Posted Jun 8th 2012 3:45PM
Race car driver Roy Salvadori died on Sunday, June 3, at the age of 90. He was best known as the teammate of Carroll Shelby, the automotive impresario who was Salvadori's co-driver when they won Le Mans in 1959.
Shelby died just weeks earlier, succumbing to complications from pneumonia. Salvadori's cause of death was not mentioned in the announcement issued by the British Racing Drivers' Club, of which Salvadori was a Life Member.
Salvadori was better known overseas, where he competed in Formula One in the 1950s and 1960s, for factory teams including Cooper, Aston Martin, Vanwell, BRM and Connaught. His highest finish came in 1958, when he placed fourth in the drivers championship behind Mike Hawthorn, Stirling Moss and Tony Brooks. Salvadori won 98 races in his career, including his crowning victory at Le Mans.
Salvadori was a car dealer before launching his racing career, a vocation he returned to after he retired from the track. He is survived by his wife, Sue.
Click here to watch The Golden Age of Motorsport segment on Salvadori, and to read the official announcement.
NOTICE OF DEATH - ROY SALVADORI
It is with regret that the Club has to announce the death of Life Member, Roy Salvadori, at the age of 90. Roy joined the BRDC in 1947.
In Formula 1 Roy Salvadori raced for the factory teams of Cooper, Aston Martin, Vanwall, BRM and Connaught. He also drove F1 Ferrari, Maserati, Cooper - Maserati and Connaught for private entrants. His best result in the FIA F1 World Championship was 4th position in 1958 which was won that year by Mike Hawthorn, with Stirling Moss second and Tony Brooks third.
In F2, sports, GT and saloon car categories he drove for Aston Martin, (for eight years - their longest serving driver), Cooper, Lotus, Tommy Atkins, John Coombs, Ecurie Ecosse, Border Reivers, Briggs Cunningham, Gilby Engineering and Maranello Concessionaires.
He established outright or Class records for every circuit he raced on in England and won 98 races during his career, including the 1959 Le Mans 24 Hour race in an Aston Martin DBR1, co-driving with Carroll Shelby. Sadly, or perhaps remarkably, these two team mates died just 23 days apart, Carroll passing away on 11 May 2012.
Roy's most serious accidents were at Silverstone; at Stowe corner in 1951 when he suffered severe head injuries and was read his last rites and again at Stowe in 1955 a 250F Maserati.
BRDC Awards include the Wakefield Trophy for breaking the lap record in 1955 with the Gilby Engineering 250F Maserati, jointly with Peter Collins; three times winning the Woolf Barnato Trophy in '59, '60 and '62, and the ERA Trophy for best performance of the year in 1963 by a British driver in an overseas race.
Roy considered his greatest ability was to race on the same day a number of different cars. At the Goodwood International Easter Meeting in 1955 he won the F1 Glover Trophy race in a Maserati 250F, the Chichester Cup for F2 cars in a Connaught and the Sports Car race in an Aston Martin. Furthermore, he was second in the other two races that he entered that day. Similar performances were achieved on other occasions.
Following his racing career, Roy returned to running his car dealership but continued to be involved in Grand Prix racing as Team Manager for Cooper in 1966 and 1967.
Condolences have been sent to Roy's wife, Sue, and funeral details will be publicised when known.