TeamsBritish Racing Partnership: 1958 Formula One Season By Jeremy McMullen
By the end of the 1950s, Stirling Moss was well and truly the face of motor racing. Large teams like Vandervell and Aston Martin were fully capable of taking care of their driver and providing him with the best equipment possible. This left a couple of important people relatively unemployed. However, there would be no stopping Alfred Moss and Ken Gregory. The result would be British Racing Partnership.
Alfred Moss was not entirely sold on the idea of his son Stirling becoming a racing driver. His one request, if his son was actually serious about his prospects in racing, was that he had to wear a crash helmet. Stirling would find the notion a bit sissyish but he would obey his father's wishes.
Alfred wouldn't just be concerned about his son's well-being on the track. He would also become very interested in his protection when away from it. This meant Alfred's heavy involvement in negotiations and contracts. Ken Gregory would come into the picture when Stirling progressed to Formula 3. Gregory would act as Stirling's manager and, together with Stirling's father, would be instrumental in changing the face of motor racing. Suddenly, motor racing would become a big business for the drivers.
Stirling's success wouldn't just come as a result of strong negotiations. His talents on the track would be undeniable. This would lead to drives with some of the best teams of the period. After floundering in his patriotism, Stirling would begin racing Maserati 250Fs and this would provide the big breakthrough as it would open the door to a seat with Mercedes-Benz alongside the great Juan Manuel Fangio.
Moss and Gregory would still be heavily involved in negotiations on behalf of Stirling at this point in time but it would quickly begin to change as Stirling improved. Stirling was well ensconced with Aston Martin following the withdrawal of Mercedes-Benz from sportscar racing. Then, when Stirling signed to drive with Vandervell starting in 1957, the young Brit was well looked-after. This would be difficult for Alfred and Ken, who had been so involved in Stirling's career up to that point in time. Stirling had graduated and the empty home was proving more than Alfred and Gregory could stand. These two needed a new project.
Ken Gregory was the director of the Brands Hatch Circuit. Alfred was a shareholder in the company. In late 1957, these two would be together at a meeting. The meeting would come to an end, but neither Alfred nor Ken were ready to conclude business. The two men would speak at length about what they were going to do. The answer was relatively simple and straight-forward.
Alfred Moss had been hesitant about his son's interests in motor racing. Now when his son was proving successful and out on his own, it was clear the racing bug had bitten his father. Suddenly, this man that had cringed at the idea of motor racing, would be throwing himself more heavily into the sport. The result of the conversation with Gregory would be B.R.P., or, British Racing Partnership.
The idea of the new team was simple: Alfred and Gregory would put together a team for Stirling when he needed an opportunity to go racing. Furthermore, when Stirling wasn't in need of a mount, the team could be used as a proving-ground for young British talent.
Alfred would put scrape together the money to invest in the project. Ken Gregory would then manage the outfit. It would seem logical, given that Moss was ponying up the money for the project, that BRP would be based at the family farm at Tring. The site had a large garage and could be partitioned off to provide space to prepare the cars.
British Racing Partnership now existed, but in name only. They needed to get a car to use for their purposes. The only real option at the time would be found in Surbiton, Surrey.
There were a number of British manufacturers and a number of successful ones at that. Connaught had provided the first major victory for a British manufacturer since after World War II. However, they were now defunct and owned by one Bernie Ecclestone. There was BRM, but then again they were as much a gamble as another manufacturer. The most desirable option, the Vanwall, was not a customer car. Therefore, BRP's options were limited. But then again, the company based in Surbiton was on the verge of great things.
Cooper Car Company had been founded in 1946 and would quickly come to make an impact in the lower formulas, especially Formula 3 with its mid-engined 500. Cooper continued to improve upon the mid-engine design creating a car for Formula 2. By the mid-1950s, Coopers were everywhere in Formula 2. With the help of Jack Brabham, Cooper would again make a brief foray into Formula One with a mid-engined T40.
The Cooper T42 and T43 would become mainstays in Formula 2 and began to close the gap between Formula One and Formula 2 as a result of the improved power and the superior handling characteristics of the Cooper. The mid-engined car presented the future of Formula One. Furthermore, the lighter chassis made it possible to use a smaller engine to compete with the heavier, more-powerful, Formula One chassis. Therefore, the Cooper presented a number of advantages to offset its obvious short-comings, at least as far as Formula One went.
Gregory's name would be listed on a register as a purchaser of a Cooper T45. Chassis F2-10-58 would be BRP's mount for the near future. Moss and Gregory would take delivery of the T45 and would turn to Tony Robinson, who had been working with Bruce Halford at the time, to help prepare the car for each race.
The team had its name and car. It just needed a driver. Of course Stirling would be who they would have liked to have behind the wheel, but that was not going to be possible, at least not at that time. Instead, they would look towards Moss' junior Vandervell teammate, Stuart Lewis-Evans. Lewis-Evans would not be able to take part in every race with the team since he still had a contract to drive with Vandervell, but he would at least be able to start the team's first season.
Financial conditions, and the fact the new team would not take delivery of its new Cooper until early 1958, meant BRP would not make the trip across the South Atlantic to Argentina for the first couple of races of the season. Instead, the team would look much closer to home to make its debut. At the same time Pau would host its grand prix, Goodwood Motor Circuit would be readied to host the Easter Monday Races.
The date was the 7th of April and the site was Goodwood Motor Racing Circuit. Formerly RAF Westhampnett during the Second World War, the airfield based on the Goodwood Estate would turn into Goodwood Motor Racing Circuit in the years following the conclusion of the war. The 2.38 mile circuit would become a popular venue for teams and drivers to make a stop. Famous for its 9 hour sportscar race, Goodwood would often be the first stop on a season's calendar as a result of the Easter Monday Races.
The Easter Monday Races would be an amalgamation of races and classes providing spectators and widely-varied experience. There would be a number of races for single-seaters. One of those races was the Lavant Cup race. In 1958, Goodwood would be hosting the 9th edition of the Lavant Cup race for Formula 2 cars. The race distance would be 15 laps and would feature a slew of Coopers going up against just a handful of Lotuses.
Stuart Lewis-Evans would be available for the team's first-ever race. The team would also consider entering a Cooper T43 for Tommy Bridger, but that would fall through before the cars took to the circuit for practice.
Roy Salvadori would be behind the wheel of a T43 entered by Tommy Atkins and would end up taking the pole for the race. Stuart Lewis-Evans would have the new T45 at his disposal but the race would not be easy with such drivers as Salvadori, Jack Brabham, Graham Hill and others in the field.
