Roy Pierpoint

Roy Pierpoint

0/0/1929

Best know for wining the British Saloon Car Championship in 1965, Roy was one of top saloon car drivers in the UK in the 1960s, famous for driving big American cars against the Minis and Lotus Cortinas.

<font face="Tahoma" size="2">Roy Pierpoint was from Weybridge, Surrey. Born in 1929 he first raced in 1949 driving a Fiat 1100 in a BARC meeting at Goodwood. However his first full season did not come until 1961.

In 1962 he finished third in class driving a Lotus XV in the BRDC Trophy meeting at Silverstone and a class second in the Guards Trophy at Brands Hatch. He co-drove with Bruce Halford in the Brands Six Hour Race, finishing third in class. He also took a number of other wins and podiums in National and Club races that year as well as the Bodiam Hill Climb.

He drove a Attila-Climax MKII in sports car races in 1963, finishing 3rd at Mallory Park in April and a 5th Guards Trophy once again at Mallory Park in May 1964. He took a win at Croft with the car in August of that year.

In 1965 he entered the BRSCC British Saloon Car Championship driving one of three Mustangs prepared by Alan Mann Racing. He took the title from Warwick Banks though they were tied on points with the best six results counting to the Championship and with six class win each. However Roy had two seconds which gave him the title. In the eight rounds he had taken four outright wins two seconds and two thirds.

In 1966 he traveled to South Africa and raced in the Cape Town 3 Hour race with Doug Serrurier driving a Lola T70 to second place. In saloon cars he replaced the Mustang with a supercharged 1963 Ford Falcon Monaco Sprint. This proved to be a bad move as the car was unreliable. He had a few good results but was unable to defend his BSCC title.

He raced the Falcon again in 1967 and it was a similar season which after early season optimism, the unreliability returned. As well as the BSCC he also took in a number of International Sports Car races. At the Nürburgring 1000 km race he drove with Colin Crabbe in Colin's Ford GT40 finishing eighth overall and second in class. At the Circuito del Mugello he drove with Terry Hunter in the latter's Porsche 911, finishing third in class. At Brands in late July he took a class win with Hugh Dibley in David Piper's Ferrari 250LM.

The BSCC featured eleven races in 1968 with all counting to the Championship. Frank Gardner was dominant in his Ford Cortina Mk 2 Lotus with nine class wins and finishing second twice to end on 84 points. Roy was fifth on 44 points with two class wins, two seconds and a third.

In 1968 he raced with Pedro Rodriguez in David Piper's Ferrari 250LM in the BOAC 500 at Brands Hatch in April finishing fifth overall and third in class. In May he traveled to the Nürburgring for the 1000km race but retired Edward Nelson's Ford GT40 with engine problems.

During 1968 and 1969 Roy Pierpoint took his Ford Falcon to the Jyllands-Ringen in Denmark. He made two starts in 1968 and finished with a second and a first, while his two appearances in 1969 resulted in another win in the Falcon and a retirement in a Duncan Hamilton Racing entered Ford Escort Twin Cam. In the BSCC 1969 was the last year of Group 5 in Britain and the last year of the Falcon Sprint. About midway through the season, Roy was lying second just two points behind eventual champion Alec Poole in his Mini Cooper. However four DNFs, two from mechanical failure and two accidents put paid to his title aspirations and he finished third.

In 1970 with the rule changes Roy switched to racing a 4956cc Chevrolet Camaro in the BSCC. He had just two third place finishes in a limited season. In sports cars he drove with David Piper in a Lola T70 Mk.3B. During the race the similar Lolas of Ulf Norinder and Paul Hawkins had suffered broken wishbones and after Jo Bonnier walked away from a massive crash at Bottom Bend which saw his T70 cartwheel off the Armco at 100 mph, the other Lolas were asked to stop for checks. Both David Piper and Trevor Taylor decided to withdraw their cars when hairline cracks were found in their rear wishbones.

In 1970 Bill Shaw at British Leyland's competition department built a lightweight 4.3 Litre Traco Oldsmobile engined Rover P6B. After some brief tests it was entered into the 86 Hour marathon race at the Nurburgring. After 15 hours the car hap a full three lap lead on the field and was cruising. The driver were only making one gear change per lap but a prop shaft vibration spelled retirement rather than taking any risks. Unfortunately BL's competition department closed down shortly afterwards though Roy did drive the Rover in some Special Saloon races.

The BSCC became the British Touring Car Championship in 1971 and Roy continued with the Camaro but raced less than previous years.

He continued to cut down on his racing but did appear in historic racing in the 1980s. In 1984 had a crash in a Ford GT40 at Silverstone when a car stalled on the grid and he was unable to avoid it.

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