Our Blog 2/2023

ERA driver Geoffrey Ansell, of Ansell Brewery fame, confirming that the worlds of alcohol and fast-cars don’t mix.

Here he takes the wide line in 1948 at the first British Grand Prix to be held at Silverstone. Due credit should be given for the effort, but apparently he emerged from the devastated straw-bales with nothing worse than a few scratches.

22-Feb-23 historicracing.com

The video of the crash on youtube shows where, about one minute in, you can see just how lucky Geoffrey was!

Geoffrey Ansell was from the Ansells Brewery family. Geoffrey and his cousin, Bob, were well-heeled and very enthusiastic. Their ERA and Maserati cars were prepared and sometimes driven by George Bainbridge.

Bob Ansell shared his Maserati 4CMi with George Bainbridge in the same race, fairing better than Geoff by finishing 12th. The race was won by Luigi Villoresi in a Maserati 4CLT/48, although it was not a round of the World Championship as that would not start for another two years. The cars were always well turned out but often suffered from unreliability.

The high point in Geoffrey's short career came in May of that year when he won the JCC British Empire Trophy at Douglas on the Isle of Man. He entered the British Grand Prix again in 1949 once again with Brian Shaw-Taylor, finishing 9th.

Both Bob and Geoffrey retired from racing at the end of 1949 on discovering that the fiscal toll of Grand Prix racing was putting a severe dent in the family finances.