NOTICE OF DEATH - PETER WESTBURY
Members will be sad to learn that Peter Westbury passed away peacefully earlier this week at the age of 77 after a long illness. Peter first made his name in British motor sport when he won the British Hillclimb Championship in 1963 in his supercharged Daimler V8-powered Felday 1, a car which he had built himself at his Felday Engineering premises, at that time in his back garden. The following year he was loaned the unique four wheel drive Ferguson-Climax P99 and repeated his championship success. In 1965 and 1966 Peter built a series of sports-racing cars with 4wd and also helped BRM with the development of its 4wd Formula 1 car, the 670-P. The BRM V8-powered Felday Mk 4 sports-racing car in the hands of the late Mac Daghorn won first time out at Boxing Day Brands Hatch in 1965 and on August Bank Holiday 1966 at the same circuit was driven by Jimmy Clark to a 2-litre class win in part 1 of the Guards Trophy race, only to retire in the second part.
Although both Peter and Mac had enjoyed success with the Feldays in 1966, for the following year they committed to international 1-litre Formula 3, a very different environment from that which they had been accustomed to. FIRST (Felday International Racing and Sports Car Team) was established to run three Brabham BT21s for Peter, Mac and rising star Derek Bell. With his previous F3 experience, Derek enjoyed the most success but Peter adapted well to the cut-and-thrust of F3 and was immediately on the pace. A particular strength was slipstreamers and he won the Grand Prix des Frontieres at Chimay, not a circuit for the faint-hearted, in both 1967 and 1968, the F3 race supporting the Daily Express International Trophy at Silverstone in 1967, and the mad dash around Reims to win the 1968 Coupe de Vitesse by 0.1 sec from Francois Cevert. For 1968 Derek had moved to Ferrari and Peter drove a very yellow Brabham BT21B with a Felday-tuned engine, under the Ian Walker Team Celerity banner.
For the next four years Peter raced in Formula 2, invariably with Brabhams and, particularly in the earlier years, was a consistent front-runner. In his first season with the BT30 he finished fifth in the European F2 championship for non-graded drivers, started his only F1 race in the F2 class of the German Grand Prix, and won an end of season non-championship race at Neubiberg. His liking for the ultrafast, slipstreaming races carried on from F3 with second place (to Robin Widdows) in the Monza Lotteria in 1969, and third place in 1971 with his BT36, and a couple of third places in 1969 and 1970 at Hockenheim. In 1970 he renewed his association with BRM which entered him in a P153 for the US Grand Prix at Watkins Glen but the engine failed in practice and he was unable to qualify. Peter also drove sports cars as often as he could fit the races in around Formula 2, his best result being fifth place in the 1971 Targa Florio with Mike Parkes in a Scuderia Filipinetti Lola T212.
Peter retired from racing in early 1973. In 2000 he was elected a Full Member of the BRDC and was a welcome visitor to Silverstone and Goodwood. In recent years he spent much of each year in Tobago with his wife Jenny to whom the BRDC offers its sincere condolences. Peter's funeral will be held at Guildford Crematorium on Friday 30 December 2015. All are welcome. The family have requested no flowers.