Probably the last true amateur driver to compete in Grand Prix racing on a regular basis, De Beaufort began racing in a Porsche spyder in 1956. He made occasional Grand Prix appearances until 1961, when he acquired a Porsche 718. The car saw extensive service over the next four seasons with his greatest success coming in 1963 with two second places in the Syracuse and Rome Grands Prix and a third in the Austrian GP at Zeltweg. He was killed in practice for the German Grand Prix in 1964.
The last true amateur driver to compete in Grand Prix racing on a regular basis.
de Beaufort changed from a rather erratic dilettante in his early days into a much more serious and competent and respected driver without losing his perenially sunny disposition.
De Beaufort began his racing career with production Porsche spyders in 1956 and was soon itching to pit himself against the stars of the day, racing his Porsche RSK sports car in the Formula 2 category of the 1957 German Grand Prix. He had to content himself, however, with occasional Grand Prix outings until the 1961 season, when he acquired the elderly ex-Moss Rob Walker four-cylinder Porsche 718. The Porsche was the only contemporary F1 car in which he could insert his large frame and he constantly referred to it as Fatty Porsche
This car saw extensive service over the next four seasons, the broad-shouldered Count, invariably driving in stockinged feet, battling nobly against more powerful fuel-injected cars. He raced the orange painted beast under the banner of Ecurie Maarsbergen, his own team which was named for his chateau, entering in non-championship events all across Europe. His greatest success came in 1963 with two second places in the Syracuse and Rome Grands Prix and a third in the Austrian GP at Zeltweg.
De Beaufort plugged away into the 1964 season with the by now veteran Porsche, but in practice for the German Grand Prix he crashed heavily at the Bergwerk corner, dying in hospital three days later from his injuries. It was a sad end to the career of this genial amateur who, although regarded as something of a dilettante in his early years, had matured into a competent and responsible competitor by the time of his death.