October 17–18 brought a trip back in time for some of Britain’s F3 stars of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Bev Bond was a guest at the Silverstone meeting run by the HSCC, hosting a round of historic F3 for the “one-liter screamers.”
The following day, Bond, Barrie Williams, Alistair Pike, Tony Keele, and others went to visit another F3 star, Roger Keele, who has been ill for many years with multiple sclerosis. Pike brought along his Brabham, which was the car Roger raced in 1969.
Bond and Roger Keele started out racing Keele Karts together, built by Roger and Tony’s dad, Mike. Bond and Keele were known as the “Bultaco Boys.” Stirling Moss was a partner in Keele Karts.
Roger began motor racing in 1967 with a Formula 4 car called the Matador that was built by his father. In 1968, his father rebuilt a Cooper T83 owned by Alan McKechnie that Roger raced in Formula 3. He broke the lap record at at Cadwell Park with this car and frequently enjoyed good results. In 1969, Roger raced in Dr. Joe Ehrlich’s EMC F3 car to good effect, and also raced in Formula Ford. In 1970, he raced the works development Palliser WDB3. He became a man to be watched, with a 2nd place at Castle Coombe and a 4th place at Oulton Park’s Gold Cup meeting. In 1971, Roger raced a Crossle Formula Ford and in 1972 he raced for a team called Trabisco Kee, back in F3 with a Lotus 69, with Barrie Maskell as his No. 1 and teammate. At Monaco, Barrie stuffed the car in practice so Roger did not race and Barrie went off with that car as well. The team folded shortly after.
In 1973 Roger did a few races for Alan McKechnie in a March 723/4, and in 1974 his last race was at Mallory Park also driving a March 723. He then retired after having been diagnosed with a disabilitating illness that prevented him from achieving his dream.
Bev Bond said: “Roger was one of those racing drivers who had the talent but never really got the breaks, or was not in the right place at the right time. I believe that with the right backing and luck, and had he not had this illness, he would have achieved his dreams in Formula One. Roger enjoyed the reunion, and I am sure that all the enthusiasts for the Formula 3 “screamers” will remember Roger and wish him all the best.