TeamsGould's Garage: 1955 Formula One Season By Jeremy McMullen
Larger-than-life in both stature and enthusiasm, Horace Gould would literally squeeze his frame into a Formula 2 Cooper-Bristol T23 in order to take part in his first Formula One World Championship race in 1954. Handicapped by his rather portly size and a smaller 2.0-liter engine, Gould would go to just about every possible end to have the best equipment and the best opportunity in Formula One. And this drive and determination would land him his best opportunity beginning in 1955.
While not lacking a few pounds of weight, Horace Gould the car dealer would not have the excess pounds available from his Bristol-based business to have the very best for his Formula One career. However, whatever Gould lacked in wealth, he made up for in determination and willingness. Horace would prove this point by approaching Prince Bira about the use of his Maserati 250F.
Prince Bira would earn himself a practically new Maserati 250F when he lent his chassis, 2504, to the Owen Racing Organization for use in the 1954 British Grand Prix. Ron Flockhart would get the drive as part of a developmental program and would end up crashing the car heavily during the race. This would leave Owen Racing to have to make amends with Bira. The decision would then be made to give Bira the 250F that had just been delivered to the Owen Racing Organization. Therefore, chassis 2509, which had been delivered to Owen Racing, would become known as 2504.
Waking up after a victory in the New Zealand Grand Prix in January of 1955, Prince Bira would take a look at his life and would decide that it was time his racing career had come to an end before his very life came to an end. Therefore, from that moment on, Bira would not take part in any more World Championship grand prix. However, he would still take part in a couple of non-championship grand prix before he finally called it quits.
Prince Bira's final race would come at the BRDC International Trophy race. Gould recognized this was his opportunity. He would approach Bira, who would end up finishing the race in 3rd place on that 7th of May, and would offer to buy his Maserati 250F from Bira. Bira would agree and Gould now had the top flight car he needed.
But having the top flight car was just one part of the extensive equation that would need to be in place in order for there to be success. While Gould now had the car, he would need spare parts and other components to help maintain his Formula One effort. This was not going to be a cheap and easy affair. Being a car dealer from Bristol, Gould knew he would not have the finances to buy all of the parts and equipment at regular prices. There was a means by which he could make it work but it would require him to take a step of dedication not many would be willing to make.
Gould knew to be able to keep his Formula One dreams afloat he would have to beg, borrow and hopefully not have to steal any component he might need for his Maserati. And there was no better place to do this than right outside the Maserati factory in Modena, Italy itself. Therefore, Gould would make the difficult decision and would move to Modena, Italy in order to be right there by the Maserati factory.
Having made his commitment to his racing program, Gould would begin to make final preparations for the start of what would be his 1955 campaign. And, seeing that he made the commitment to move from Bristol to Modena, Gould would find many of the European non-championship races would be open to him as he wouldn't have to cross the Channel so many times.
In fact, the first race of Gould's 1955 season would come on the 29th of May on the European continent. Just about a straight shot west from Modena, about 10 hours away, was the ancient city of Albi. Once one of the popular stops for grand prix racing, the city would prepare to host the 17th Grand Prix d'Albi and Gould would be one just eleven that would take to the grid in preparation for the start of the race.
Kicking off his Formula One career the year before, Gould would not venture away from his native England to take part in a race, either championship or non. However, with his decision to go all in with his racing career the city of Albi, in France, would be the site of his first race of 1955, and what a site it would be.
A veritable treasure trove of splendid architectural history and of art dating back throughout many generations, Albi certainly would have to be considered an absolute gem of a city, an artistic masterpiece in its own right. Therefore, it was naturally fitting that such a city would become one of those on the forefront of motor racing history and a popular draw for a number of years.
Though the city itself might forever be remembered and recognized by the Cathedrale Sainte-Cecile that dominates the skyline, what most every motor racing driver would remember and recall about Albi, especially before the middle 1950s would be easily summed up in one word—speed.
Initially nothing more than a triangular-shaped circuit with very few flowing esses, the circuit was one of the ultimate high-speed venues in its day. If not for the tight hairpin turns the circuit's average speed would have likely beaten some of the fastest circuits in the world. However, by the middle of the 1950s, Albi would be anything but a picture of its former self.
Originally, Albi measured in at 5.7 miles in length. Then, in 1934, one corner of the triangular-shaped circuit would be cut off but the circuit would still be ultra-fast and would still be some 5.5 miles in length. But then, in 1954, the circuit would change dramatically. Gone would be the majority of the triangular circuit. Instead, just a 1.85 mile portion would be used. Being quite a bit shorter than its former self, the average speeds of the Albi circuit would drop quite significantly.
Still, Albi would present Gould with his first opportunity to face foreign competition with a car capable of competing. Gould would do his best to get used to the 250F quickly, and would perform well in practice. However, he would not be as near as fast as the 250F being piloted by Frenchman Andre Simon.
Simon would take the pole for the race with a best lap of 1:18.1. Robert Manzon would end up just one-tenth of a second slower around the circuit, and therefore, would line up 2nd on the front row. The final spot on the front row would go to the second Ecurie Rosier Maserati piloted by Rosier himself. His best effort would be just three-tenths slower than Simon, but good enough to put Ecurie Rosier in a strong position heading into the race.
Horace Gould would be strong around the 1.85 miles but obviously was still getting used to the new car. His best effort would be a 1:20.9. This time would be mere hundredths of a second slower than Jacques Pollet, and therefore, would cause Gould to have to start the race from the middle of the third row in the 7th position.
Despite being around the middle of the grid, Gould would still be in a strong position given that he was piloting a Formula One car and that 105 laps lay ahead. This would provide Gould plenty of time to settle in and make his charge up the running order, provided the car stayed together for him throughout.
Simon would lead the way from the start and would look to be in dominant form while Manzon hung in there along with Rosier. It wouldn't take too long before the race began to claim its victims, however.
Michael Young would be the first out. His race would last just 12 laps before he crashed his Connaught A-Type right out of the race. Lance Macklin would be out after 36 laps with a broken water hose. But then, just before the halfway point in the race, the biggest development would take place. Robert Manzon would look strong throughout the early part of the race, but then, on the 51st lap of the race, he would retire with transmission failure. This would leave Simon well ahead in the lead followed by Rosier in 2nd place.
It would be the two Ecurie Rosier cars running one-two in the race. But the real surprise would be the man running in 3rd. Gould would quickly get himself sorted out in the Maserati and would begin to post some steady lap times. He would continually lost ground to Simon in the lead, which wouldn't be at all difficult when Simon rattled off a fastest lap a full second faster than his own qualifying effort, but he would still be running well and would be promoted as others faltered.
Though he would start the race having been barely edged out by Pollet, Gould would leave Pollet behind during the race. In fact, by the time the race was heading into the last couple of laps, Gould would have more than a full lap in hand over Pollet in 4th place. His first Formula One podium was his for the taking as long as he drove a smart race and made no mistakes in the final couple of laps.
Simon would drive a flawless race himself and would come across the line to take the victory having completed the 105 laps in a little more than two hours and twenty-three minutes. Louis Rosier would complete what was to be an incredible day for Ecurie Rosier. Despite finishing more than a lap behind, Rosier's 2nd place would be a sweet result for the French team.
