At 21 Tony Rolt was a lieutenant in the Rifle Brigade when in May 1940 his unit was ordered to France to help try to hold back the German advance. Rolt was in charge of one of the reconnaissance platoons and soon found himself in the thick of the fighting as the defenders of Calais fought for three days to hold back the 10th Panzer Division and so delay its attack on Dunkirk. This was of vital importance as it meant that large numbers of British soldiers were able to evacuate, but the defenders of Calais were not so lucky and Rolt was taken prisoner. He then dedicated himself to escaping from Germany and after seven escapes he was finally sent to the maximum security German prison at Colditz. It was there that Rolt dreamed up the amazing idea of building a glider in the attics of the castle and flying two men out. The castle was liberated by the Allies before the glider was ready to fly. Rolt was awarded a Military Cross for his conduct in the Battle of Calais.
Major Tony Rolt MC was a British war hero who took part in the first ever F1 World Championship race at Silverstone in 1950 sharing a car with Peter Walker and later adding another 2 Grands Prix starts to his tally. He also won the 1953 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race with Duncan Hamilton in a works C-Type Jaguar, nearly repeating the result the following. Aside being an accomplished race driver, Tony was an engineer with a vision of making four-wheel drive work for performance cars. He retired from racing in 1955 and, with his mechanic Freddy Dixon, formed Dixon Rolt Developments which pioneered the viscous coupling.
Tractor manufacturer Harry Ferguson became the main backer of the project, hence the first 4WD race car they produced was called Ferguson P99, the only 4WD car to win a Formula 1 race with Stirling Moss taking it to victory in the Gold Cup at Oulton Park. The 4WD concept was also quite successful in America and in 1966 was built into the Jensen FF road car. After Ferguson’s death Rolt he founded FF Developments in 1971 , a huge success with its technology being used throughout the motor industry and later sold to Ricardo Consulting Engineers. Tony Rolt retired a wealthy man and when he died early in 2008 after a spell of ill-health, he had been the last surviving driver from the inaugural World Championship Grand Prix held at Silverstone.
Майор Тони Rolt - британский герой. Кроме того опытный автогонщик Тони был также инженером считавшим что автомобиль должен быть полноприводным. Он ушел из гонок в 1955 году и, с его механиком Фредди Диксон, образовал Dixon Rolt Developments. Фирма стала разрабатывать использование гибкой связи в схеме 4x4.
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