The race would feature a number of incredible battles between a handful of drivers. There would be a battle for the lead of the race. Then there would be a fight for 3rd. Unfortunately, Lewis-Evans would not be amongst those fighting it out for the lead. Instead, it would be Brabham and Hill that would be locked in a fierce duel over the course of the 15 lap race for that place on the leaderboard.
Lewis-Evans would run an impressive race. He would be just inside the top five heading into the final couple of laps. While the lead and the victory may have still been in doubt, Lewis-Evans' place was well-insured as long as he made it to the checkered flag. The gap to the 5th place runner, Tony Marsh, was more than comfortable. However, Lewis-Evans had 3rd place on his mind and he would be all over Cliff Allison trying to take the position.
The fight between Brabham and Hill would be incredible. Hill would end up posting the fastest lap of the race. However, as the pair rounded Woodcote for the final time, Brabham would prove capable of holding off the charge of Hill and would take the victory by just four-tenths of a second.
While the fight between Brabham and Hill would be remarkable, the fight between Allison and Lewis-Evans would be even-closer. Mere hundredths of a second would separate the two drivers as they came around on the final lap. There was no room for either to make a mistake, or else, the race would be finished, places assured.
It would be an impressive debut for BRP at the hands of Lewis-Evans. Rounding Woodcote, there would still be nothing between Allison and Lewis-Evans. Charging hard toward the line, Allison would barely clip Lewis-Evans for the position. Mere hundredths would again be the difference.
It would be a bittersweet debut for BRP. It would certainly be sweet as Lewis-Evans crossed the line in 4th place in the team's debut. However, it would also be a little bitter tasting known that mere hundredths of a second separated Lewis-Evans from a place on the podium.
To be disappointed with just missing out on a podium finish would be just how Moss and Gregory wanted things when they laid out their plans for a new team. To be fighting for places at the top was just what they would have wanted. The question remaining before the team was just where did they stack-up against the might of Formula One teams? Goodwood provided an opportunity to find out.
Another of the races hosted at Goodwood as part of the Easter Monday Races would be the Glover Trophy race. This race would be a Formula One race that was also open to Formula 2 entries. The 6th edition of this race would cover a total of 42 laps, or, 101 miles.
The presence of Mike Hawthorn with one of the new Ferrari 246 Dinos meant the race had a bit of a realistic feel. BRP would not have the talents of Lewis-Evans for their use. Therefore, the team would turn to Tommy Bridger. Bridger was a talented individual that seemed to have potential but he lacked all of the abilities of Lewis-Evans. Still, he would put together a strong performance in practice and would start right alongside the man the team would have wanted.
Stirling Moss, the man for whom BRP had been set up as something of a play-thing, would take pole in a Cooper T43. Jean Behra would be at the wheel of a BRM 25. He would end up on the front row of the grid in the 2nd position while Hawthorn would end up 3rd with the new Ferrari. The final spot on the front row would end up being occupied by Salvadori in one of the Cooper factory cars.
Lewis-Evans had made a strong debut in the BRP Cooper and Bridger looked set to continue the strong debut after he managed to capture a place on the third row of the grid. Starting 11th, he would be on the outside of the third row next to Lewis-Evans, Ian Burgess and Archie Scott-Brown.
While the Lavant Cup Formula 2 race turned into a titanic battle at the front of the field, the Glover Trophy race would be marked by crashes early on and relatively processional racing thereafter.
It would all start when Graham Hill retired just 2 laps into the race. About the same time Paul Emery retired with engine failure, Jean Behra's brakes would fail on the BRM and this would lead him to crashing out of the race. Two laps later, Bridger would also suffer a crash leaving BRP to suffer its first retirement.
Stirling Moss and Mike Hawthorn would share fastest laps. However, it would be Hawthorn that would come out the best of the two. Moss would retire after 22 laps as a result of a connecting-rod failure. Hawthorn, meanwhile, would carry on in the lead of the race.
The new Dino 246 would be too much for the upgraded Coopers and other cars remaining in the race. Hawthown, though on his own, would pull away at the head of the field. Completing the race distance in just under one hour and four minutes, Hawthorn would take any easy victory enjoying a margin of victory of more than 36 seconds over Jack Brabham in the factory Cooper. Roy Salvadori would make it two factory Coopers in the top three. However, he would finish the race a little more than a lap behind.
The fantastic start to BRP's existence would be tempered with the terrible result and the broken Cooper the team was left with after Bridger's crash in the Glover Trophy race. This would be disappointing for the team. However, the result in the Formula 2 race encouraged the team concerning their chances in Formula 2 races over the course of the season.
Following the disappointing Glover Trophy race, BRP would be left with a Cooper to repair and another tough test on their hands just a little less than two weeks away. On the 19th of April, at the 3.0 mile Aintree Circuit, would be the 13th BARC ‘200'. This afforded British Racing Partnership the opportunity to recover from its previous race. It would also offer the team another opportunity for the team to measure itself against Formula One machines as the BARC 200 was open to both Formula One and Formula 2 entries.
Aintree had come onto the scene in the mid-1950s and would first host the British Grand Prix in 1955. In 1956, Aintree would come to play host to what formerly had been known as the JCC 200. As the name would suggest, the race distance would be 200 miles or 67 laps of the Aintree circuit.
The character and make-up of the Aintree Circuit helped to provide a somewhat level playing field between the Formula One and Formula 2 cars. There would be just enough slower and medium-speed corners that played to the strengths of the lighter-weight Formula 2 cars to help offset the straights where the Formula One cars would have the upper-hand.
Recognizing the future of Formula One rested with the mid-engine design, the field for the BARC 200 would be almost entirely made up of Cooper. Amongst the numerous T43s and T45s there would be a handful that would have engines of increased size. This would put them into the category of the Formula One cars like the BRM 25s, Connaught B-Types and Maseratis 250Fs that would also be a part of the event.
BRP would enter just a single car. Since the Vanwalls would not be present at the race the team would have Lewis-Evans back behind the wheel of the T45. As it would during the Lavant Cup race, his presence would be a blessing.
Practice would see Behra set the fastest lap time in a BRM 25. His best lap would be 1:59.8. Joining Behra on the front row would be Roy Salvadori in 2nd place with an upgraded engine in his Cooper T45, and, Stirling Moss. Moss' best lap would be 2:00.6. This would still be an impressive time considering his pole-winning effort back when he was driving a Mercedes-Benz W196 in the British Grand Prix in 1955 would be 2:00.4.
