Don Beauman

26/7/1928 - 9/7/1955

Record updated 16-Jul-09

A popular figure on the national racing scene, Beauman was killed when he crashed his ex-Hawthorn Riley during the Leinster Trophy race in Wicklow, Republic of Ireland.

Don Beauman
Born in Farnborough, Hampshire, Donald Bentley Beauman was a shy child but had a burning desire to race. An hotelier by trade, he started racing in 1950 competing in 500cc Formula 3 with a Cooper and quickly showed that he had great potential.

A great friend of Mike Hawthorn, Mike lent him his pre-war TT Riley to race in 1953. Though results were disappointing that year, he attracted the attention of the wealthy privateer, Sir Jeremy Boles.

In 1954 Sir Jeremy acquired a DB3/8 Aston Martin (NUV 925) and a Connaught A-Type, which was eligible for Formula 1 that year. His results were excellent winning the Formula Libre races at Oulton Park and Brands Hatch as well as taking a class win with the Aston Martin at Zandvoort.

He finished third at Chimay and again at Crystal Palace and then in July, took part in the British GP at Silverstone. He qualified in a respectable 17th place and finished the race in 11th.

His good form continued, finishing fourth in the Gold Cup at Oulton Park a few weeks later and then taking third in a race at Snetterton. He also finished second in the Madgwick Cup at Goodwood.

The 1955 season started with a third place in the Glover Trophy at Goodwood and a drive at Le Mans with a works Jaguar D-Type (XKD508), sharing the car with Norman Dewis. They failed to finish in a race overshadowed by the death of 84 spectators and the injuring of over 100 more when Pierre Levegh's Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR was involved in an accident and flew into the crowd, killing the driver as well.

A month later he was in Ireland to drive the Connaught in the Leinster Trophy held on the Wicklow road circuit in County Wicklow. The race was a handicap and Beauman set the fastest lap of 82.94 mph (133.45 km/h) on his first lap but then crashed on the down hill section leading to the Beehive pub corner on his second. He hit a tree and the Connaught caught fire. Sadly Beauman was killed instantly.