Ron Flockhart, the young fair-haired Scotsman, led the opening lap until his BRM’s magnetos reached operating temperature, and promptly began to spark at random, causing it to misfire. Wharton blared by, followed by Salvadori in the gleaming new Maserati. There was little love lost between them and while Wharton maintained a margin of about a second, the 250F’s very efficient drum brakes and lighter weight enabled Roy to match the BRM under braking despite the V16 car’s sophisticated disc brake system.
For many laps Wharton’s head was swiveling side-to-side watching the nose of Salvadori’s questing car in his mirrors. He covered every move that Roy tried to set up, and Salvadori became increasingly frustrated by what he read as persistent baulking.
Finally, rugged Roy thought he saw a one-chance opening on the entry to Lavant Corner, where there’s a little kink and false apex on the run through the dip after St Mary’s. Seeing a narrow gap he lunged into the space. Ken Wharton saw the move immediately and simply ‘slammed the door’ once too often. The two cars touched, Maserati nose cone against BRM tail, the V16 spun broadside and was instantly rammed violently amidships, as Salvadori still had his foot buried on the loud panel, and Wharton – he had decided – was going to exit stage left.
But the impact was brutal, and the green Maserati bounced away, off onto the verge, its 6-cylinder engine stalled and – with nose cone crushed and crumpled – Roy’s race was over.