DRIVERS: CAREL GODIN DE BEAUFORT

Name: Carel Godin de Beaufort
Nationality: Holland
Date of birth: April 10, 1934 - Maarsbergen
Date of death: August 3, 1964 - Dusseldorf

Jonkheer Carel Pieter Anthonie Jan Hubertus Godin de Beaufort was, as his name suggests, a Dutch aristocrat. His family was well known in banking and political circles. In 1882 the family acquired Maasbergen Castle, near Amersfoort, and in 1888 Karel Antoine Godin de Beaufort was named finance minister. His brother, Willem Hendrik de Beaufort, later served as Dutch Foreign Minister.

Carel de Beaufort started in his teens, getting into trouble for driving the cars of family guests when they visited Maasbergen Castle in the late 1940s. In 1955 he bought an MG and took part in a few local rallies before acquiring a Porsche 1500 Super and racing it at Zandvoort. The following year another competitor Mathieu Hezemans sold him a Porsche 550 Spyder and the pair raced the car at various events around Europe, including the Mille Miglia and at Le Mans.

In 1957 he got hold of a Porsche 550A-RS and drove it in the Formula 2 category at the German GP, finishing third in his class and 14th overall. He drove the same car at the 1958 Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort and finished 11th. He then began driving a factory Porsche 718RSK, although he drove his first proper F1 car Hans Herrmann's Maserati in the 1959 French GP.

He enjoyed some success in sports cars but also had lucky escapes, not least at AVUS in 1959 when he went over the North Wall (where Jean Behra was killed) and landed in a car park down below. He drove the car back through the paddock and out onto the race track before being black flagged. In 1960 he tried his hand with a Formula 2 Cooper.

With a change of regulations for 1961 the Porsche F2 car became eligible for F1 and de Beaufort's orange Porsche, run by his own Ecurie Maarsbergen, was a regular sight at F1 races in the years that followed, achieving several good results, notably second in the non-championship Syracuse race and third in a similar race at Zeltweg. He continued to use the Porsche 718, buying a second car in 1963 and running it for other drivers.

By 1964 the car was outdated and de Beaufort missed most of the races but he wanted to race at the Nurburgring. Alas, trying to qualify, he crashed at Bergwerk and died of head injuries in hospital in Cologne 24 hours later. A popular man in F1 circles he was buried at Maarsbergen.

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