We look back at the historic sporting event that celebrates its ‘birthday’ this week. This time the Dutch Grand Prix in Zandvoort on May 20, 1962.
In the fifties there were only three types of drivers: factory drivers like Juan Manuel Fangio and Stirling Moss, a group of young talents and the so-called ‘gentleman drivers’. One of them is the Dutchman Carel Godin de Beaufort. Her name already gives it away: The goddess de Beaufort is noble. That is why he is also called racing esquire.
It is one of his many nicknames. He is also called Careltje. And that while he is not particularly small in almost two meters and 118 kilos. Among the drivers he is also called ‘Fatty Porsche’. Esquire likes cars from the German manufacturer, but sometimes it’s not worth it. That is why he always drives a Porsche 718. He is also known for driving without shoes.
Fall from 15 meters
After being ready to drive the famous 24 hours of Le Mans, Godin de Beaufort makes his debut in Formula 1 in 1958. Not a success. More than twenty minutes after the winner Fangio, the first Dutch driver crosses the line.
Godin de Beaufort narrowly avoided death a year later when he released his Porsche track during the Berlin Grand Prix. Porsche falls fifteen meters. Miraculously enough, he is able to continue the race at first. In the end, he doesn’t reach the finish line.
At the weekend of the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort in the spring of 1962, Dutchmen Ben Pon and Rob Slotemaker also drive with jonkheer. The latter is not eligible. Pon, who is making his debut in the premier class of motor racing, qualified tenth. After two laps he exits the track. Godin de Beaufort knows the best races.
He starts in fourteenth position. “Carel Godin de Beaufort gave a surprising and excellent performance, who, after an unusual race, brought his Porsche to sixth place in this field of twenty drivers,” Algemeen Dagblad wrote a day later.
A Beatle wig
In the following years, ‘Fatty Porsche’ remains a familiar face in Formula 1. He manages to score four points in total. In 1964 he stood out during Grand Prix qualifying at the Nürburgring by wearing not a helmet but a Beatle wig. It will be the last weekend that the esquire will participate.
During free practice he falls into the infamous Bergwerkbocht. Godin de Beaufort is taken to the hospital in Cologne with serious head and chest injuries. He dies a day later. He was only thirty years old.