Bruce Halford (1931-2001) was a British racing driver who was active in the 1950s and early 1960s. He recorded nine participations in the Formula One World Championship between 1956 and 1960, not scoring points.
Outside F1, he gained some success in sports car races. He participated five times at 24 Hours of Le Mans but without some notable results.
Starting a racing career in sports car races
Born in May 1931 in Hampton-in-Arden, Warwickshire, Bruce Halford started his racing career in the mid-1950s. He was driving Riley TT Sprite in some national sports car events but also Cooper T20-Bristol in some international events, such was Bol d'Or in France.
He also recorded few races in an HWM-Jaguar and then purchased Maserati 250F to race in open-wheel races under Formula Libre rules.
Formula 1 debut at 1956 British Grand Prix
After few good results, such as a victory at Oulton Park in June 1956, Halford made a Formula 1 World Championship debut in July, driving a Maserati 250F in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. At the wheel of the #29 Maserati, he was 20th-fastest qualifier but retired from the race after 22 laps due to a broken engine.
Three weeks later, Halford went to Nürburgring to participate at German Grand Prix. He completed 20 laps at the famous 22.8km circuit but was disqualified because of a push start. Halford's third start in Formula 1 followed four weeks later at Monza, where he retired with the broken engine after 16 laps.
Miserable Le Mans debut in 1957 with Talbot-Lago
The season 1957 was marked by Halford's debut at 24 Hours of Le Mans. He joined French team Ecurie Dubonnet to drive the #23 Talbot-Lago Sport 2500 together with the Italian Franco Bordoni.
Unfortunately, Halford's debut at Le Mans was miserable because Talbot's transmission was broke immediately after the start.
Bruce Halford in the #16 Maserati 250F at 1957 Italian Grand Prix
Three Formula 1 starts in 1957
In 1957, Halford participated in three Formula 1 World Championship Grand Prix events in a Maserati 250F. He returned to Nürburgring and reached the finish line in the eleventh place. He completed 21 laps, one lap less than race winner Juan Manuel Fangio (Maserati).
Two weeks later, the Pescara Grand Prix was the penultimate race of the championship. On the 25-km long track, he completed nine laps before a transmission expired. In September, Halford raced at Monza and failed to finish the Italian Grand Prix again, retiring after 47 laps with a broken engine.
Racing with Lister-Jaguar at Le Mans in 1958 and 1959
In 1958, Halford spent a season driving a Lister-Jaguar in sports car races, mostly in the UK but also at Le Mans. He scored several podiums in national events. At Le Mans, Halford was sharing the #10 Lister-Jaguar with Brian Naylor. They finished the race 15th overall and fifth in S3.0 class. They were affected by engine problems and Naylor was even forced to repair a car on the track.
In June 1959, Halford was driving the #1 Lister-Jaguar in his third attempt at Le Mans, sharing a car with Ivor Bueb. Due to an engine problem, they stopped after nine hours.
Bruce Halford with his Lister-jaguar
Two unsuccessful attempts at Monaco Grand Prix
After one year out of single-seater racing, he returned to formulas in 1959 with John Fisher's Lotus 16-Climax. He was ninth at Formula 2 Lavant Cup and retired at Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix. He raced for just one lap at the streets of Monte-Carlo, then participating in a multi-car crash and retiring.
Halford returned to Monte-Carlo a year later, in May 1960, driving the #12 Cooper T45-Climax for Fred Tuck Cars. He wasn't among sixteen starters, failing to qualify for the race.
Good results in F2 non-championship races in 1960
Halford's last attempt in the F1 Championship was in the French Grand Prix at Reims in July 1960. He was driving the #48 Cooper T51-Climax for Yeoman Credit Racing Team, completing forty laps and finishing eighth.
Outside Formula 1, he recorded some pretty good results in F2 races, such as second place at Lombank Trophy, fourth place at Vanwall Trophy or fifth place at Lavant Cup.
Bruce Halford was driving the #5 Jaguar D-Type at 1960 Le Mans 24 Hours
Two starts at Le Mans with Ecurie Ecosse
In June 1960, Halford recorded his fourth participation at 24 Hours of Le Mans. He was a member of Ecurie Ecosse squad, sharing the #5 Jaguar D-Type with Ron Flockhart. The 6-year-old car stopped after 14 hours with a broken crankshaft. That year, Halford also raced in an Aston Martin DBR2, recording some good results, such was class victory at Brands Hatch International.
In the early 1960s, Halford wasn't returning to F1 or F1 but he spent few more years in sports car races. In May 1961, he won Whitsun Trophy at Goodwood in Ecurie Ecosse's Cooper Monaco T57. In June, he raced with the same car at Le Mans, sharing a car with Tommy Dickson. Halford had a crash early in the race, fortunately not being injured.
Halford pulled out from racing in 1963. He participated in some historic racing events during the 1970s.