Connaught Engineering, often referred to simply as Connaught, was a Formula One and sports car constructor from the United Kingdom. Their cars participated in 18 Grands Prix, entering a total of 52 races with their A, B, and C Type Formula 2 and Formula 1 Grand Prix Cars. They achieved 1 podium and scored 17 championship points. The name Connaught is a pun on Continental Autos, the garage in Send, Surrey, which specialised in sales and repair of European sports cars such as Bugatti, and where the cars were built.
|Full name||Connaught Engineering|
|Base||Send, Surrey, United Kingdom|
|Noted staff||Kenneth McAlpine|
|Noted drivers|| Stuart Lewis-Evans|
|Formula One World Championship career|
|First entry||1952 British Grand Prix|
|Final entry||1959 United States Grand Prix|
In 1950, the first single-seaters, the Formula 2 "A" types, used an engine that was developed by Connaught from the Lea-Francis engine used in their "L" type sports cars. The engine was extensively re-engineered and therefore is truly a Connaught engine. The cars were of conventional construction for the time with drive through a preselector gearbox to a de Dion rear axle. In 1952 and 1953, the races counting towards the World Championship were to Formula 2 rules so drivers of these cars could take part in those events as the table below shows.
Connaught designed a new car for the 2½ litre Formula 1 of 1954 which was to have a rear-mounted Coventry Climax V8 engine (the "Godiva"), but when the engine was not proceeded with, a conventionally arranged "B" type was designed using an Alta engine developed into 2½ litre form. The first cars were built with all-enveloping aerodynamic bodywork but later rebodied conventionally (as the photos below show). In 1955, driving a Connaught in this form, Tony Brooks scored the first win in a Grand Prix by a British driver in a British car since 1923, in a non World Championship race at Syracuse. Thereafter the "B" type has been known as the "Syracuse" Connaught and the name was used for the car presented in the 2004 revival
Prior to the single-seat racing cars they built a small number of road going sports cars developed on the Lea-Francis Sports Chassis, which achieved considerable competition success. These were of types L2 and L3, and three examples of the stark Cycle Winged L3/SR Sports Racer. Two sports cars, based on the A Type Formula 2 cars, the ALSRs were also built for competition work.
In 2004, the Connaught name was revived by Connaught Motor Company for their Type D Syracuse and Type D-H hybrid supercars.
|Connaught Type A||Lea-Francis Straight-4||Ken Downing||Ken Downing||Ret|
|Connaught Racing Syndicate||12|
|Connaught Type A||Lea-Francis Straight-4||Kenneth McAlpine||Connaught Engineering||Ret||Ret||13||NC|
|Johnny Claes||Ecurie Belge||Ret||12||Ret||Ret|
|Ian Stewart||Ecurie Ecosse||Ret|
|Tony Rolt||Rob Walker Racing Team||Ret|
|Connaught Type A||Lea-Francis Straight-4||Leslie Marr||13|
|Don Beauman||Sir Jeremy Boles||11|
|Leslie Thorne||Ecurie Ecosse||14|
|John Riseley-Prichard||Rob Walker Racing Team||Ret|
|Connaught Type B||Alta Straight-4||Kenneth McAlpine||Connaught Engineering||Ret|
|Connaught Type B||Alta Straight-4||Archie Scott Brown||Connaught Engineering||Ret|
|Connaught Type B||Alta Straight-4||Stuart Lewis-Evans||Connaught Engineering||4|
|Connaught Type B||Alta Straight-4||Ivor Bueb||Bernie Ecclestone||Ret|
|Connaught Type C||Alta Straight-4||Bob Said||Connaught Cars / Paul Emery||Ret|
*Constructors points not awarded until 1958
± = Indicates a shared drive
The 1953 Dutch Grand Prix was a Formula Two race held on 7 June 1953 at the Circuit Zandvoort. It was race 3 of 9 in the 1953 World Championship of Drivers, which was run to Formula Two rules in 1952 and 1953, rather than the Formula One regulations normally used. The 90-lap race was won by Ferrari driver Alberto Ascari after he started from pole position. His teammate Nino Farina finished second and Maserati drivers José Froilán González and Felice Bonetto came in third1956 BARC Aintree 200
The 1956 Aintree 200 was a non-championship Formula One race held on 21 April 1956. The race was won by Stirling Moss, in a privately entered Maserati 250F.1956 Glover Trophy
The 1956 Glover Trophy was a non-championship Formula One race, held on 2 April 1956 at Goodwood Circuit, England. The race was won by Stirling Moss after a set distance of 32 laps.1956 Syracuse Grand Prix
The 1956 Syracuse Grand Prix was a motor race, set to Formula One rules, held on 15 April 1956 at the Syracuse Circuit, Sicily. The race was won by Argentinean Juan Manuel Fangio, in his Scuderia Ferrari entered Lancia D50.1957 Glover Trophy
The 1957 Glover Trophy was a motor race, run to Formula One rules, held on 22 April 1957 at Goodwood Circuit, England. The race was run over 42 laps of the circuit, and was won by British driver Stuart Lewis-Evans in a Connaught B Type.
