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NOTICE OF DEATH - ROY PIERPOINT (1929 - 2023)

It is with great regret that we must inform Members of the death yesterday at his North Devon home of BRDC Life Member Roy Pierpoint at the age of 93.

Roy was elected to Full Membership of the BRDC a few months after winning the 1965 RAC British Saloon Car Championship driving an Alan Mann Racing Ford Mustang, the achievement for which he is probably best remembered. His racing career had in fact begun many years earlier, in 1949, at Goodwood with a Fiat 1100 Special in a 3-lap handicap race.

Early in the 1950s Roy and his good friend the late Alan Mann took over The Wayside Garage in the Sussex village of Rusper, an enterprise funded by Roy’s father, a wealthy builder. Aside from the routine work of a typical village garage of the time, Roy and Alan specialised in the restoration and maintenance of what today are called classic cars. Their first restoration was a 1904 Mors owned by Roy’s father and was well received. The reputation of The Wayside Garage spread enabling the two partners to develop a flourishing trade in many of the sought-after sports cars of the day. Several of the stock was raced for fun on a fairly ad hoc basis to see how they performed including the ex-Jonathan Sieff/Peter Blond Jaguar D-type, the ex-works/John Bekaert HWM-Jaguar, a Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica, Jaguar XK120 and Tojeiro-Bristol.

Racing became more serious for Roy when he acquired the first of two Lotus Type 15s in 1960 and began to race in sports car events across the UK. After achieving mixed results in his first season with the car, Roy took his first win at the start of 1961 at Mallory Park in what would be his first full season of racing despite having set the ball rolling all of 12 years earlier. A couple more victories came later that year at Snetterton which would be the venue for perhaps Roy’s best result in the Lotus - fourth place in the 1962 Archie Scott-Brown Memorial Trophy behind Graham Hill’s UDT Laystall Lotus Type 19 and Michael Parkes and John Surtees in Ferrari 250GTOs. Later in 1962 Roy won the Anerley Trophy at Crystal Palace with the Lotus.

In 1963 Roy began his relationship with Attila, first with the front-engined Mk 2 powered by a 2-litre Coventry Climax engine as used in the Type 15s. The Attila was a competitive proposition in the 2-litre sports car class nationally although up against the 1600 cc Lotus 23Bs, Roy achieving a couple of third places at Mallory Park. Valentian Dare-Bryan, the designer of that first Attila, came up with the rear-engine, Ford V8-powered Mk 3 for 1964 which brought Roy some success including a notable win, ahead of Roger Nathan’s rapid 2-litre Brabham-Climax BT8, at the Ouston airfield circuit near Newcastle-on-Tyne, first place at Croft (1964 version) a couple of months later, and second place behind Jim Clark’s works Lotus-Ford Type 30 at Mallory Park.

The Attila project folded early in 1965 by which time Roy had seized the opportunity to contest the British Saloon Car Championship in one of the rare Ford Mustangs race-prepared by Alan Mann but entered and maintained by Roy’s own company Weybridge Engineering Ltd. This was not Roy’s first foray into touring car racing – in 1962 he had shared an Equipe Endeavour Jaguar 3.8 Mk 2 with Bruce Halford in the inaugural Motor 6 Hours at Brands Hatch. Delayed by severe transmission problems, Roy and Bruce finished a lowly 21st overall, many laps behind in a race won by the sister car of Michael Parkes/Jimmy Blumer. Armed with the Mustang Roy had a superb season, winning six races at the major British race meetings with second places in the other two rounds – to Mike Salmon at Snetterton and none other than Jack Brabham at Brands Hatch. These second places proved to be vital in the final reckoning which took account of the best six results; Warwick Banks in his Mini-Cooper S could match this but had failed to score in the other two races. The final race, at Oulton Park, almost cost Roy the title after he became a victim of a multi-car accident at Old Hall Corner on the first lap. In his bruised and battered car, Roy recovered to finish fourth on the road behind Jack Brabham’s Mustang and the Lotus Cortinas of F1 World Champion Jim Clark and Jack Sears. Jack’s Mustang was excluded after post-race scrutineering revealed non-compliant valve springs, thereby elevating Roy to the class win and maximum points.