It would be a sweet day for Gould as well. Having made the plunge into his Formula One racing career, he would be rewarded handsomely with a 3rd place result finishing just a little more than 2 laps behind Simon.
It would be an incredible debut for Gould with his new Maserati. Despite barely being able to squeeze into the car, Gould would show that he felt comfortable in his powerful new car. 1955 was starting out brightly.
Though 1955 had started out brightly for Gould, it would quickly turn dark and gray for everyone in motor racing come the middle of June. The Le Mans tragedy would greatly change the look and feel of the 1955 season, for all levels and types of motor racing. Some races would be cancelled. Some races would never return. Teams, like Mercedes-Benz, would make the decision to pull out of motor racing. It was just a terrible moment that would leave scars for decades and that would greatly alter moods and mindsets.
Gould's mindset would remain relatively unchanged, but the cancellation of a number of races would certainly affect his season. Having already made one trip to France to take part in the Grand Prix d'Albi it wasn't at all unlikely he would have travelled to Reims to take part in the French Grand Prix. However, when that was cancelled it would be just one of a number of races to disappear from the calendar. And gone with it would be an opportunity for Gould to earn more starting money and prize money, and therefore, gain more experience behind the wheel of the 250F.
Realizing that there would be a number of cancellations, and despite it taking place just one week after the horrible events of Le Mans, Gould would enter the 5th Grote Prijs van Nederland, the 5th round of the Formula One World Championship for 1955.
Over the next couple of months Gould would take part in a number of races back in England. Therefore, the Grand Prix of the Netherlands would have certainly seemed like the appropriate road to take since the race would take place in the relative direction in which Gould would have wanted to go.
Never before had Gould taken part in a Formula One race outside of England's shores. And yet, one year after his debut in a Formula One race, Gould would take part in a non-championship race in France as his first race of the season and would prepare for the fast and sweeping Zandvoort circuit as only his second World Championship race of his career and first of 1955.
Unknown to Gould in the first place, Zandvoort already had something of a reputation for being difficult even on those with a fair amount of experience at the circuit. Besides being virtually situated right on the beach next to the North Sea where the winds would whip up the sand and blow it onto the circuit, the 2.60 mile circuit would boast of fast bends that would challenge the bravery of the pilot each and every moment of each and every lap. Yet, it would be because of its very difficult nature that drivers would come to love Zandvoort.
If the circuit wasn't challenging enough, the presence of three Mercedes-Benz W196 Silver Arrows wouldn't help. And in practice, Juan Manuel Fangio would record the best time around the circuit posting a lap time of 1:40.0 with an average speed of around 93mph. Stirling Moss would be four-tenths slower and would start in the 2nd place grid position in the middle of the front row. The final spot on the front row would go to the third Mercedes driven by Karl Kling.
Behind the all Silver Arrows front row, a Ferrari driven by Mike Hawthorn would be lying in 5th place on the grid while the Maserati of Luigi Musso would be 4th. Horace Gould would struggle on the new circuit. His best effort would be exactly ten seconds slower than Moss' time, and therefore meant Gould would start well down in the field. In fact, Gould would start the race from 15th on the grid, or what was the outside of the two-wide sixth row.
Preparing for the start of the race on the 19th of June, the skies would be overcast and the weather out over the North Sea and around the area didn't at all look promising for a dry event. Nonetheless, as the flag waved to get the race underway, the track surface was dry and encouraged a fast race.
Fangio would get away from the grid well while Moss would not. Moss would lose ground to Musso who would split the Mercedes through the first lap of the race. Musso would look strong as he would even be close to taking the lead at the end of the first lap, but still, Fangio would hold onto the point. Gould would challenge Hermano da Silva Ramos through the first lap of the race and would actually move up to 14th overall by the end of the first lap.
By lap 2, Moss would force his way back by Musso and the Mercedes train, now well joined, would begin to pull away from the rest of the cars in line. Still, Musso would hold onto a strong 3rd place with Behra having gotten around Kling for 4th place.
While it was business as usual at the front of the field, Gould would be slowly, but steadily, making headway and would even move up to 13th by the end of the 3rd lap of the race. Despite not having much experience around Zandvoort, Gould was proving to be a quick study.
Fangio and Moss would be moving like a tremendous and unshakable machine at the head of the field while Gould continued his march up the order from nearly the tail-end. By the 20th lap of the 100 lap race, Gould would be up to an impressive 11th place. He would be helped some by Peter Walker's retirement after a broken bearing, but it was mostly Gould making up the progress he was experiencing.
But not all would be well with Gould. He would have to make a pitstop in the Bira-colored Maserati due to the fact the car was losing oil. Upon returning to the circuit, Gould would be down in the running order, but not out. But then, perhaps due to a mental lapse, he would spin his Maserati around the Hugenholtz corner and would even drive backward nearly a hundred yards in an effort to find a place to turn around. Blasting onlookers with a spray of sand as his wheels tried to find some grip to get him going again, Gould would manage to right the ship and would continue in the race. Now running dead-last, Gould would find his car had greater problems as a result of the spin and would end up out of the race after a couple more laps.
Moss continued to follow Fangio and their lead would grow to well more than ten seconds over Musso still in 3rd place. Then, in the closing stages of the race, rain began to fall onto the circuit. This would catch Musso out a little bit and he would spin while trying his hardest to stay in contact with Fangio and Moss. The spin would be costly as it would hand the two Silver Arrows drivers an advantage of more than forty seconds.
Knowing the race was well in hand, Fangio and Moss would slow down to a much more conservative pace and would just focus on the task of bringing their cars home to victory. After a little more than two hours, fifty-four minutes and twenty-three seconds, Fangio would cross the line to take yet another victory on the season. Not surprisingly, Moss would finish the race in 2nd place only about three-tenths of a second behind. A little more than fifty-seven later, Luigi Musso would come across to take 3rd place.
Though the attrition would be rather light, it still would have been helpful to Gould given his starting position. However, the unfortunate oil loss and spin would come to ruin any chance Gould would actually have. Still, Gould was gaining valuable experience. And now, he would be on his way back to home soil, soil that he was much more experienced and familiar driving on.
Heading back to British soil, Gould would be returning home, but would not be returning to the level of racing he had been used to prior to moving to Modena. After taking part in just his second Formula One World Championship race on the 19th of June, Gould would arrive in England and would head toward Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool in order to take part in his third. The race was the British Grand Prix. And, for the first time the British Grand Prix would not take place at Silverstone.
One year earlier, Horace Gould would make his appearance at the 3.0 mile Aintree circuit to take part in the non-championship 1st Daily Telegraph Trophy race. In that event Gould would be entered driving his Cooper-Bristol T23 and would come away finishing the race in 11th place one lap behind the eventual winner Stirling Moss.
Having gained the experience of driving at Aintree, and now having a Maserati 250F for his use, Gould would have had reason to be confident coming into the event. However, the level of competition between the two events would be vastly different. While a good portion of the Daily Telegraph Trophy field would be comprised of Formula 2 cars, the British Grand Prix would draw no less than three cars from each of the most powerful manufacturers of that time. In the case of the factory Maserati effort and Mercedes-Benz, they would enter four cars in the race. Additionally, Vandervell Products and Connaught were coming on strong with new cars. Therefore, Gould faced a tremendous challenge in the competition, let alone the challenging 3.0 mile circuit.