The Team Lotus and Cooper Car Company works entries were Formula Two cars.Brabham BT34
The Brabham BT34 was a Formula One racing car designed by Ron Tauranac, and used by Brabham during part of the 1971 and 1972 Formula One seasons.Connaught Motor Company
The Connaught Motor Company is a manufacturer of high performance cars. It is the sister company of engineering company Connaught Engineering. The concept was designed and then taken over by Jeff Matthews.
Type-D HybridConnaught's R&D and production facilities are based in Llanelli, Wales near the Pembrey Race Circuit.Dennis Poore
Roger Dennistoun "Dennis" Poore (19 August 1916, Paddington, London – 12 February 1987, Kensington ) was a British entrepreneur, financier and sometime racing driver. He became chairman of NVT during the dying days of the old British motorcycle industry.Desmond Titterington
Desmond Titterington (1 May 1928 – 13 April 2002) was a British racing driver from Northern Ireland. He was born at Cultra, near Holywood, County Down. He participated in one Formula One World Championship Grand Prix, on 14 July 1956. He scored no championship points. He also competed in several non-Championship Grand Prix. He died in Dundee, Scotland, aged 71.Eric Thompson (racing driver)
Eric David Thompson (4 November 1919 – 22 August 2015) was a British motor racing driver, book dealer and insurance broker. He participated in sports car racing between 1949 and 1955 taking his greatest success by finishing third in the 1951 Les 24 Heures du Mans and took part in the 1952 RAC British Grand Prix.
Thompson worked as a broker for Lloyd's of London. His racing career started in 1948, racing cars for HRG. He won the 1.5-litre class in the Les 24 Heures du Mans in 1949 and drove for Aston Martin driving a DB2 to third place in the 1951 24 Hours of Le Mans. He also drove in Formula Libre, RAC Tourist Trophy and Formula Two achieving minor success. He took part in his only Formula One race in the 1952 RAC British Grand Prix finishing fifth, and later spent more time working at Lloyd's. He retired from motor racing at the end of 1955. Thompson resigned from Lloyd's in the 1980s and became a dealer of rare books on motorsport.Ivor Bueb
Ivor Léon John Bueb (6 June 1923 – 1 August 1959) was a British professional sports car racing and Formula One driver from England.Born in East Ham, Essex, Bueb started racing seriously in a Formula Three 500cc Cooper in 1953, graduating to the Cooper works team in 1955 when he finished second in the British championship. He made occasional starts in Grands Prix in 1957 with a Connaught and a Maserati run by Gilby Engineering. The following year he raced Bernie Ecclestone's Connaught at Monaco, and drove a Formula Two Lotus at the German Grand Prix.
In 1959 he had two outings for BRP, firstly a non-qualification at Monaco, then another Formula Two entry at the British Grand Prix. He participated in six Formula One World Championship Grands Prix in all, but scored no championship points. He also participated in numerous non-Championship Formula One races. With the death of Archie Scott Brown at Spa in May 1958, Brian Lister hired Bueb to fill the now-vacant Lister-Jaguar driver's seat. Bueb did an admirable job, scoring several first places at tracks such as Crystal Palace and Goodwood during the 1958 and 1959 sports car campaigns.
