British racer Tony Rolt died at the age of 89 on Wednesday. Anthony Peter Roylance Rolt, born October 16th 1918, was the last surviving driver of F1 s first modern World Championship Grand Prix at Silverstone in 1950.
Major Rolt resigned his army commission at the end of WW2 to continue his racing career. During the War he was awarded the Military Cross for his ‘defence of Calais’ and subsequent Bar for his audacious escape attempts from POW camps including the notorious Colditz Castle.
Rolt raced in three British Grand Prix during the nineteen fifties, but due to mechanical failures failed to score a single point. In the 1950 British Grand Prix, he managed just four laps before his ERA s gearbox failed. In 1953 the half-shaft of his Connaught Lea Francis broke after 70 laps, and in 1955 the throttle on his Connaught Alta failed.
Rolt faired better at Le Mans, winning the 1953 24 Hours race driving a Jaguar C-Type alongside Duncan Hamilton. He retired from racing in 1955, joining Ferguson Research Ltd before setting up his own company in 1971 called FF developments.