Aston Martin’s world title bid had gone up in a flash of flame and puff of smoke. Or that’s how it seemed in the shock of the moment.
Enter sterling Stirling Moss.
But for his insistence that Aston send one of its DBR1s to the Nürburgring 1,000km – and his subsequent recovery drive to victory after co-driver Jack Fairman had levered the car from a ditch – there would have been no bid. For team owner David Brown, Huddersfield’s tractors-and-transmissions tycoon, had eyes only for Le Mans.
Moss, in contrast, was no fan of that trial of pace and patience. He much preferred a tear-up, preferably against the odds, preferably against Ferrari. And he was determined to add another notch to his gear lever at Goodwood’s 1959 RAC Tourist Trophy.
His car cooked by a refuelling fire that cost co-driver Roy Salvadori his eyebrows, team manager Reg Parnell his suitcase – ‘with a rather sizeable chunk of the firm’s money inside’ – and threatened to raze the pits, Moss was plugged into the car originally slated for Carroll Shelby and Fairman to share.