It would be fitting that Aintree, known for the famous Grand National event that draws some of the best steeplechase horses from around the world, would draw the best manufacturers as part of the 1955 Formula One World Championship. All about horsepower, Aintree certainly appeared to be a winning location for the British Grand Prix. And in the case of Horace Gould, he would hope his investment in an Italian thoroughbred would pay dividends.
Despite being back on home soil, there was just not anything Gould could do against the might of such star drivers and teams as Stirling Moss, Juan Manuel Fangio and Mercedes-Benz. Moss would delight the British fans by taking the pole for the race. In 1954, at the Daily Telegraph race, Stirling Moss would take the pole for that event as well and would go on to a dominant victory. Beating Fangio by two-tenths around the Aintree circuit would certainly give cause for belief that it could certainly be Moss' moment in the sun.
Jean Behra would take his Maserati and would manage to split the four Mercedes on the starting grid. His best effort of 2:01.4 would be exactly a second slower than Moss and would be good enough for the final starting spot on the front row.
The year before, while driving a Formula 2 Cooper-Bristol, Gould managed a best time of 2:16.4. Now at the helm of a Maserati 250F, Gould's time would vastly improve but would still be a long way off the pace of the front row starters. His best time in practice would end up being 2:11.8. This meant Gould's best was still more than eleven seconds slower than Moss' best. This meant Gould would start the race from the middle of the ninth row, which was 22nd overall.
The British Grand Prix would be 90 laps of the 3.0 mile circuit. And as the large throng of spectators spilled into the grandstands and around the circuit, the day of the race, the 16th of July, would be a vastly different day than the usual weather around the Silverstone circuit. Whereas the weather around Silverstone had a tendency to be cold and wet, the weather the day of the race at Aintree would be bright and sunny and quite warm. What's more, the excitement would be even greater at Aintree with Stirling Moss starting from the pole.
Gould lined up on the grid with his new mount ready to tackle the challenge of the British Grand Prix. One year earlier, in his first ever World Championship race, Gould would finish the race having completed less than half of the race distance. One year later, Gould was poised and ready to make a serious push toward a strong result in his home grand prix.
The flag would wave to start the race. Stirling Moss would light up his tires a little too much and would be slower than Fangio getting off the line. Jean Behra would be even slower off the line and would drop down the running order a number of places before heading into Waterway for the first time. Fangio would lead the way with Moss right behind in 2nd place.
Starting from the back of the field, Gould would try his best to pick his way through the first couple of laps of the race. Gould would do a great job helped by the stalled machines of Schell and Brabham at the start. He would find himself up to 16th overall by the end of the first lap and looking quite strong.
Gould wouldn't quite be as strong as Fangio who would lead the way through the first couple of laps. However, Moss would show that he was not going to be easily beaten on this day as he would sweep through to take the lead from his Mercedes teammate.
Moss would lead the next dozen or so laps with Fangio right behind and Karl Kling taking over 3rd place after Jean Behra retired from the race with a broken oil pipe. Gould, who had been running in 16th at the conclusion of the first lap, would run into trouble the very next lap and would drop all the way down to 20th place. Gould would continue to drop falling one more place before he would regain his composure and pushed forward once again.
Aided by the misfortune of others, Gould would begin a gradual and slow ascent back up the running order. Unfortunately, by the 20th lap of the race Gould would be running dead last. As Harry Schell departed from the race, Gould would find himself up to 17th overall. Unfortunately, pushing hard and being inexperienced compared to some of the more talented drivers still in the race, Gould would burn through his brakes and would have a brake problem persist that would bring his British Grand Prix to an end after just 21 laps.
Gould had good reason not to feel too badly. Attrition on the hot and dry day would be terrible. Although twenty-five cars would start the race, there would be just nine cars still running with 30 laps still remaining in the race. And among those nine still running, there would be such a gap between themselves and the leaders that the race essentially became between two Mercedes Silver Arrows.
Fangio was in a position to take his third World Championship and second one in a row. However, it was the British Grand Prix, and that meant Moss was not going to let the Argentinean just carry on without a fight.
After leading a little more than a dozen laps, Fangio would retake the lead, seemingly per Mercedes team rules. However, as attrition erased the threat from driver after driver, those team rules seemed to be relaxed and that would be the open door Moss would need. Matching his best lap from practice, Moss would set the fastest lap of the race and would put tremendous pressure on Fangio for the lead of the race. Better than fighting with Moss and potentially being knocked out of the race altogether, Fangio would give way to Moss on the 26th lap of the race and would be playing catch up from then on.
Two laps remaining in the race, Mercedes-Benz was in the most dominant position having first through fourth well in hand. However, as Moss and Fangio headed on around on the last lap of the race, Fangio would begin to catch up to Moss putting him under ever-greater pressure. The British fans were sure Moss was going to come through for them, but along the Railroad Straight, Fangio would gain even more ground on Moss. Through Melling Crossing and into Tatts, Fangio would be tucked right up underneath Moss. Coming off the final corner, Fangio would get the better bite out of his tires and would pull along the side of Moss heading to the line. Every Brit held their breath as the two raced to the line. But within feet of the line, Moss would raise his arm in triumph and the crowd would erupt.
Moss' first World Championship victory couldn't have come at a better time. He would take the victory in the British Grand Prix by a mere tenth of a second over Fangio. Karl Kling would be the last car on the lead lap at the finish. He would come across the line nearly a minute and twelve seconds behind.
Despite having a much more competitive race car at his disposal, Gould's second British Grand Prix would last even less than the first. Not having a lot of extra money to spend on spare parts and repairs, these early retirements were especially disheartening considering Gould's Formula One aspirations. And after a couple of World Championship events in a row, Gould would remain in England to take part in some non-championship events that likely would provide him with greater opportunities for success and prize money.
After the British Grand Prix on the 16th of July, Gould would work on his car and would ready it for its next race just two weeks later. On the 30th of July, Crystal Palace Park would play host to its 3rd London Trophy race. Gould would make his way to the event and would be just one of a handful of Formula One entries in the field.
Crystal Palace Park had once been a center for those living a much more nomadic lifestyle. Tree covered and overlooking southern London, Crystal Palace would become a popular recreation spot around London. The park roads would come to serve as host for motor races and would even host Formula 2 machines when they were used for the World Championship between 1952 and 1953.
Birthed out of the Formula 2 era, the London Trophy race would do its best to integrate with the times and would allow Formula One and Formula 2 cars to run together around the 1.35 mile circuit. In some respects, given the nature and character of the Crystal Palace Park circuit, it was one of the few places where the Formula 2 cars could still challenge the Formula One cars just because the circuit was short enough that it never really allowed the more powerful Formula One cars to use all of their power.
The London Trophy race would consist of a couple of heat races and a final. Each of the heat races would be 10 laps in length. The final would be 15 laps in length. The entire field of entries would be split into the two heat races and Horace Gould would find himself listed in the first heat right alongside of Mike Hawthorn, Roy Salvadori, Tony Brooks and others.
Gould would not flinch in the presence of such competitive drivers and would end up second-fastest in practice behind Hawthorn. Tony Brooks, driving a Formula 2 Connaught A-Type would complete the front row starting in 3rd place.