For the next few years Roy continued in the BSCC, from 1966 to 1969 with a Ford Falcon Futura Sprint which, at least initially with a supercharger fitted in 1966, had reliability problems. Nevertheless there were wins at Crystal Palace and Brands Hatch as there were in 1968 when Roy won at Croft and Brands Hatch on his way to fifth overall in the final standings, his next best BSCC result. A switch to Bill Shaw Racing, which had taken Brian ‘Yogi’ Muir to second place in the ’67 series behind Frank Gardner’s Alan Mann Ford Escort Twin Cam, began very encouragingly with a run of four wins and a second place in the first five rounds but a switch to a Chevrolet Camaro Z28 did not go smoothly initially, despite which Roy won at Croft and Silverstone with the new car and ended up winning the championship class but only seventh overall in the final points.

In parallel with his saloon car exploits, Roy successfully kept his finger in the sports-racing and GT pie. His efforts in the Attila in 1964 had not gone unnoticed and for the following year he was offered occasional outings in the Lola T70s of Harold Young Ltd and David Good. At the end of the year Roy joined South African Formula 1 driver Dour Serrurier to share David Good’s car in the Kyalami 9 Hours. Although they didn’t finish, the race marked the first of three outings in the prestigious South African race and other events in the Springbok Series which produced victory in the 1966 Lourenco Marques 3 Hours and second place in the Cape Town 3 hours by which time the car was in fact owned by Roy. The T70 later went via Stirling Moss to Steve McQueen for his aborted film project Day of the Champion. The Falcon was also taken out to southern Africa for the 1966 Rhodesian Grand Prix at Kumalo, Roy finishing third behind Mike Haliwood in Bernard White’s Ford GT 40 and Basil van Rooyen’s Mustang.

Through 1967, when not racing in the BSCC, Roy shared Colin Crabbe’s Ford GT40 in the Nurburgring 1000 Ks and Reims 12 Hours, taking eighth overall on both occasions. He shared Terry Hunter’s Porsche 911 at Mugello and in the Nurburging 6 Hours, finishing sixth in the latter event and was 10th with Hugh Dibley in the Brands Hatch BOAC 500 in David Piper’s Ferrari 275LM. Back at Brands Hatch for the same race the following year, Roy was once more in David’s Ferrari, this time with Pedro Rodriguez no less as co-driver and coming home fifth overall in a world championship-level field. In 1969 Roy had David himself as co-driver of the latter’s Lola T70 Mk 3B and they finished 17th overall.

Roy’s last successes came with the works-developed Rover P6B which he shared with Roger Enever and Clive Baker in the 1970 Nurburgring 86 Hours. After 15 hours, the blue car was three laps ahead of the Porsche opposition only to develop a prop shaft vibration of such severity that it had to be withdrawn. Roy raced the red sister car in various special saloon club events in 1970, winning at Castle Combe, Silverstone, Mallory Park and Brands Hatch.

In the 1980s Roy raced in historic events with great enjoyment but hung up his helmet after a nasty accident at the start of a race at Silverstone in 1984 when his Ford GT40 collided heavily with the rear of a car which had stalled directly ahead of him.

An affable, amiable personality, Roy was a director of a plant hire company. He epitomised the best type of accomplished amateur who could be highly competitive against Formula 1 drivers in touring cars whilst enjoying his racing to the full. To his wife Jackie, daughters Olivia and Lisa (deceased); his stepdaughters Tess, Fiona and Linda; his wider family and friends the BRDC extends its deepest condolences..

The Club regrets to report on the death of Neville Hay, who was elected as a BRDC Member in 1993
The Club regrets to report on the death of Alan Minshaw, who was elected as a BRDC Member in 1984
The Club regrets to report on the death of Ray Thackwell who was elected as a BRDC Member in 1957
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