Lewis-Evans' presence behind the wheel of the BRP Cooper meant an increase in speed and he would certainly prove that in practice. Despite driving a Formula 2 Cooper, he would post a lap time of 2:04.4. Though more than four and a half seconds slower than Behra he would still be the fastest Formula 2 car in the field and he would start the race from the second row of the grid in the 5th position overall. BRP was in a strong position heading into the race. If things fell their way they were looking at their first podium, victory even.
The race would be a long one and Lewis-Evans would have to balance pace with reliability. This was not as easy with a Formula 2 car when up against Formula One machines. The Formula 2 cars were very capable over a single lap. However, it was almost always detrimental to carry such a pace over the course of a whole race, especially one the length of the BARC event.
The race would be an eventful one. Moss had always performed well at Aintree and would again prove this that day as he battled with Jack Brabham for the lead of the race. The length of the race would cause a number of retirements and would shake things up almost right from the beginning.
Tony Marsh and four other drivers would fail to make it past 20 laps. Another four would fail to complete the next 10 laps. Lewis-Evans would remain in the running but would have a difficult task on his hands.
Tony Brooks had started the race from the fourth row of the grid but would make an incredible start to the race to make his way up to towards the front of the leaderboard. Lewis-Evans had been the highest-starting Formula 2 car in the field but Brooks' start would see him fall behind his Vanwall teammate. Lewis-Evans could challenge but would he do more damage than harm? There was always the potential Brooks' Cooper wouldn't make the distance having made such a start and continuing to push as it was. Lewis-Evans would choose discretion and would choose to wait and see whether or not Brooks could make it the entire race distance.
There would be no waiting at the head of the field. Moss and Brabham continued to duke it out for the lead of the race. There would be practically nothing between the two as the war raged lap after lap. It would be remarkable to watch really as the fight between Moss and Brabham developed over the course of the race.
All but one of the cars ahead of Lewis-Evans on the road would be a Formula One car. There seemed no way Brooks would last the distance. Therefore, the BRP driver would drop back in an effort to look towards the end of the race.
As the battle continued to wage between Brabham and Moss, Tony Brooks would continue to wage a war with his own car. He would continue to push the car until he pulled away from Salvadori in 4th place. Brabham and Moss would be out of reach but it certainly wouldn't appear to be that way, not with the pace Brooks was running.
Lewis-Evans was well in control. He was unable to challenge Brooks, but it seemed certain he would win the war against attrition.
The fight between Moss and Brabham would go down to the very end. And, as with his first Formula One World Championship victory at the circuit back in 1955, Moss would manage to pull out the victory by just two-tenths of a second over Brabham. Brabham had posted the fastest lap of the race but Moss would cover the Aussie the whole way.
Lewis-Evans would be much more interested in the man finishing in 3rd place. Could Brooks make it to the end, or, would the car fail him in the final moments? Unfortunately for BRP's driver, the T43 would hold together wonderfully for Brooks and he would ease to a 3rd place overall finish and a victory within the Formula 2 category.
After the disappointing end at Goodwood where the team was left with a broken race car, Lewis-Evans would help BRP recover nicely as he cruised to an easy 5th place result. He would finish in 2nd place in Formula 2 and would look dominant in the exercise had it not been for the presence of Brooks and his Cooper.
The 2nd place in Formula 2 and 5th place overall result at Aintree would be another strong result for Lewis-Evans with BRP. He was certainly proving Moss' and Gregory's suspicions correct about his abilities and he would offer the team a nice recovery following the frustrating end at Goodwood.
The Glover Trophy race in early April had kicked-off an important stretch of races where Formula 2 cars were pitted against each other and Formula One machines at the same time. It continued with the BARC 200 race at Aintree and it only carried on two weeks later with the 10th edition of the BRDC International Trophy race.
On the 3rd of May, Silverstone would play host to its popular non-championship event, the BRDC International Trophy race. It had been held at the circuit for the first time back in 1949 and had been conducted every year following that.
Though it would continue unabated from 1949, the International Trophy would change dates and would also change formats. Even by the end of the 1950s, the International Trophy race would play host to a number of memorable races including the tsunami back in '51 and then the rather controversial edition in '54.
The previous year would see the International Trophy race, which is usually held during the month of May, moved to much later in the year. In fact, the race would take place in September following the Italian Grand Prix. This date change had been forced by the conditions in the Suez. The race in September would also revert back to an older two heat race and final event format. One year later, the race would be back in May and the format of the race would also be different. Instead of the heat races and the final, the race would fall back to a simple race distance arrangement.
The race distance for the 10th International Trophy race would be 50 laps, or, 146 miles. Considering the fact Silverstone would be the host circuit for that year's British Grand Prix, the field would be field with challengers from Formula 2 to Formula One. Scuderia Ferrari's hopes, once more, rested with a single entry, this time driven by Peter Collins. Cooper would come with a number of entries while Team Lotus would also be present with their Lotus 12s. One notable, and important, absence, at least as BRP was concerned, would be Vandervell Products with their Vanwalls. Their absence meant Lewis-Evans would again be back with the team to take part in the race.
Roy Salvadori would be behind the wheel of one of the Cooper T45s that had been upgraded with a larger-displacement engine. He would end up setting the pace in practice taking the pole with a lap time of 1:40.8. Jack Brabham, Salvadori's Cooper teammate, would start in 2nd place on the grid having been six-tenths of a second slower. The rest of the front row included Stirling Moss in 3rd place and Peter Collins completing the front row with the Dino 246.
The field, which would have to be limited in size, would be tight up towards the front. Lewis-Evans would be quick in the Cooper, even faster than Masten Gregory in the first of the Maserati 250Fs. However, it would end up not being quick enough to be the fastest of the Formula 2 entries. That honor would go to Cliff Allison. Still, Lewis-Evans' lap time of 1:44.6 would be good enough to start from the third row of the grid, 9th place overall and 2nd and Formula 2.
Silverstone had a reputation of being something of a car-breaker, but at 2.92 miles to the lap and the race distance being less than that at Aintree a couple of weeks earlier, there seemed the suggestion the Formula 2 cars could be pushed hard over the course of the race.
Moss would stall at the start of the race and would end up all the way at the back of the field by the time he got his car re-fired and on its way. Collins would be leading the field into the first turn while Behra and Ron Flockhart positioned their BRMs close behind. Lewis-Evans would get away well and would remain inside the top ten over the course of the first lap.
Flockhart had perhaps been a little out of his element in the early going as he pushed hard behind Behra. He would end up making a slight mistake which would lead to him crashing out of the race while Behra closed up on Collins and began to look to challenge for the lead. Lewis-Evans would be the fastest of the Formula 2 cars and would be running up close to the Formula One machines throughout the first few laps of the race.
