16/6/1923 - 12/4/1962
Twice winner at Le Mans, Flockhart started racing motor cycles. He was killed when his aeroplane broke up in turbulence while in Australia practising for a London-to-Sydney record attempt. Ron Flockhart died 60 years ago, he was 39 , He would have been 99.
W.R. Flockhart began by racing motor cycles, but in 1949 he switched to cars, making his first competition appearance on St Andrew's Sands in Fife, Scotland driving the MG TC. He raced the MG in Scotland for two years before aquiring a 1000cc JP Vincent in 1951. With it he won the 1100 cc class at the Dundrod Trophy meeting.
He took up serious racing with the purchase of an ERA D-Type in 1952 and he enjoyed a fabulous 1953 season with the ex-Mays car, embarrassing many a newer machine in Formula Libre races. Naturally this brought him to the attention of BRM, who signed him up in 1954, initially to race in national Formula Libre events with the supercharged car. He also made his GP debut that season, taking over Bira's Maserati in the British GP before crashing.
In 1956 Ron was invited to race in sports cars for Ecurie Ecosse and won at Le Mans (with Sanderson) with their Jaguar D Type, while he took full advantage of a last-minute opportunity to race for Connaught, finishing third in the Italian GP.
The 1957 season saw him repeat his Le Mans success for Ecosse (this time with Bueb), but his luck with BRM was still out, an accident in the French GP leaving him with burns to arm and legs. The following year was marred by further injury after a crash at Rouen in a sports car race, but he was back in action for 1959 and won the Lady Wigram Trophy in New Zealand and the minor Silver City Trophy at Snetterton for BRM. Easily his best effort that year was to finish sixth in the French GP when a stone smashed his goggles and he drove on gamely to the finish with the use of virtually only one eye and a badly cut face.
After parting company with the Bourne concern, Flockhart raced for Alan Brown in Formula 2 in 1960, and finished second in the GP of Chimay behind Jack Lewis and fourth at Pau. Ron also drove a single Grand Prix for both Lotus and Cooper, but already his thoughts were turning towards his other passion, aviation. He had gained a pilot's licence back in 1948, and now set about breaking flying records.
He raced less frequently in 1961, and after taking part in three races in New Zealand and Australia with his Lotus 18 early in 1962, Flockhart was killed when his aeroplane broke up in turbulence while he was in Australia practising for a London-to-Sydney record attempt.