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The racing career of B.C. Ecclestone


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#1 Paul Taylor

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Posted 14 October 2006 - 21:02

I was flicking through a 1951 edition of Motorsport magazine when I came across a race review of a Formula 3 race at Boreham airfield.

The positions in the 15 lap final were as follows...:

1st - E. Brandon (500-c.c. Cooper)
2nd - A. Brown (500-c.c.
3rd - B. Eccelstone (497-c.c. Cooper)

I'm assuming B. Ecclestone is the same billionaire who's kind of running Formula 1 at the moment? :p

So, other than driving a Connaught round Monaco and Silverstone much slower than anyone else, what racing did he do? I've got him down as driving a Cooper T20 in a few Formula 2 races in 1953 and racing in a Formula Junior event at Monaco in 1961 alongside drivers such as Arundell, Love, Siffert, Raby and Mitter. And that's about it.

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#2 Gary C

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Posted 14 October 2006 - 21:25

I would have thought he would have been retired by 61?? Does that mean he was still racing while managing Stuart Lewis-Evans?

#3 Paul Taylor

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Posted 14 October 2006 - 21:32

III Grand Prix de Monaco Junior 1961

Bernie Ecclestone, GB - Elva Racing Team - Elva 200 - Ford

Finished 1 lap down, in 13th place, in Heat 1.

http://www.formula2.net/FJ61_E14.htm

#4 Adam F

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Posted 14 October 2006 - 21:37

The main part of Bermie Ecclestone's racing career was in 500cc F3 racing from 1951 to 1953, driving Cooper and Kieft cars.
He was most active (and competitive) during 1951 when he appeared at least 12 times, scoring 4 wins in Heats (all at Brands Hatch), plus many second places.
He raced much less during 1952 and 1953 (I assume due to his growing business interests), but still scored 2 wins, both also at Brands.
It would seem that during this period he was a more than competitive F3 driver.

#5 stevewf1

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Posted 14 October 2006 - 22:01

He even entered two GP's.

1958 MC and GB... Didn't start either, though.

#6 scheivlak

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Posted 14 October 2006 - 22:22

Some other threads:
http://forums.autosp...y=&pagenumber=2
http://forums.autosp...ight=ecclestone

#7 Gary C

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Posted 15 October 2006 - 06:15

:drunk:

#8 David Beard

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Posted 15 October 2006 - 11:05

Originally posted by Adam F
It would seem that during this period he was a more than competitive F3 driver.


He should have been competive, having the same "unfair advantage" as Don Parker.

#9 Catalina Park

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Posted 15 October 2006 - 11:14

A low centre of gravity (even lower if he takes his wallet) :cool:

#10 Paul Taylor

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Posted 15 October 2006 - 17:56

Ecclestone at Brands Hatch in 1951, leading Loens JBS into Paddock corner:

Posted Image
Copyright - Motorsport magazine, 1951 (if the copyright still applies 55 years after original publication...)

#11 Ivan

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Posted 15 October 2006 - 22:26

cool photo

#12 Geoff E

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Posted 15 October 2006 - 22:35

Originally posted by Paul Taylor
Ecclestone at Brands Hatch in 1951, leading Loens JBS into Paddock corner:

Posted Image
Copyright - Motorsport magazine, 1951 (if the copyright still applies 55 years after original publication...)


Is that the race in which he was disqualified for cutting corners? It happened somewhere didn't it?

(I was thinking some time before the last 20 years.)

#13 Vitesse2

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Posted 15 October 2006 - 22:58

Came across this ....

Each year brings with it new, promising and interesting personalities and 1952 is no exception. Les Leston, Arthur Gill, Bernard Ecclestone and the Grey brothers, to mention only a few, are by comparison only beginners but they all show that same skill and determination which has been so prominent among all the drivers who have taken up this form of racing.


From "500cc Racing" by JN [sic] Cooper in the "BRDC Silver Jubilee Book".

I have to say that Bernard and Les are the only ones who stood the test of time ....;)

#14 Paul Taylor

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Posted 16 October 2006 - 00:40

Originally posted by Geoff E


Is that the race in which he was disqualified for cutting corners? It happened somewhere didn't it?

(I was thinking some time before the last 20 years.)


Nope...Bernie spun his car round on the Bottom straight apparently and I think he won one of the races.

#15 caneparo

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Posted 16 October 2006 - 08:30

Paul I believe that guy raced also motorcycles, I have a pic where he's racing a Norton. I'll send you someday

#16 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 16 October 2006 - 13:54

And he raced stock cars but he hated the damage inflicted on his pristine fleet and the effort required to constantly repair them.

Question- why did he take it up in the first place if he dnd't like damaging his cars?

Answer- Money of course!

unlike most other forms of motor sport in Britain at the time it actually PAID well if you were any good with healthy appearance and prize money that produced , for a few years untill the bubble burst, a touring band of professionals who lived off their racing .

No wonder the RAC didn't like it at the time. "Not the done thing at all old boy. Sport that actually pays! Good heavens we can't have that...unless it's cricket of course."

#17 ensign14

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Posted 16 October 2006 - 14:27

Bit like Herman Beam, who cottoned on that in the late 50s in NASCAR just running at the finish was likely to get you in the top 10 and therefore in the serious money. In 1962 he picked up $12,000, which in today's money is getting on for $85k; not bad for Sunday driving.

And in 1959 he was 4th in the Championship, with today's equivalent of $35k for 30 races despite no finish higher than 5th but only 1 retirement. And that's just base earnings - I think there would be a bit of a bonus for a top 5 GN series finish.

#18 Kvadrat

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 02:15

Originally posted by Paul Taylor
Ecclestone at Brands Hatch in 1951, leading Loens JBS into Paddock corner:

Posted Image
Copyright - Motorsport magazine, 1951 (if the copyright still applies 55 years after original publication...)


Paul, what is the date of the race?

#19 Paul Taylor

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 02:22

August 6th 1951. :)