A number of cars began to suffer from problems. Maurice Trintignant, Tony Brooks and Jo Bonnier would all fall out of the race rather early on. Stirling Moss' race would be run by the 19th lap while Behra swept by Collins into the lead. Lewis-Evans' fast early pace would be overwhelmed by the Formula One cars and he would begin to drop back. He would be caught by Cliff Allison and these two would become embroiled in a battle for best of Formula 2 honors.
The retirements kept coming until more than a third would end up out of the race. Behra looked strong in the lead as he began to put some distance between himself and Collins. However, just when it seemed as though the Frenchman would go on to cruise to victory, a rock would be kicked up into his face. His goggles would be smashed terribly and he would suffer a cut over his eye. He would carry on until he could pit for another pair of goggles. He would pull into the pit, the crew would give him another pair of goggles but would also take a moment to check out his eye. The cut was nasty but it would not keep him out of the rest of the race. He would return to the track, but the lead had been lost.
Collins was now in the lead of the race and he had been running laps as fast as Behra. This meant he pulled out a lead over Salvadori in 2nd place. Behra had rejoined the race but was now down in 4th place. Allison and Lewis-Evans continued to carry on their battle. There was some space between the two of them but they were certainly close enough that if there was a slip-up of any kind the other could pounce quickly.
Allison and Lewis-Evans would be clearly leading the Formula 2 challenge. Bruce McLaren was the next-closest Formula 2 car in the field but he would be more than a lap behind the Lotus of Allison and the Cooper of Lewis-Evans.
While the battle between Allison and Lewis-Evans would likely carry on to the end of the race, the advantage Collins enjoyed at the head of the field overall meant the race for the overall victory was over. Completing the race distance at an average speed of nearly 102mph, Collins would be by himself as he powered his way over the line to take the victory. Some 24 seconds later, Salvadori would come through to finish in 2nd place. Masten Gregory would impress with the older Maserati 250F. After his great start he would carry that momentum to a 3rd place finish.
The battle in Formula 2 had raged for most of the race. However, the last lap of the race would see an easing of sorts. Cliff Allison would get the better of Lewis-Evans and would come through to finish 6th overall and 1st in Formula 2. Lewis-Evans's performance had been strong, but his fading after the first few laps would hurt him as he would finish in 2nd place some 3 seconds adrift of Allison in 7th place.
In spite of the fact he had the victory in Formula 2 within his grasp, Lewis-Evans' performance around Silverstone would be encouraging for the team and would be a splendid follow-up to the performance at Aintree. BRP had confidence and momentum on its side in its debut season. The season was just beginning. The team believed and hoped more good things were to follow.
The young team had been enjoying a strong start to its debut season. Despite the lone incident at Goodwood, the team had been enjoying a strong season. They had every reason to believe it would only get better. The next opportunity to prove that belief true would come shortly after the International Trophy race. In fact, that next opportunity would come on home turf.
On the 18th of May, just two weeks after the non-championship Formula One and Formula 2 race at Silverstone, BRP would be on what had to be considered home ground for the 6th BRSCC Formula 2 race.
The BRSCC Formula 2 race would take place at the Brands Hatch Circuit near Fawkham in Kent. Brands Hatch was similar to Oulton Park in that the area had been used during the Second World War as a training ground. Following the war, a track would be laid out for use for motor cycle racing. This circuit would be improved to host car racing. BRP's Stuart Lewis-Evans would go on to become very successful around Brands Hatch. In fact, he would be the first winner around Brands Hatch when the circuit was revised in 1953.
Lewis-Evans certainly knew his way around the Brands Hatch circuit. Then there was Ken Gregory. Not only was he the director of the circuit but it had been at a meeting at the circuit where he and Alfred had laid out the plans that would become BRP. Therefore, heading to Brands Hatch would be a very special and important time for the team. It was important for them to make the most of the opportunity.
Unfortunately for BRP, Lewis-Evans, who knew his way around the circuit as good as anyone, would not be available as a result of the Monaco Grand Prix being held on the same day. Therefore, BRP would have to turn to its back-up driver, Tommy Bridger. Bridger was certainly capable. The team would hope he would have enough to carry the team to its first victory.
Bridger would have no easy task given the presence of a young Bruce McLaren in the field. The field would also include Ken Tyrrell, George Wicken and Tony Marsh. The race itself would consist of two heat races and aggregate scoring. Each of the heats would be 10 laps in length, and therefore, would take no more than 10 minutes to complete each of the heats.
Sitting on the pole for the start of the first heat would be McLaren. The young man from New Zealand would take advantage of his pace in practice and would be up at the front of the field throughout the first heat. A little further back, Ken Tyrrell and George Wicken would be involved in a very close battle for 2nd. Bridger would be involved in a close battle of his own.
Being just 10 minutes in length, momentum was everything. Bridger would stay locked in a battle with Ronnier Moore throughout the first heat race and would manage to keep the car pointed in the right direction the whole time. The only man that would manage to pull away, though ever so slightly, would be McLaren.
Bruce McLaren would go on to win the first heat completing the distance in ten minutes and 11 seconds. The battle for 2nd place would go down to the wire with Wicken barely holding off Tyrrell by just two-tenths of a second. Then there was another battle for 4th place, and this involved Bridger.
Bridger and Moore would battle all the way to the checkered flag. Unfortunately for Bridger and BRP, Moore would get the better of him taking 4th place by just four-tenths of a second.
The finishing order for the first heat would determine the grid positions for the second race. This meant McLaren was back on pole. Bridger would start in 5th place.
In the second heat race McLaren would dominate all the more. Both he and Wicken would turn fastest lap times of 59.2 seconds. However, McLaren would be consistently quick each and every time around the short circuit. This enabled him to pull out a gap over Wicken in the final race. Tyrrell would also fall back in the 2nd heat race. He would become embroiled in a battle with Bridger while Moore slotted into 3rd place, a couple of seconds clear of the battle for what was 4th place once again.
McLaren would be untouchable this day. Beating his first heat time by no less than eight seconds, Bruce would take the victory in the second heat race by just under six seconds over Wicken. Moore would finish in 3rd place just a second up the road from the battle for 4th place. Once again Bridger would be close. He would be fighting with Tyrrell all the way to the flag. However, just as with the first heat, Bridger would be beat for the position. As it would turn out, Tyrrell would take 4th place by just two-tenths of a second over Bridger in the BRP Cooper.