Roy Salvadori would start from the second row of the grid but would get a great start off the line. He would be up to 2nd place and would apply the pressure to Hawthorn who would lead the whole of the field. Gould would be controlled throughout the first heat race. The sheer power of the Maserati would keep him up toward the front of the field while Brooks began to slip down the running order.
Hawthorn would turn the fastest lap of the heat and would maintain his advantage over Salvadori. These two would pull away from Gould who was doing a solid job keeping a comfortable margin between himself and Jack Fairman in a Connaught B-Type.
It would take Hawthorn almost exactly eleven minutes to complete the 10 lap race distance. He would beat Salvadori at the line by about a second and a half. Another thirteen seconds would be the gap back to Gould finishing in a strong 3rd place in the heat.
Harry Schell would be listed in the second heat driving one of the new Vanwalls. He would be quickest in practice and would start from the pole. Bob Gerard, driving an upgraded Formula 2 Cooper-Bristol, would end up 2nd at the end of practice. Paul Emery would complete the front row starting in 3rd.
Many looked forward to a tremendous scrap between Schell and Gerard in the second heat race. However, right at the start of the race the half shaft would break on Gerard's car and Schell would be allowed to escape far into the distance.
With just Paul Emery to take up the fight against Schell, the American Vanwall driver would be able to disappear into the distance rather easily. Aided by setting the fastest lap of the heat, Schell would pull out a comfortable margin and would cruise to victory defeating Paul Emery by no less than thirty-five seconds at the end of the 10 laps. Jack Brabham would take the new Cooper T40 to a 3rd place finish crossing the line a little less than twenty seconds further behind Emery.
Both heats completed, it was time to set the grid for the 15 lap final. The starting positions for the final grid would be determined by finishing times for each competitor in their respective heat race. Therefore, Mike Hawthorn would be on pole with Roy Salvadori alongside in 2nd place. Harry Schell would complete the front row starting in the 3rd position. Horace Gould's performance in the first heat race would be good enough to see the car dealer start from the second row in the 4th position.
Gould would find himself in a strong position heading into the final race. However, the last time he had managed to finish a race had been back in his first event with the Maserati. That was back at Albi in May. A couple of months removed, Gould had yet to finish a race since then. Therefore, while Gould would want to push hard in an attempt to earn his best result possible, just finishing the race would be of great importance.
Mike Hawthorn had driven the new Vanwalls at Monaco earlier on in the year before heading back to Ferrari. But as the final race got underway, Hawthorn would find himself locked in an incredible duel with one of the latest drivers of the Vanwall. Schell would be all over Hawthorn applying great pressure on the Brit in Stirling Moss' Maserati.
As a result of the feisty duel between the Brit and the American, Salvadori would begin to lose ground right along with Gould. Still, Gould would be running in a strong position looking good for a strong result.
Hawthorn continued to hold onto the lead of the race setting the fastest lap of the race in an attempt to put the pressure back on Schell. Formula One cars could be found running in the first four positions in the running order. Gould would be running strong and seemed en route to a top five finish. However, with just five laps remaining, transmission problems would strike Gould and he would be forced out of yet another race.
Hawthorn's average speed throughout the 15 lap final would remain close to that of his fastest lap average. He would need it to be as Schell would not allow him to take a break at any time during the final. The battle would be intense and great entertainment for those assembled around the circuit.
Still, no matter what Schell tossed Hawthorn's way, Mike would have an answer. And as the two men came screaming downhill around the final bend, Hawthorn would power his way to victory defeating Schell by about a second and a half. Roy Salvadori, under no threat from behind, would take things easy. He would cross the line in 3rd place more than twenty seconds ahead of Tony Brooks and thirty-one seconds behind Schell.
It would have to be one of the most disappointing and frustrating races for Gould. Had the car performed as designed, a top five result was almost assured. And yet, Gould would be faced with the need to scrounge more money to pay for parts and repairs just to keep his season going.
Undaunted, Gould's season would continue just one week later some seven hours removed to the north of Crystal Palace. Horace Gould would pack everything up and would head north to just inside the Scottish border region. His destination would be a decommissioned Royal Air Force base that had been known as RAF Charterhall. For there, on the 6th of August, would be held the 3rd Daily Record Trophy race.
Known as 'Slaughter Hall' during the Second World War, the RAF Charterhall airbase would assume a familiar role supporting some high-powered racing cars around its 2.0 mile circuit. But as far as the drivers were concerned, it was widely accepted the former airbase could forget its gruesome reputation in its distant past.
The Daily Record Trophy race would be conducted in a similar manner to the London Trophy race held just a week prior. The event would consist of two heat races both lasting 15 laps each. This would then lead to a 20 lap final. And, like the London Trophy race, the grid positions for the final would be determined by finishing times of the competitors in their respective heat races.
Unlike in London, Gould would be listed in the second heat race. Therefore, he would watch a number of Formula 2 cars take to the grid for the first of two heat races. Qualifying for the first heat race would be something of a mystery, but in the race, it would be Mike Anthony leading the way ahead of Alex McMillan and Jimmy Somervail.
Over the course of the 15 laps there would be four that would end up falling out of the running due to mechanical trouble and on track issues. Still, it would be Mike Anthony that would lead the way and take the victory in a Bristol-powered Lotus. After recording the fastest lap of the race with an average speed of nearly 80 mph, Anthony would cross the line comfortably ahead of McMillan in 2nd place. Jimmy Somervail would take his older Cooper-Bristol T20 and would bring it home in 3rd place.
The second heat would be the one in which all of the Formula One cars would be entered. Bob Gerard would be at the wheel of Stirling Moss' Maserati while Leslie Marr would be driving one of the new Connaught B-Types. Louis Rosier and his Maserati 250F would make for a packed second heat, besides the presence of Gould and his Maserati.
Again, the starting grid for the second heat would not be readily known but it would be clear that Gerard at the wheel of Moss' Maserati would certainly pose a strong barrier to Gould, or any other, from earning a victory. Gerard had always been a strong competitor with a reputation for perseverance and hard fighting.
Louis Rosier would end up falling out of the race after 3 laps with a problem with his Maserati's fuel system. Gould, however, would be quite strong in the running but would be struggling to keep up with Gerard, who had the lead of the race. Leslie Marr would try and keep up with Gould but would lose ground consistently each and every lap of the race.
The feisty Gerard would push harder and harder and would end up setting fastest lap of the race en route to a dominant victory in Moss' Maserati. Gerard would cruise to victory completing the race distance in twenty-one minutes and twenty-six seconds. Over fourteen seconds would be the margin back to Gould finishing in 2nd place in yet another Maserati. Leslie Marr would complete the top three finishing some twenty-two seconds behind Gould.
Gould's performance in the second heat race would put him in a strong position heading into the 20 lap final. Bob Gerard would complete the 15 laps the fastest, and therefore, would start the final from the pole. Horace Gould would start in 2nd place having completed the race well ahead of Anthony in the first heat race. Seeing that the start/finish line for the 2.0 mile circuit was positioned along one of the long runways, the starting grid for the whole field would be quite wide with each row consisting of five cars. This meant Gerard and Gould would be joined by Leslie Marr, Jack Brabham and Michael Young all along the front row of the grid.
