Peter Collins, 27-year-old British driver who was lying third in the world championships this year and who was hailed as a future champion, died after his Ferrari racing car left the Nurburgring track yesterday.
Peter Collins, 27-year-old British driver who was lying third in the world championships this year and who was hailed as a future champion, died after his Ferrari racing car left the Nurburgring track yesterday. At the time of the crash, Collins was in second place, battling for the lead with the eventual winner of this German Grand Prix, Tony Brooks of Great Britain.
Collin's Ferrari left the track in the 11th lap of the 15-lap race. It somersaulted several times and Collins was hurled out. He was taken to hospital at Adenau, nearby, given a blood transfusion and then flown by helicopter to Bonn, where he died without regaining consciousness in the neuro-surgical clinic at Bonn University.
His wife, the former Broadway actress Louise Cordier, whom he married last year, was in the pits at the time of the crash. She was driven at high speed in a Ferrari team sports car but arrived at the hospital too late to see her husband before he died. Mrs. Collins is the daughter of Dr. Andrew Cordier, executive assistant to the United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. Dag Hammarskjold.
Collins left the Aston Martin team in February last year to join Ferraris. Latest of his mounting successes was in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone last month.
When he crashed, Collins was taking a right-hand curve with Tony Brooks, whose Vanwall 2 1/2-litre set a new race average of 90.87 mph, and Mike Hawthorn, also of Britain. Hawthorn, in a later withdrew through mechanical trouble -- so did Stirling Moss, in a Vanwall -- and Royal Salvadori (Cooper) took second place, with Maurice Trintignant, of France (Cooper) third. Moss, who set up a new lap record of 93.5 mph, was in the lead until his car failed in the fourth lap. Mike Hawthorn still leads the world championship, with 30 points to Moss's 24. Brooks (8 pts from this race) is now third, with 18 pts.