When the final results were tallied, the two heat races would say everything. McLaren would take the victory having nearly 10 seconds in hand over Wicken. This is the way it ended in both heats and that is what the aggregate results showed. It would also confirm what had been witnessed with Bridger. In both cases he had finished 5th and that is where he would finish in the aggregate scoring.
Bridger was certainly a talented driver but the 5th place result at Brands Hatch said everything. The team really needed a faster, more-talented, driver behind the wheel. If they could get Lewis-Evans back behind the wheel, or another driver like him, the team likely would experience a great run of success. But Bridger wasn't done showing what he could do, at least not just yet.
The races would really start to come in rapid succession. The Formula 2 season would really begin to pick up, and, on the 26th of May, British Racing Partnership would be in Crystal Palace, just to the south of London, for the 4th Crystal Palace Trophy race.
Crystal Palace circuit would host its first race back in the 1920s. The circuit comprised of park roads and ran about a mile in length in its first iteration. Motorcycle races would be the first races the circuit hosted. However, the circuit's length would be increased to 2 miles and would host the first London Grand Prix in 1937.
After the Second World War, the circuit's length would be reduced to just 1.39 miles. This would happen as a result of the inner-loop being bypassed. In spite of the fact the circuit played host to a number of important and popular races, especially before the war, there would be greater restrictions on events later. The short circuit was quick and left practically no room for error. The circuit, therefore, was ideal for the small, nimble Formula 2 cars.
BRP would arrive at the temporary circuit with their T45. Because the Dutch Grand Prix was on the same day, Lewis-Evans was again unavailable to drive. Therefore, the team would turn to Bridger once again.
Bridger had been unable to mount any kind of challenge at Brands Hatch, a circuit quite similar to that of Crystal Palace. Bridger's performance, therefore, seemed to suggest he didn't have the speed to really compete with the best. But Crystal Palace would be a new circuit and a new opportunity and Bridger would take full advantage.
The Crystal Palace Trophy race consisted of a multi-heat format. There would be two heats of 15 laps. The field would be split between the two heats. Once the heat races were completed there would be a 25 lap race to follow.
In the first heat Bridger would again come up short finishing in 5th place. It seemed as though BRP would earn yet another strong result when they had the chance at even better. Ken Tyrrell would take the victory in the second heat race. This set the stage for a great battle in the 25 lap final. It seemed as though there would be a repeat of what took place at Brands Hatch.
The final would be far from similar to that of the BRSCC race at Brands Hatch. Bridger would be flying in the final. He and George Wicken would share the fastest lap of the race. The BRP driver would be ahead of Bruce McLaren on the road and would be in an incredible scrap with Ian Burgess, not for some lowly spot in the running order, but for first.
It would be an incredible battle. Mere tenths of a second would separate the two drivers coming to the end of the race. Bridger had seemed to run out of talent at Brands Hatch. However, at Crystal Palace it would be an entirely different story. Coming through the final couple of right-hand corners it would be Burgess barely holding onto the lead. Approaching the line, Burgess would barely edge out Bridger for the victory. Just two-tenths of a second would be the difference between the two as they flashed over the line. Bruce McLaren would follow along in 3rd place just about three seconds further back.
Though Bridger would just lose out on a victory the performance would still be very impressive. He had been thoroughly beat at Brands Hatch just a couple of weeks earlier. But on this day, Bridger would be one of the fastest in the class and it would be a good turn for BRP as it would be important for the team not to miss out any opportunity.
It isn't often one gets a second chance. However, on the 8th of June, that is just what BRP would get as the team pulled into Brands Hatch for what was to be the 7th BRSCC Formula 2 race.
Gregory's team had looked good the last time they had been at the circuit. Tommy Bridger had come away with a 5th place result for the team in its first season. However, it would also be a rather bittersweet experience as it seemed clear they could have achieved more had they their fastest driver behind the wheel. Well, as the team prepared for the race on the 8th, they would have their wish.
Stuart Lewis-Evans would be back with the team and would be busy preparing for the race. As with the previous edition of the race, the 7th BRSCC race would consist of two heats that would be 10 laps in length. The aggregate scoring would determine the final results.
If the team believed there was more in their Cooper than what Bridger managed to get out of it they would be right. Stuart would put the car on pole leading up to the start of the first heat race. His lap of 57.6 seconds would be a second and a half quicker than McLaren's pole time back in the middle of May.
Lewis-Evans would carry his speed advantage into the first heat race. He would make a great start and would be in the lead right from the very beginning. Out front around the quick Brands Hatch circuit, Lewis-Evans would be able to control the pace. He wouldn't necessarily have to be the fastest. He just needed to be fast consistently.
He would do just that. Rounding the bend and climbing the hill for the final time, Stuart would power his way across the line to take the victory in the first heat race. He would be the only one to complete the first heat in under 10 minutes as Ian Burgess and Syd Jensen completed the top three.
Lewis-Evans would be back on pole for the second heat as a result of the victory in the first heat race. Being just 10 laps, Stuart knew full-well the pace in the second heat was likely to quicken. He would need to respond.
Stuart would make a great start and would again be out front. However, Dennis Taylor and Syd Jensen would pick up their pace by quite a bit. This would force Lewis-Evans to run laps right around his qualifying time each and every lap. He would respond perfectly.
Lewis-Evans would not put a wheel wrong over the whole of the ten laps. Running nearly every lap under the one minute mark, the BRP driver would hold onto his lead and would actually increase his advantage heading into the final couple of laps.
Stuart would fly around Brands Hatch in the second heat race. He would complete the heat in just under nine minutes and 53 seconds, and, despite the fact both Taylor and Jensen would set the fastest lap of the race, he would enjoy a margin of victory of more than three seconds over Taylor and more than five seconds over Jensen.
Lewis-Evans would show just what BRP could do as he would take the overall victory. Dennis Taylor would end up 2nd in the results finishing more than 10 seconds behind. Ian Burgess would complete the podium finishing more than 11 seconds behind in 3rd place.
Lewis-Evans would demonstrate perfectly the difference between his quality and that of Bridger. A month ago, Bridger was trapped in 5th place, unable to mount any kind of challenge for the podium, let alone victory. One month later, and Lewis-Evans utterly dominated around Brands Hatch with the very same car. The season had already been a strong one for the brand new team, but the first victory would certainly taste sweet as the team was heading into the last half of its first season. It seemed to suggest great possibilities existed on the horizon.