Bob Gerard would be fast off the line and would lead the way at the start of the final. Gould would also get away from the line well and would be right there with Gerard in the early going. Louis Rosier would start the final from the tail-end of the field. However, he would make a great start and would be right up there with the front-runners also immediately.
Rosier would push hard. He would go on to set the fastest lap of the race in an attempt to track down Gould in 2nd place and Gerard in the lead. Despite Rosier's incredible pace, Gerard would continue to hold onto the lead and Gould would still hold onto 2nd place. This was proving to be a good performance for the oversized Gould. He would handle the pressure well and would keep his head down in pursuit of Gerard.
Keeping his focus on Gerard, Gould would be helped along. Gerard would respond to the pressure mounted by Rosier and would end up matching his fastest lap time. This kept Rosier at bay. Gould's hard fighting would also keep Rosier behind and under control.
Having a Formula One car for his use, Gerard would be untouchable over the course of the 20 lap race. He would average a little more than 83 mph and would end up finishing the race distance in just under twenty-nine minutes. Gerard's victory would be a strong performance considering the pressure Rosier exhibited right from the word 'go'. Gould would also look incredibly impressive. After suffering a string of retirements, he would look strong over the course of the 20 laps and would even manage to put up a fight instead of worrying about whether or not he would make it to the end of the race. Gould would achieve a well-earned 2nd place holding off the hard-charging Frenchman Louis Rosier. Rosier's 3rd place finish meant there would be a clean sweep of the podium by Maserati 250Fs, and right in the middle of the them would be Horace Gould.
During the Second World War, RAF Charterhall had become known as 'Slaughter Hall' due to the many training deaths that took place at the base. It seemed like the perfect place for Gould to suffer yet another early retirement. However, the Daily Record Trophy race would prove to be one of the strongest performances of the year for Gould and would bring a sorely needed top result. This would help to repair Gould's confidence and quickly-depleting money supply.
The summer months around England would see a number of non-championship Formula One races listed on the racing calendar. On the 13th of August, just one week after Gould's strong 2nd place performance at Charterhall, the Snetterton Motor Racing Circuit would host the 3rd edition of the RedeX Trophy race. Taking place on a weekend filled with motor racing all of different kinds, the field for the Formula One non-championship race would boast of a number of talented British teams and drivers that would make the RedeX Trophy race a very competitive event.
Leaving 'Slaughter Hall', Gould would travel to yet another former World War II airbase. This particular airbase, formerly known as RAF Snetterton-Heath, wouldn't have such a gruesome reputation as Charterhall, but, it would be involved in some of the most deadly bombing missions in all of the war's history. The home of the 96th Heavy Bombardment Group, from Snetterton would be launched such missions as the Schweinfurt raids and other such dangerous sorties.
Despite playing a prominent role during the role, the base would be closed in 1948 and would quickly fall into some disrepair. However, in 1952, the former airbase would be privately purchased and would be turned into a motor racing circuit. Following the example of Silverstone and others, the 2.70 mile perimeter road would serve as the circuit's layout.
The Snetterton circuit would quickly become a popular venue and would draw a number of strong British competitors. The Redex Trophy race would be no exception. And the 1955 edition would see Connaught, Vandervell and a number of other privateer teams and individuals enter their cars for the 25 lap, 68 mile, race.
One of those privateers entrants would be Stirling Moss. He would enter his own Maserati 250F that had been successfully driven the week prior by Bob Gerard up at Charterhall. Vandervell Products would enter two of its Vanwalls and would have Harry Schell and Ken Wharton as its drivers. The new Connaught B-Types entered by the Connaught factory team would have Mike Oliver and Jack Fairman behind the wheel.
Stirling Moss would be quickest in practice taking the pole over Schell in the Vanwall. Despite his relative inexperience and shoestring budget, Gould would end up impressing many as he would take the 3rd, and final, starting spot on the front row.
Once again, Gould looked to be in a strong position for another top result. He would just need to make it through the 25 laps that awaited. But, with Moss and Schell on the front row with him, this would not be an easy task.
The engine revs would come up preparing for the start of the race. And when the flag waved to start the race, it would be Schell that would make a fantastic getaway and would be immediately challenging for the lead. Ken Wharton, who would start the race from the second row of the grid, would also make a great getaway from the grid and would be right up there with his teammate in the other Vanwall.
Despite starting from the pole, Moss would be forced out at the beginning of the race and would be desperate to challenge for the lead from then on. Gould would have an even worse start to the race. He would make it through the wild start and would last through the first couple of laps of the race. But then, on the 3rd lap of the race, trouble again came calling and he would end up out of yet another race.
Schell and Wharton would hook up and would be rolling like a freight train. And despite the fact that Stirling Moss would set the fastest lap of the race, he just would not be able to compete with the two Vanwalls over the course of the race.
In just a little more than fifty minutes, Schell would come across the finish line to take the victory. Wharton would follow along in the other Vanwall completing the race distance eleven seconds behind Schell in 2nd place. Another eight seconds would pass before Moss would come across the line in 3rd place.
It seemed apparent that Gould had asked a little too much of his Maserati in practice. The front row starting spot had weakened the car, especially just after a race one week prior. Still, the fact Gould had enough pace to start from the front row of the grid meant there would still be some bitter frustration when it all came to an end after just two laps. The fact he would have to scrounge and pay for repairs would only make matters worse.
Unfortunately, finding the money and the parts in time would prove a little too difficult for Gould. Thankfully for Gould, there would be those within the racing community willing to help him out. And, just before his next race in September, Gould would be given as a loan chassis 2514 for his use. Therefore, he would pack everything up. Heading out, and filled with much more confidence, Gould would be headed back to Aintree looking for retribution.
The last time Gould had been to Aintree it had been for the British Grand Prix. In that race he had started from the tail-end of the field but had made a fantastic start. Unfortunately, Gould end up falling out of the race having completed fewer laps than in his World Championship debut the season before. But, on the 3rd of September, Gould would be wheeling his car up to his grid position ready to take part in the 2nd Daily Telegraph Trophy and looking for retribution.
Actually, the first time Gould had been to Aintree had come at the tail-end of the 1954 season in the 1st edition of the Daily Telegraph Trophy race. In that race, Gould would start just outside the top ten but would manage to finish in 11th place in a Formula 2 Cooper-Bristol. Having worked out more issues with his Maserati, Gould had good reason to look forward to the 2nd Daily Telegraph Trophy race. Avoiding any problems, Gould believed he could pull off a surprising result. And in just 17 laps, he would know for sure if he was right or not.
Entering his own Maserati, Stirling Moss would take his second pole in a row in the Daily Telegraph Trophy race as he would beat Roy Salvadori for pole by just six-tenths of a second. Horace continued to be impressive in practice as he would end up grabbing the 3rd, and last, position on the front row having set a fastest lap time of 2:09.0.
Just 51 miles was the race distance. It would be short enough for drivers to really push their cars, and yet, just far enough that attrition could really come to play a role. And, as the field roared toward Waterway for the first time, trouble would already begin nipping at the heels of the competitors. Jimmy Somervail would fail to complete a single lap as he would crash out of the race. Then, on the 3rd lap of the race, Jack Fairman would do the same thing. And, by the time the race reached the 10 lap mark there would be six cars out of the running.
