Geoffrey Duke, perhaps better known as a motorcycle champion, died on May 1st 2015, aged 92. But he raced on four wheels for a short while, for the Aston Martin team. Late in 1951, on the suggestion of Lord Brabazon, he switched to four wheels and sports car racing. Brabazon arranged a test with Aston Martin and racing manager John Wyer considered that Duke had “great potential”.
Duke drove a DB3 to take third place in the Goodwood Easter Monday Race in 1952. The year after that he took a Works Aston Martin to the 12 Hours of Sebring endurance race in Florida, teamed with Peter Collins, but they crashed and failed to finish. In the summer of 1953 he went fully back to motorcycles and went on to become a renowned champion of his preferred sport.
The Aston Martin Heritage Trust has a considerable collection of photographs of Geoff Duke from that era, taken by Louis Klementaski. We shall be remembering him in a future journal article.