Peter Whitehead (12 November
1914, Menston – 21
September 1958, Lasalle, France) was a
British racing driver from England.
Whitehead was able to fund his racing largely through the family
wealth, gained from the wool industry. He began racing at the age
of 20 in 1935, initially racing an Alta
before buying an
B Type in 1936.
Whitehead took the ERA to Australia in 1938 while touring on
business, where he won the 1938 Australian Grand Prix
World War II
he participated in 12
World Championship Grands Prix, debuting on 2 July 1950. In his
career he achieved a single podium, and scored a total of 4
championship points. He also drove in several non-Championship
Formula One races. In addition to his Formula One career he shared
victory in the 1951 24 Hours of
race with Peter
, racing for Jaguar
Whitehead is notable as the first person to whom Enzo Ferrari ever sold a Formula One car : a
Ferrari 125 and for being the first
driver to win a motor race on the Mount Panorama Circuit.
Sports car racer
Whitehead teamed with Peter
to win the 1951 24
Hours of Le Mans
, in a Jaguar, with an average speed of 93.112
miles per hour. In July 1952 Whitehead qualified his Alta 2nd
to Harry Schell for the Grand Prix of
Rouen. In July 1953 Whitehead won a 12-hour
endurance race together with Stirling
Moss, at Reims, driving a
In 1954 Whitehead and Ken
piloted a new model 'D' type Jaguar to win the 12-Hour
Race of Reims on July 4. They were victorious with an average speed
of 104.3 m.p.h. The same driving pair placed 5th at Belfast,
Northern Ireland, in September, in the Ulster
Tourist Trophy road race. Whitehead was behind the wheel of an
Aston Martin DB3S when he placed
7th in a 1957 Belgian Royal Automobile Club Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps.
Whitehead's last great performance was at
Mans in 1958 where he came second in an Aston Martin, sharing the driving with his
A couple of months later Peter and Graham
were competing together in the Tour de France
, when their
crashed off a bridge into a
30-foot ravine at Lasalle, after overturning twice, with Graham at
the wheel. Graham was badly injured, but Peter was killed
Complete World Championship results
- Two Britons Drive Record 93.112 M.P.H. For 24 Hours to
Capture French Auto Race, New York Times, June 25, 1951, Page 24.
- Schell Speeds 121.803 M.P.H., New York Times, July
5, 1952, Page 10.
- French Auto Races To British Drivers, New York
Times, July 6, 1953, Page 22.
- Article 3-No Title, New York Times, July 5,
1954, Page 15.
- Laureau, in French Car, Takes Ulster Trophy, September
12, 1954, Page S9.
- Brooks Captures Belgian Auto Race, New York
Times, August 26, 1957, Page 29.
- British Driver Killed On Tour in France, New York
Times, September 21, 1958, Page C2.