Gould would be anything but out of the running. He would make a good start but would end up getting forced out by Bob Gerard in his Cooper-Bristol T23. Gould had barely edged out Gerard for the final front row starting spot but would end up being served during the race. Stirling Moss looked strong, as though en route to his second-straight Daily Telegraph Trophy victory. However, with just four laps remaining, the engine would fail on Moss' Maserati giving full control of the race over to Roy Salvadori in the Gilby Engineering Maserati.
Salvadori would be hardly handed the lead of the race. Salvadori would already set the fastest lap of the race and would only pull away from Gerard running in 2nd place. The last time Gould's Maserati had taken part in a race it had been the British Grand Prix a couple of months earlier. In that race, Jean Behra would practice the car but it would be Andre Simon that would take to the wheel during the race. Unfortunately, the car would retire from the race. But, that retirement had come all the way back in July, the Maserati had had plenty of time to fix the car and get it in proper working order. And as Gould headed into the final couple of laps of the Daily Telegraph Trophy race, it was more than obvious Gould was enjoying himself and the new car.
Roy Salvadori would be untouchable over the course of the final few laps. He would cruise to victory having a margin of victory of a little more than fifteen seconds over Gerard in 2nd place. Ten and a half seconds would be the difference between Gerard in 2nd place and Gould finishing in the 3rd position.
After a streak of early retirements in chassis 2509, Gould would enjoy the practically new car lent to him by the Maserati factory. As a result, Gould would agree to purchase the car from the factory for use in the remainder of the season. Gould would then decide to give up on his lease of Bira's Maserati, and therefore, would not hold onto the car throughout the remainder of the season.
Being based in Modena, Gould would find himself in position to take part in another Formula One World Championship race that would take place on the 11th of September. Having moved from Bristol to Modena and driving a Trident-clad Italian grand prix car, Gould would have his first opportunity to experience the wild and crazed Italian racing fans always ready to cheer on their proud red machines. And though his car would not be adorned in the same livery, Gould too would garner some of that great love the Italians had for their racing thoroughbreds.
After finishing 3rd at Aintree, Gould would immediately pack everything up and would head back across the Channel. Once on the European continent, he would head on to Italy and the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza in order to take part in the Italian Grand Prix. And for the first time, Gould would experience average speeds approaching 130 mph.
Built back in the 1920s, the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza had been designed to host a number of different types of motor racing. This would be made possible having a circuit designed with a number of different circuit layouts incorporated together but that could also be used separately. Therefore, the builders would put together a circuit with both a road course and an oval-shaped circuit. Most often, just the road course portion, and not the oval-shaped circuit, would be used, especially with the advent of the World Championship. However, prior to the 1955 season the oval circuit would be changed. A steeply-banked oval would be built in place of the original layout. And, for the 1955 Italian Grand Prix, the whole 6.2 mile circuit would be used for the first time.
The regular road course portion of the circuit had already been an ultra-fast circuit. However, the addition of the banked oval would only make the average speeds shoot up all the more. In fact, as the teams unloaded and the cars began practicing around the updated circuit, it would become apparent the Lancia-Ferraris were in trouble as their tires could not handle the speeds and the incredible heat that resulted. Therefore, the Lancia-Ferraris would only practice, and not take part in the race.
For the third time on the season, Gould would face the major manufacturers head-on. But the presence of the banked oval would make things difficult for Gould, even more so than the mere presence of the mighty factory teams.
Liquidity issues were keeping Gould from having full confidence heading into a major race. He knew he had to balance speed with reliability in order to continue competing. On top of that issue, the sheer speed of the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza would certainly have taken a bit to get used to and it would not have been at all surprising if Gould was a little bit slower just because he didn't feel as comfortable going around the circuit as some of the others. Whatever the reasons may have been, Gould's best effort in practice would be a lap time of 3:05.2. However, this would pale in comparison to the times posted by the competitors.
Juan Manuel Fangio would be the fastest around the 6.2 mile circuit. His best time would be 2:46.5 and would end up three-tenths of a second faster than Stirling Moss in another Mercedes. Karl Kling would end up nearly two seconds slower than Fangio but would still be fast enough to Mercedes a clean sweep of the front row.
The 18.7 seconds difference between Fangio and Gould would have Horace starting well down in the field for his first Italian Grand Prix. While Jean Behra would be the fastest Maserati in the field and would start from the third row of the grid, Horace would start second-to-last in 21st place overall and on the ninth, and final, row of the grid.
Wonderful bright and sunny weather greeted the drivers and the incredible crowd that would gather all around the circuit preparing for the start of the race. Spectators would be on their toes trying to catch a glimpse of the field as the flag would drop and the race would get underway. And at the start, it would be Moss that would get the best start off the line followed closely by Fangio and Kling trailing along a couple of car lengths back. However, by the end of the first lap it would be Fangio in the lead with the Brit, as usual, hustling along in 2nd place right behind. Piero Taruffi and Karl Kling would make it a Mercedes one-two-three-four throughout the first 18 laps of the race.
As he had at Aintree during the British Grand Prix, Gould would make a fantastic start to the race and would find himself up in 12th place at the end of the first lap. Of course, his rise up the leaderboard would be helped by those who had withdrawn from the race beforehand, but, much of that forward momentum would come as a result of Gould's own determination.
Throughout the first 18 laps, it would be Fangio and Moss leading the train. Unfortunately, Moss would be following Fangio close enough that the Argentinean would kick up a stone with his Mercedes. That stone would come shooting back toward Moss and would absolutely smash his windscreen. Moss would stop in the pits and the crew would be right there ready to replace the whole windscreen. Moss would re-enter the race and would set about chasing down his fellow teammates. In fact, on the 21st lap of the race, Moss would turn the fastest lap of the race in an effort to catch up. However, it would come at a price. And by the 27th lap of the race he would be out of the event with a blown engine.
Meanwhile, Gould would be on an absolute charge. For not knowing the circuit all that well and not being a driver of a major manufacturer's team, Gould was putting together one impressive performance. By the end of the 24th lap, Gould would have come all the way up from his 21st starting position to be running 9th. It would be an incredible charge up the running order.
However, just when it seemed as though Gould would pull off one of the greatest performances of his life and in grand prix history, sump problems would stall his ascent. In fact, over the next 7 laps, Gould would steadily fall back down the running order. And then, on the 32nd lap of the race, Gould's charge would come to a complete end. His race was over. Yet again, another impressive performance for Gould would come to an end.
Once Moss departed the scene, the rest of the race belonged to Fangio. Though followed by Kling and Taruffi, also driving Mercedes Silver Arrows, neither were able to challenge Fangio for the lead of the race. And, with 15 laps remaining in the race, Fangio would have a clear advantage over Taruffi in 2nd place. Kling would be out of the running and it would be Castellotti in 3rd place for Ferrari.
Just nine cars would still be running as Fangio swept around the Parabolica for the final time. Closely followed by Taruffi, Fangio would be in control as he headed toward the line for yet another victory on the season. Taruffi would cross the line in 2nd place just seven-tenths of a second behind. About forty-five seconds would be the gap from Taruffi back to Eugenio Castellotti in 3rd place in a Ferrari.