Having achieved good results on home soil, underscored by the victory at Brands Hatch, Moss and Gregory would deem it time to broaden the team's horizons. The appearance of the summer months meant a bit of a shift within Formula 2. Many of the early races would take place on English soil. However, by July, much of the Formula 2 calendar consisted of races on the European mainland. One of those European races would take place on the 6th of July at Reims.
The French Grand Prix would be held at Reims, France over the weekend of the 6th of July. However, the Formula One World Championship race would not be the one race to take place over that weekend. There would also be a Formula 2 race. This event would be the 2nd Coupe Internationale de Vitesse.
Being connected with a round of the Formula One World Championship meant the Formula 2 race would be filled with many other teams and drivers that had not been witnessed at any race in England prior. Porsche would be one of those constructors BRP would not go up against until pulling in at the circuit outside of Reims. Then, of course, there was Scuderia Ferrari with their Dino 156 Formula 2 car. Still, the vast majority of the field would look relatively familiar with a slew of Cooper T43s and T45s.
Although he would be present in order to drive for Vandervell in the Formula One race, Lewis-Evans would not drive for BRP in the Formula 2 race. Therefore, the team would need to turn to Bridger.
Measuring 5.15 miles in length, the Reims circuit was all about speed. In what was essentially a triangle layout, the Reims circuit required horsepower and braking much more than handling as a result of the long straights and the tight hairpin turns in a couple of places. In the past, when the cars were close in pace, the racing had been close. This seemed perfect for the close performance of the Formula 2 cars.
Jean Behra would take his converted Porsche sportscar and would take the pole for the 30 lap race. Behra would carry this advantage over to the race as he held onto the lead over Peter Collins in the Ferrari Dino 156. Though competing in the same class, Bridger would struggle against such talented cars and drivers. He would be running inside the top ten throughout the race but would be unable to move forward. In fact, his greatest battle over the course of the race would be to keep within a couple of laps of the leaders.
Though many expected a close race, Behra would leave everyone behind in the Porsche. Once Stirling Moss departed the scene and Collins began to pull in the reigns slightly, the Frenchman would cruise to what would be an easy victory on home soil. Behra would complete the race distance in one hour and 19 minutes and 45 seconds. He would end up being the only one to complete the race in under twenty minutes and this would lead to a winning margin of 20 seconds over Peter Collins in the Ferrari. George Wicken would complete the podium about minute and 50 seconds behind Collins.
Bridger's lack of speed would be frustrating for the BRP team. Tommy would end up finishing the race a very strong 8th, one lap behind, but he would not look to be in the running for a podium finish at any time during the course of the race. Had Lewis-Evans been available the results could have been different. Still, there was little the first-year team could complain about as it came away with yet another top ten result. The team had taken part in eight races to that point in time in the season and had only suffered one early retirement. This was good for the team's confidence and momentum going forward.
Following the solid run in Reims there would be another Formula 2 race on French soil. This one would come on the 27th of July, one week after the British Grand Prix. The event would be the 1st Trophee d'Auvergne.
Clermont-Ferrand is situated in the Auvergne region of central France. There, in 1958, would open a new circuit. Situated along the side of the Auvergne Mountains, the Auvergne Circuit, or what would become better known as the Charade Circuit, would present drivers with a challenge every bit as difficult as those posed by the Nurburgring.
Covering 5.0 miles, the circuit was certainly not anywhere near as long as the Nordschleife but many drivers would come to consider the track even more ghoulish. Fast but very twisty, many drivers offer the course of the circuit's life would come to complain about feeling ill as a result of the speeds and the constant change in direction. In 1958, the circuit was brand new, and teams like BRP would be some of the first to suffer its madness.
At such a circuit the team would need its best, most-talented driver. Thankfully, Lewis-Evans would be available, and, over the course of the race he would put the Cooper through its paces.
Maurice Trintignant would be driving the Rob Walker Racing Cooper and he would be flying around the circuit. The race distance would be 20 laps, or 100 miles, and the Frenchman would be out front controlling the field. Lewis-Evans would be running a strong race in the BRP Cooper. He would be well inside the top five and would be all over Ivor Bueb for 2nd place heading into the final moments of the race.
Having been born and raised just about three hours to the south, Trintignant was certainly at home careening around the mountains of Auvergne. He would go on to take an easy victory. The only battle left on the track at the time of Trintignant taking the checkered flag would be the battle for 2nd place between Bueb and Lewis-Evans.
Bueb would end up posting the fastest lap of the race and would need every possible second in his attempts to hold off Stuart. But it would work. Climbing around the final tight hairpin and driving toward the line, Bueb would go on to take 2nd place by just one second over Lewis-Evans.
Lewis-Evans would just miss out on a 2nd place result, but around the difficult circuit, this was still a great success. The nature and layout of the circuit made it difficult for Stuart to pass Bueb though it was likely he had the faster car. It was a credit to Bueb's performance, but the 3rd place was still a very strong result for the team, even though it likely bothered Stuart having been so close to a better result.
The foray across the Channel to the European mainland had proven to be successful even if the team hadn't come away with a victory in any of the events. The team had faced even greater international competition and still came away as a top ten team. There was reason to feel confident. The team then headed back across the Channel to home and another couple of Formula 2 races. This would be a very important time for the team as they came home to a couple of opportunities to achieve victory. The great teams, the teams that last, have the ability to come away with a victory when they are expected. Heading to their next race of the season, there was really no reason why BRP could not have expected victory in its next race.
The German Grand Prix welcomed Formula One and Formula 2 cars on the track at the same time once again. BRP would pass up this opportunity on the 3rd of August to look to a strictly Formula 2 race held the following day at Brands Hatch.
Brands Hatch was the team's home track it certainly could be said. On the 4th of August the circuit played host to the 1st Kent Trophy race and it offered BRP a great opportunity. A lot of the Formula 2 teams would focus on the German Grand Prix that would take place the day before. Therefore, BRP had the opportunity to take a stab at victory as it was very likely the field would be relatively thin for talent.
This would not be the case, however. Cooper would be present for the race with a couple of their factory cars. Team Lotus would also be present. What seemed like a perfect opportunity for an easy result would turn into a dog-fight.
Lewis-Evans would be behind the wheel for the team but even he wouldn't be able to unseat Jack Brabham from taking the pole heading into the first heat race. The battle between these two over the course of the first 21 lap heat race would be extremely close and fierce. Showing great respect for each other, these two would battle, often side-by-side, all throughout the first heat. They would eventually pull away from the rest of the field as it was likely everyone else thought their pace mad for the first heat race.
The battle would go right down to the very end. Unfortunately for Lewis-Evans, Brabham would take the victory, but by just six-tenths of a second. Jim Russell would finish in 3rd place, but he would end up a very distant 15 seconds behind the pair.
