In the pantheon of British racing greats, few have attained the near mythical status of Britain’s first Formula One World Champion Mike Hawthorn.
With the help of his father, Hawthorn began racing first with bikes and then cars in the late ’40s. Showing great talent in Rileys and an Ulster Imp, Hawthorn made his first Formula One start in the 1952 Belgian GP, where he drove his Cooper Bristol to a noteworthy 4th place. Nine races later, Hawthorn won his first GP, the 1953 race at Reims, and went on from there to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1955 and then the Formula One World Championship in 1958. Tragically, Hawthorn’s life was cut short the following year, when he lost control of his Jaguar sedan, while driving home on a rainy evening, and crashed into a tree.
This month’s featured Web site pays homage to Hawthorn, with a wide variety of histories, photos, tributes and trivia. In addition to an extensive biographical history of Hawthorn’s life, there are sections devoted to the cars he raced, Hawthorn-related memorabilia, numerous examples of Hawthorn-related artwork and media, as well as a large section devoted to the strange circumstances surrounding his untimely death. Of particular interest is information in the latter suggesting that Hawthorn may have been prone to episodes of “blackouts,” which may have played a role in his death.
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