Amazingly, Gould would look nothing like his practice times. The man from Bristol had quickly settled into the pace around the fast circuit and would be even faster himself. Bitterly disappointing, the race would be one of the biggest examples of 'what if'. Running well inside the top ten with plenty of laps remaining, who knows how far Gould could have ascended. Unfortunately, it all would be nothing than conjecture in the end. Gould would leave yet another circuit with a hobbled car. It had put together one impressive performance but nonetheless pulled up lame. Despite having the car, Gould's determination was not being met with reliability.
On a shoestring budget and struggling with a car hampered by unreliability, Gould would need to get some consistent results in order to end the season on a bright note and to put him in a position of being able to carry on the following season. Unfortunately, as the season wound down, those races remaining on the calendar would almost entirely take place back in England. Therefore, after the bitter disappointment at Monza, Gould would head back to Modena for repairs before heading back across the Channel to England and on up to Oulton Park for the 2nd International Gold Cup race held on the 24th of September.
About a thousand miles and two weeks would separate races on the calendar for Gould. But as he would arrive at the Oulton Park Circuit located near Little Budworth in Cheshire, the two races couldn't have been any further apart in character. While the 2.76 mile circuit would feature a number of fast sweeping corners with blind entries it would be anything but the ultra-fast circuit that Monza had been. However, the rolling terrain combined with the fast sweeping corners made Oulton Park both challenging and exciting and would be one of the main reasons why the first edition of the International Gold Cup race in 1954 would draw tens of thousands of spectators.
The 1955 race was shaping up to be no different. Aided by the memory of an incredible performance by Stirling Moss to go from dead-last on the grid to taking a dominant victory, the crowds would be even greater for the 1955 race.
The crowd would be great for the race for the race for a number of reasons but one of the major ones would be the fact that some of the big manufacturers would make the decision to attend the race. Scuderia Ferrari would enter a couple of cars as would Officine Alfieri Maserati. And then there would be the British racing teams like Vandervell Products and Connaught that would also make their presence known at the race. Therefore, Gould would find himself as just one of nineteen cars that would arrive for the 54 lap, 149 mile, race held on the 24th of September.
Driving the Lancia D50, Mike Hawthorn would be quickest around the 2.76 mile circuit. Posting a time of 1:52.4, Hawthorn would edge out Stirling Moss for the pole by a mere two-tenths of a second. Luigi Musso and Eugenio Castellotti would complete the front row starting in the 3rd and 4th starting spots respectively.
Horace Gould would find himself running lap times right around those of the new BRM 25 driven by Peter Collins. In fact, Gould's best lap of 1:59.0 would edge out Collins for 12th on the starting grid by mere hundredths of a second. Starting from the fourth row of the grid, Gould would have his work cut out for him on the winding Oulton Park Circuit, but he had been showing himself more than capable of strong starts to help his cause.
Stirling Moss and Mike Hawthorn would get great starts and would be quickly battling for the lead of the race. The field would fall in line heading up and down the rolling terrain as the constantly changing directions of the circuit would make it rather difficult for extended runs at each other. Still, it would make for some really close racing throughout the early going of the race. And the racing couldn't have been any closer between Moss and Hawthorn through the first few laps of the race. Still, having earned victory at the track the year before, Moss certainly seemed to have the upper hand.
Gould had not been to the circuit the year before and the fact he started from down in 12th place certainly would have seemed to testify to that fact. Unfortunately, Gould's race wouldn't last long enough to find out whether or not he did find himself to be comfortable going around the circuit. After completing 9 laps, Gould's engine began to show signs of trouble and would eventually cause Gould to have to retire. After that first race in which he came away with a solid 3rd place finish, unreliability would again come to Gould's ruin.
Despite starting on the front row with Hawthorn and Moss, both Musso and Castellotti would lose ground as the race carried on. Both would still be in the running but would be quickly losing ground nonetheless. Peter Collins would fall out of the running on the very same lap as Gould. He would suffer from oil pressure problems and would be unable to get the BRM 25 performing up to what everyone expected.
Stirling Moss would seem absolutely at home around Oulton Park. He would go on to set the fastest lap of the race and would put tremendous pressure on the whole of the field. Harry Schell and Leslie Marr would all fall out of the race.
Heading into the final few laps of the race, all but Hawthorn had been put a lap down. On the 50th lap of the race Luigi Musso would run into transmission problems and would be forced to retire from the race. Castellotti would be three laps down in 7th place. One of the most impressive performances, except for that put together by Moss in the lead, would actually be achieved by Desmond Titterington. He would start down in 6th place on the grid but would find himself in 3rd heading into the final couple of laps.
The last lap of the race would be led by a man driving a Maserati. Out of the four that would start the race, just Gould's would be retired, but Moss would be out front looking absolutely indomitable. Averaging nearly 86 mph throughout the 54 lap race, Moss would run away with the victory. He would cross the line to take the victory and would have a minute and six second in hand over Hawthorn finishing in 2nd place in the Lancia-Ferrari D50. More than a lap would be the difference back to Titterington crossing the line in 3rd.
Retirement after retirement was all that Gould seemed to be able to hope for. Instead of attrition being the occasional visitor, it would be the unwanted guest that would never leave. And, unfortunately, just a couple of races remained; just a couple more chances to get rid of the problems and end the season on a high point.
Most unfortunate for Gould would be the fact he had very little time in which to get his problems rectified before his next race. For just one week after the 9 lap debacle at Oulton Park, Gould was set to enter the 1st Avon Trophy race held at Castle Combe. This would be a most important race too as it would take place just about 20 miles away from his home of Bristol. This would be an opportunity for the car dealer to either boost or hinder his car dealership business.
With his dealership not all that far away, Gould would be certainly more familiar with Castle Combe than just about any other circuit around England or Europe. Still, the 1.84 mile circuit was anything but straight forward and easy. Challenging and fast, Castle Combe at the ability to surprise even the most experienced driver and to be truly fast around the circuit required a level of commitment not many were willing to go to. For this reason, Scuderia Ferrari had put in a couple of entries for the race. However, when the starting money did not meet the expectations of the team and its drivers Ferrari would not arrive, and instead, would head back home.
Despite Ferrari's unwillingness to participate, the field would still boast of some top flight competition. Besides the privateer entry driving a Maserati or Connaught B-Type, Vandervell Products and even Ecurie Rosier would be amongst those present in the field.
Though the field would be talented, Gould would look quite good on what was his home circuit. Harry Schell would take the pole in one of the Vanwalls with a time of 1:14.4. However, Gould would take the 2nd place starting spot along the front row after he posted a time just six-tenths of a second slower. Bob Gerard would take 3rd place on the grid while Tony Brooks, driving a Formula 2 Connaught A-Type, would complete the front row in 4th place.
The race distance would be 55 laps covering a total distance of 101 miles and right from the start Schell would look to be the class of the field. Still, Gould would be strong showing his ability to run up near the front. Though he would gradually lose ground to Schell with each passing lap, Gould would manage to hold off the hard-charging Gerard, and this would be no easy achievement considering Gerard was quite experienced around the Castle Combe circuit.
Peter Collins had practiced in the new BRM 25, but would switch to the team's Maserati for the race. However, that switch would prove moot as he would retire after 10 laps with rear suspension failure. Louis Rosier would last just 19 laps before a broken shock absorber ended his day. With Roy Salvadori and Gerard unable to mount a serious challenge, Gould seemed pretty secure in 2nd place, but it was much too early to suspect anything given the unreliability he had been suffering throughout the season.