Starting right alongside each other for the second heat race, it seemed more than likely the battle would resume at the drop of the flag. This assumption would be correct and Lewis-Evans would be all over Brabham right from the very beginning. Just like a boxer coming under attack, Brabham would cover himself preventing any vital areas from being struck with any great ferocity. Lewis-Evans would try at nearly every turn but Brabham would counter the blows perfectly.
The two men would trade blows through fastest laps, but for every attack Lewis-Evans would manage to mount, Brabham would cover and maintain his lead. Certainly Stuart had to be frustrated heading into the final couple of laps of the second heat.
The BRP driver would continue to try with everything he had but Brabham would cover perfectly. It was clear he just wasn't going to be beaten this day. The pace picked up slightly over the course of the second heat, but the result would still be the same.
Brabham would take the victory completing the race distance about a second and a half faster than what he had achieved in the first heat. Lewis-Evans would give up in just the final frame of the race and would finish exactly a second behind after 21 hard laps of fighting. Bruce McLaren would come through to finish in 3rd place, still more than 15 seconds behind the top two.
In the final results, Lewis-Evans would end up losing to Brabham by a mere 1.6 seconds. Bruce McLaren's performance in the second heat would be huge for him to finish the aggregate scoring slotted in 3rd place.
Victory had been at hand for Lewis-Evans and BRP. The great teams and drivers rise to the occasion and, on this day, they would end up being trumped by a future double World Champion driver and constructor.
So BRP and Lewis-Evans had just missed out on victory at Brands Hatch on the 4th of August. However, at the end of the month, on the 30th, the team would have another opportunity at another victory and, rightfully so, it would come at Brands Hatch once again.
Brands Hatch would be a very popular Formula 2 venue by the late-1950s. This would be evidenced by the nearly half a dozen races that would be held at the circuit throughout the 1958 season. One of those many races would be the 1st Kentish ‘100' race.
The 1st Kentish ‘100' race would be one of the larger Formula 2 races to be held on the Brands Hatch circuit. The race would again consist of two heat races and aggregate scoring. However, each of the heat races would last 42 laps. Given the speed and the nature of the circuit, this posed a great challenge to the teams, cars and drivers.
Lewis-Evans would have to be in Italy the following week but he would be available to drive for BRP at Brands that weekend. Lewis-Evans had always performed well around the short circuit, but he would need to be at his best this day as he would go up against the likes of his Vandervell teammate Stirling Moss and the man that had barely beaten him out at the circuit a couple of weeks earlier—Jack Brabham.
Pole position for the first heat race would end up going to Stirling Moss in the Rob Walker Cooper. However, when the race got underway, an incredible battle would develop between him and Brabham for the lead. Lewis-Evans would be right up there with the two men but would look as though he was hanging on by his fingernails as Brabham and Moss traded places.
It would be an incredible fight at the front of the field and perhaps the closest throughout the whole of the field. There would be nothing but a half second between these two men for what seemed to be the whole of the first heat. Lewis-Evans would pull away from those behind him to run all by himself in 3rd place. He was a little ways behind the pair fighting it out at the front but he was still close enough to take advantage should one of them make a mistake.
It would be a fantastic fight each and every single one of the laps. Neither would make a mistake; neither would give up. It would be truly mesmerizing as they remained so close for so long. But there could only be one winner. Amazingly, Brabham would end up getting the upper-hand on Moss and would go on to take the victory by just two-tenths of a second. Lewis-Evans would finish a fine, but rather distant, 3rd.
The first heat race had been a titanic battle and certainly put a lot of stress on both the drivers and the cars, but there was still one more heat race to go, and it would be just as long as the first. Suddenly, Lewis-Evans looked to be in a really strong position. He finished the first heat race a few seconds back but possibility didn't push his car as hard as either of the two that finished ahead of him.
Moss would seem unconcerned in the second heat as he took his place at the head of the field. Lewis-Evans would make a strong start as well and would manage to engage in a battle with Brabham for position. Moss was out front and appeared to be the fastest of the whole field. He would make that a certainty as he would post the fastest lap of the race and pulled away from his Vandervell teammate who was managing to hold off Brabham.
Moss needed to win the second heat race by just three-tenths of a second over Brabham to take the victory. He would take care of any concern as he continued to push his Cooper hard. Lewis-Evans would also respond in the second heat, although it was quickly becoming apparent it was likely going to be too little too late as Moss sailed off into the distance with the lead. Brabham's assault would quickly come a cropper as he would end up losing touch from Lewis-Evans, thereby all but ensuring Moss' overall victory.
The pace would be slower over the course of the second heat but Moss would still be impressive as he would take the win. Lewis-Evans would also respond well in the second heat. He would push hard and would put some distance between himself and Brabham before crossing the line in 2nd. The big question that remained was whether or not Lewis-Evans had pulled out enough of a gap to overcome the margin Brabham enjoyed from the victory in the first heat.
When the results were tallied, Moss would overcome to take the victory by a final margin of a little more than 17 seconds. The question was as to who it was in 2nd place? In spite of Lewis-Evans' hard pushed in the second heat Brabham would end up coming out on top in 2nd place beating the BRP driver by about a second and a half.
Lewis-Evans had come up short once again. However, he had shown himself to be one of the fastest drivers around doing battle with Jack Brabham and Stirling Moss. This first-year team was performing like one of the best, as if they had been around for years. All of a sudden, this dream needed to get a little bigger in its scope.
It is understandable for a new team to start out cautiously and slowly; to build up confidence and momentum. It is important for any team to achieve some good results, to achieve its first few goals or aims before it starts thinking on a larger scale. BRP had done that over the course of its debut season. The team had taken part in eleven races to that point in the 1958 season and had suffered just one early retirement. The team had the confidence and the momentum. Suddenly this spare team had to face the reality of either remaining right where it was or investing in a grander vision. The team had performed well in just about every other race, everyone considered it time to test the deeper waters. Those deeper waters could be found at the end of the season.
At the end of the 1957 season, the Ain-Diab circuit just to the west of downtown Casablanca would play host to the Moroccan Grand Prix. Prior to the Second World War, Casablanca had hosted the Moroccan Grand Prix. The Anfa Circuit would become the circuit used for the race in 1930. From 1935 until the middle-1950s there would be no race held in Morocco. Then, in 1954 sportscar racing would return, but this time in Agadir. However, a new circuit, Ain-Diab, would be prepared in 1957. This circuit, measuring 4.72 miles in length, would be literally right beside that of the old Anfa Circuit.
