down. Schell would give Hawthorn all he could handle throughout the whole of the race. At the line, Hawthorn would enjoy a lead of just a second over Schell in 3rd place.
Helped out by Behra's and Parnell's retirements from the race, Gould would have his movement up the running order stymied by one of the other Formula One cars starting further down in the grid. Had it not been for Salvadori coming all the way up after starting 18th on the grid, Gould would have had an opportunity to finish the race with a top ten result. However, as a result of the way the race would go, Gould would need to track down and pass Don Beauman for the 10th spot in the final results. Unfortunately, Beauman would prove too strong and Gould would have to settle for finishing the race 11th overall. However, amongst the other Formula 2 cars in the field, Gould would enjoy a 4th place finish.
Considering the failure he had in the Goodwood Trophy race, and the fact of the presence of so many powerful Formula One machines in the race, the 11th place finish would be a very good result for Gould, especially in his first season racing in the upper levels of grand prix racing.
The season had proven to be quite the introduction for Gould. While it had started out with nothing but retirements, it would build up momentum and culminate in a memorable victory at the Joe Fry Memorial Trophy race. This would offer great encouragement to the stout man to remain in the upper levels of grand prix racing.
To remain in the upper levels Gould would need a competitive car, certainly one with more power than the Cooper-Bristol. Therefore, heading into the 1955 season, Gould would purchase a Maserati 250F to use and he would use it to great effect throughout the year.
Although he would enter the racing scene rather late in life, Gould's immense enthusiasm and drive would not only help him to have a footnote in grand prix history, it would help him to leave an indelible impression on many that would come to know him. He would do anything to go racing. He would give it his heart. Goulds Garage