Schell would be having no such problems himself. He would go on to turn the fastest lap of the race with an average on his fastest lap of exactly 90 mph. This would only extend the advantage he enjoyed over Gould, but Horace would be less concerned with that than making sure he did not give up or lose a very strong 2nd place.
Despite Schell's incredible pace, Gould would be one of just two that would manage to remain on the lead lap with the American. It was clearly Schell's race and he would easily take the victory averaging a little more than 86 mph throughout. Waiting for Gould to come through Camp Corner for the last time, it was clear Schell's margin of victory would be right around twenty seconds. But after all of the trouble Gould had been experiencing, the 2nd place almost like a victory, especially given the fact the result had come at his home circuit. What's more, Gould more than held off a usually feisty Bob Gerard. As Gerard crossed the line in 3rd place it became apparent that Gould had managed to open up nearly thirteen seconds on Gerard.
The 2nd place in the Avon Trophy race couldn't have come at a better time. The season was about over and the string of retirements had been plaguing Gould's shoestring budget. Therefore, in front of home fans, Gould could take a breath and really enjoy his result. New life, new hope, at least enough to make it through the final race of the season, had been breathed into Gould.
The end of the Formula One World Championship had drawn to a close. The Formula One non-championship season, however, still had one more event on the European continent before the end. Having made the commitment to move to Modena in order to scrounge, beg and borrow spare parts for his Maserati, Gould would find himself in a position whereby he could take part in the final race of the European season. On the 23rd of October, Gould would be on the island nation of Sicily preparing for the 5th Gran Premio di Siracusa.
The 3.48 mile public road course used for the Gran Premio di Siracusa would run right by the Commonwealth War Graves cemetery where about 1,000 men who died during World War II are buried. In 1954, the race would see such a dramatic moment that it would be surprising that another would not end up buried in the cemetery.
Mike Hawthorn had been running strong for Scuderia Ferrari right behind Onofre Marimon. Marimon would get a little close to the straw bales and would end up kicking some up right into Hawthorn's face. Momentarily blinded, Hawthorn would crash into the concrete retaining wall along a sunken portion of the circuit. Hawthorn's car would burst into flames and he would be momentarily trapped trying to get out of the car. Hawthorn's Ferrari teammate, Jose Froilan Gonzalez, would stop his car in an effort to help Hawthorn. While trying to help, Gonzalez's car would be caught on fire and would also burn. In the end, Ferrari would lose two cars and would have one of its drivers suffering from some serious burns.
Heading into the race in 1955, it would not be unsurprising when Scuderia Ferrari failed to show up for the 70 lap, 243 mile, race. This would leave the Maserati factory team, Officine Alfieri Maserati as the dominant team heading into the race. And with no less than five cars entered in the race, it would be one last opportunity for Gould to take on some of the best cars and drivers and measure exactly where he was in his racing ability.
Just the factory Maserati team would be a strong test for Gould. As the cars took to the circuit for practice, Luigi Villoresi would be joined by none other than Luigi Musso, Carroll Shelby, Harry Schell and Luigi Piotti. Not including Equipe Gordini and Ecurie Rosier, the field would be filled with talented drivers. And as the practice times began to come in, it would become apparent Gould would have his work cut out for himself in the final race of the season.
Luigi Musso would be the fastest around the 3.48 mile circuit. His time of 2:03.6 would be a little more than a second faster than Villoresi's best, and therefore, would give him the pole. Villoresi would start in 2nd place while Tony Brooks, driving for Connaught Engineering, would complete the front row in 3rd.
Given his performances in most of the other events wherein there were a number of top manufacturers and drivers, Gould's best efforts in practice usually saw him starting a race down near the bottom of the grid. However, in this race, things would be different. Gould would be quite quick around the temporary road course. His time of 2:09.9 would end up a little more than six seconds slower than Musso but would still be fast enough to enable Gould to start from the third row in the 7th spot.
The times Gould had started a race well it rarely, if ever, ended that way. But given that it was the final race of the season, it wasn't as if Gould was going to back down, at least not at this moment when he would gain valuable experience and would come away with a better idea of just how well he really could do when he really pushed.
Right from the start of the race it would be Tony Brooks that would be on the pace. He would get a great start off the line and would be challenging for the lead straight-away. At 70 laps, the race was going to be a supreme test for Gould and he would look good throughout the early stages, but he had looked good through early stages of races before.
Attrition would begin to lay hold of the competitors. Jacques Pollet would be the first out of the race. His race would last little more than 9 laps before the rear axle failed on his new Gordini T32. Two of the eight Maserati 250Fs in the field would be lost in the first 18 laps of the race when Roy Salvadori retired along with Louis Rosier.
Brooks would be flying in the new Connaught B-Type. He would set a blindingly-quick fastest lap time that wouldn't just be a couple of tenths or a second faster than Musso's pole. In fact, it would be more than three and a half seconds faster and would only serve to lengthen Brooks' advantage over Musso and the rest of the cars in the field.
Gould would be looking incredibly strong. Having started from around the middle of the field, he would be helped by Manzon's retirement in one of the other Gordinis and would be running right around the top five throughout the first half of the race. Gould would battle with Schell for 4th place and would look intent on taking the position from the hard-fighting American.
But no matter how hard Gould or anyone else in the field fought, they just could not deal with Brooks on this day. Not only was he leaving Musso well behind in his wake, but he was putting the remainder of the field laps down. The only way Brooks would be stopped throughout the remainder of the race would be if attrition was able to track him down.
Providence would see to it that Brooks could not be caught, not on this day. He would cruise to an easy victory. Averaging a little more than 99 mph, Brooks would easily make his way to the victory. Completing the race distance in a little under two hours and twenty-five minutes, Brooks' margin of victory would be just a mere fifty and a half seconds over Musso in one of the Maseratis.
Luigi Villoresi would complete the podium finishing in 3rd place a little more than two laps behind. Musso's 2nd place finish would begin a trend that would see Maserati 250Fs sweep spots 2nd through 7th in the finishing order. However, it would be the car that finished in the 4th position that would cause some of the greatest stir.
There in 4th place, having outdueled Schell for the position, would be Horace Gould coming through to take one of his greatest results of the season. In a field filled with strong competitors and cars, he would fight hard and would have a car that lasted. The end result would be one impressive performance for the larger-than-life character.
The 4th place would be the way Gould wanted to end the season. He would head into the off-season with momentum and confidence having taken on some really strong competition and coming away with a strong result. He knew that if he could keep his car in working order he had the talent to put together some solid performances. It seemed his decision to go all-in was paying dividends.
Although Gould would end the season on a couple of high points, it still would only help to recover from what had been an absolutely terrible year. The last two races would be the only time throughout the whole of the season in which Gould would finish back-to-back races. Therefore, while he could have confidence heading into 1956, he would also need to be realistic. This meant the car dealer needed to brush up on his salesmanship and bargaining skills if he wanted to be able to afford the necessary parts and repairs a season of racing would bring.
Still, the enthusiastic presence of Gould would make for one of the best stories throughout the 1955 season. His surprising results in the races he would actually finish would only add to his popularity. Competing with the big boys of Formula One, this big boy would race for the pure enjoyment of it all and only made him all the more an attractive and intriguing figure in the paddock.