A salute to Piers Courage, the last of the gentleman racers

Frank Williams and British motorsport mourned the loss on this day in 1970 of Piers Courage, who was tragically killed at the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort.

Sir Frank had graduated to Formula 1 in 1969 with an immaculately-prepared dark-blue Brabham BT26 for Courage to display his abundant talent.

One year later, Williams switched to a De Tomaso chassis built around the readily available Cosworth DFV. But it was a slow start for both the new car and its driver in 1970.

Courage did his best however to grab the machine by the scruff of its neck. The Brit qualified well at Spa but was sidelined early on by reliability issues.

Alas, tragedy struck at the following race, held in the dunes of Zandvoort, where Courage slid wide after a suspected tyre failure, ran up a banking and crashed, perishing in the flames fueled by the car's magnesium tub.

It was a huge blow to Williams and to British motorsport. Piers Courage was just 28.