Bueb is perhaps best known for sharing the winning works Jaguar D-type with Mike Hawthorn in the 1955 24 Hours of Le Mans which was marred by an accident in which 82 spectators were killed; a success he repeated with Ron Flockhart in the ex-works Ecurie Ecosse car in 1957.He suffered serious injuries in 1959 when he crashed his BRP Cooper-Borgward Formula Two car at the Charade Circuit near Clermont-Ferrand, France. He crashed at Gravenoire, a multiple apex-section at the very far end of the circuit, and was thrown out of his Cooper. He died six days later at a hospital near the circuit.It was Ivor Bueb's death, in conjunction with Archie Scott Brown's demise, that finally led Brian Lister to shut down his very successful sports car racing effort.Jack Fairman
Jack Fairman (15 March 1913 – 7 February 2002) was a British racing driver from England. He participated in 13 Formula One Grands Prix, making his debut on 18 July 1953. He scored a total of five championship points, all of which came in the 1956 season.Kenneth McAlpine
Kenneth McAlpine, OBE DL (born 21 September 1920) is a British former racing driver from England. He was born in Cobham, Surrey. He participated in 7 Formula One World Championship Grands Prix, debuting on 19 July 1952. He scored no championship points.
During the development of the Connaught Racing Team based at Send in Surrey, McAlpine became a considerable financial backer and enjoyed several team owner triumphs including Tony Brooks's memorable F1 victory at Syracuse, Italy in 1955. The team was eventually broken up in 1958 and cars sold off, including one or more to a young Bernie Ecclestone.
After Grands Prix, McAlpine established a successful English wine growing and bottling business at his estate in Lamberhurst, Kent. He is a member of the McAlpine family that started the famous civil engineering company of the same name. He is also a member of The Air Squadron. Following the death of French driver André Guelfi on 28 June 2016, McAlpine became the oldest living Formula One driver.Lea-Francis
Lea-Francis is a motor manufacturing company that began by building bicycles.Les Leston
Alfred Lazarus Fingleston (16 December 1920 – 13 May 2012), better known as Les Leston, was a British racing driver, born in Bulwell, Nottinghamshire.Ron Flockhart (racing driver)
Ron Flockhart (16 June 1923 – 12 April 1962) was a British racing driver. He participated in 14 World Championship Formula One Grands Prix, achieving one podium finish and won the 24 Hours of Le Mans sportscar race twice.Roy Salvadori
Roy Francesco Salvadori (12 May 1922 – 3 June 2012) was a British racing driver and team manager. He was born in Dovercourt, Essex, to parents of Italian descent. He graduated to Formula One by 1952 and competed regularly until 1962 for a succession of teams including Cooper, Vanwall, BRM, Aston Martin and Connaught. Also a competitor in other formulae, he won the 1959 24 Heures du Mans in an Aston Martin with co-driver Carroll Shelby.
In 47 starts he achieved two F1 Championship podium finishes: third place at the 1958 British Grand Prix and second place at that year's German Grand Prix, and won non-championship races in Australia, New Zealand and England. In 1961 he was lying second in the United States Grand Prix when his Cooper's engine failed. At the end of 1962 he retired from F1, and stopped racing altogether a couple of years later to concentrate on the motor trade. He returned to the sport in 1966 to manage the Cooper-Maserati squad for two seasons, and eventually retired to Monaco.Stuart Lewis-Evans
Stuart Nigel Lewis-Evans (20 April 1930 – 25 October 1958) was a British racing driver from England. He participated in 14 Formula One World Championship Grands Prix, debuting on 19 May 1957. He achieved two podiums, and scored a total of 16 championship points. He also achieved two pole positions.
Although World Championship races held in 1952 and 1953 were run to Formula Two regulations, constructors who only participated during this period are included herein to maintain Championship continuity.
Constructors whose only participation in the World Championship was in the Indianapolis 500 races between 1950 and 1960 are not listed.