The return of single-seater grand prix racing would be popular with many tens of thousands of spectators visiting to watch the race. The race would actually serve as a prelude to the following season when the Moroccan Grand Prix would take its place on the Formula One World Championship calendar.
There would be one major difference between the 1957 and 1958 events. The '58 event would also include a Formula 2 race ran at the same time as the Formula One race just like what the German Grand Prix had become.
This would be those deeper waters for which BRP would be looking. The race would take place on the 19th of October and would be the final race of the season. Therefore, the event provided the perfect growing experience for the team. The final race of the season would not hinder confidence and momentum all that much if it didn't go well. But if it did, the result would make for one very exciting offseason for British Racing Partnership.
Seeing that the Formula 2 race would take place at the same time as the Formula One event meant the services of Lewis-Evans would not be available, and this would make for an interesting 'what if' talking-point as it would turn out.
The loss of Lewis-Evans to the Vandervell team meant BRP would be making this foray into its next steps with Tommy Bridger behind the wheel. This would be an important foray for him as well as it would go a long way to showing what kind of talent he too possessed.
Around the dusty and fast Ain-Diab circuit the drivers would have to take care as the speeds and slippery surface would make each and every lap around the circuit ever-changing and ever-dangerous. It was possible under severe-enough conditions a Formula 2 could really challenge a Formula One machine but BRP and other such efforts would have to keep its focus on its own battle within a battle.
The battle for the World Championship had come down to the last race of the season and between Mike Hawthorn and Stirling Moss. Both drivers would end up on the front row of the grid with Hawthorn on pole and Moss starting 2nd. Stuart Lewis-Evans would demonstrate his talents by grabbing the final spot on the front row giving Moss a little bit of hope in the championship fight.
The fastest of the Formula 2 cars would be Jack Brabham in the factory Cooper. His fastest time would be 2:36.6 and would earn him a spot on the eighth row of the grid, 19th overall. Bruce McLaren would end up being 2nd-quickest. He would start from the ninth row of the grid in the 21st position. This was right behind Brabham. Right beside McLaren and right behind Brabham would be Bridger in the BRP Cooper. His best time would be 3rd-fastest amongst the Formula 2 cars but it would end up being 22 seconds slower than McLaren's best. This meant Moss and Gregory's first experience in a Formula One World Championship race was likely going to be an incredible uphill battle.
It would be a warm day as the brilliant sunshine shone down all around the circuit. Another large crowd would assemble around the circuit. There would be a good deal of pomp and ceremony leading up to the start of the race. The cars and drivers would take their places on the grid. Everything seemed set for a memorable race.
The flag would wave and the race would get underway with Lewis-Evans and Moss running side-by-side down the straight toward the first turn. Hawthorn would be slow getting away from the grid but knew his main concern at that point would be making sure as to make it through the first few laps and settle in.
Bridger's start would be good but he would stay put over the course of the first lap. At the end of the first lap it would be Moss clearly leading the way over Phil Hill in the Ferrari. Hawthorn would manage to get by Lewis-Evans for 3rd place. Stuart fell back over the course of the first lap and would be all the way down in 6th place at the end of the first lap. But 6th place would be a dream for Bridger as he would be toward the back of the queue. The BRP Cooper would be running well, but it would be all the way down in 22nd at the end of the first lap.
Moss was in the lead and pulling away. He needed to as he not only had to win but set fastest lap as a minimum. Phil Hill continued to harry Moss and would even look to get by to ensure his teammate won the championship. However, Hill would push a little too hard at one point and would end up going off the circuit. This allowed Hawthorn to take over 2nd place while Hill made his way back up after slipping to 4th place.
Bridger, meanwhile, would be looking strong toward the back of the field. Though slower than a number of the Formula 2 cars in the field, a strong result would still be important for the team heading into the important offseason. He would climb up to 21st and then 20th with some help from attrition. He would continue to climb up the order, all the way up to 14th place by the 30th lap as number of other competitors suffered issues and accidents.
Bridger may not have been the fastest of the Formula 2 runners but his pace was such that, with the help of attrition, he was steadily making his way up towards the top ten overall. A top ten result in the team's first Formula One World Championship race would be something of a fairytale. But just when the team began to allow their minds to wander to such thoughts Bridger would make a mistake on the slippery circuit and would end up crashing out of the race after completing 30 laps. Tommy would have an alibi though. At the same time Bridger was making his way up the running order, Tony Brooks would suffer a massive engine failure and this would lead to a large amount of oil being laid down on the circuit. It is believed this oil caught Tommy out causing him to slide off the circuit and out of the race.
Moss was still very much in the race, leading every single lap from the drop of the flag. Things were becoming interesting in the championship fight. Hawthorn was still in the strongest position. However, Moss was still holding onto the lead and he had set what would end up being the fastest lap of the race. Furthermore, he had Lewis-Evans coming up to hopefully help him out.
Tragically, Lewis-Evans would never get there. Stuart would be pushing the Vanwall hard. Then, suddenly, the engine seized causing the Vanwall to overturn. The car would come to a rest with flames erupting around all sides. Lewis-Evans would escape the wreckage but would be alight from the flames. Track workers would help to douse the flames but it was apparent Stuart had suffered terrible burns. He would be taken to the hospital and then would be flown to England to recover. Unfortunately, returning home would not revive his soul. It would be lost to all eternity.
Moss would have no help, and when Hill moved over to allow Hawthorn to take over 2nd in the running order, the championship fight was all but over, even if the race wasn't.
Moss would put together one of the most dominant performances. He would lead every single one of the 53 laps and would end up crossing the line nearly a full minute ahead of Hawthorn. But it wouldn't be enough for Moss as Hawthorn would take the championship. The championship would slip through Moss' fingers, but a lot more would be lost over the course of the '58 season.
The loss of Lewis-Evans would certainly leave a big hole in Tony Vandervell's heart and would help to make the decision to withdraw from Formula One that much easier. However, it would also leave Alfred Moss and Ken Gregory reeling as those two gentlemen looked to Stuart as the future for the new BRP program. The loss of Lewis-Evans would put the team on the back-foot heading into 1959. However, Stirling Moss would also find himself temporarily out of a drive. He could help stem the tide for his father's new team, at least until a competitive drive came calling to his door.
Prior to the Moroccan Grand Prix at the end of the '58 season, BRP looked to have its foundations firm, its way forward clearly marked. All that would change when Lewis-Evans lost his life. In many respects, the breath would be taken from BRP's lungs as well. British Racing Partnership