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The son of a successful Belfast trader, Desmond Titterington was educated in Scotland and roomed with Archie Scott-Brown for a time. He began racing in 1951 after graduating from St Andrews University and won the 1952 Leinster Trophy with an Allard J2. A fine fifth on the road (and sixth on handicap) in the following year’s Tourist Trophy when sharing Robert Dickson’s Aston Martin DB3 confirmed his promise.
Sixth in the 1954 Monte Carlo Rally, he joined Ecurie Ecosse to replace the injured Jimmy Stewart later that year. Winner of the 1955 Ulster Trophy, he missed that year’s Le Mans 24 Hours after an accident at the Nürburgring left him concussed and with a broken nose.
Mercedes-Benz works driver and Formula 1 debut
Fit once more, Titterington finished second in the 1955 Goodwood Nine Hours when sharing an Ecosse Jaguar D-type with Ninian Sanderson. The season ended with an invitation to race for Mercedes-Benz in the Targa Florio. Titterington drove the fourth placed Mercedes-Benz 300SLR with John Fitch as the Stuttgart marque clinched the World Sportscar Championship.
Titterington also finished a fine third in the 1955 Oulton Park Gold Cup on his Formula 1 debut for Vanwall. For 1956, he planned to drive for Jaguar in sports cars and Connaught in selected F1 races. Third in the Reims 12 Hours as Jaguars filled the top four, Le Mans was a disaster for Titterington. He crashed during practice (narrowly missing a couple of trees) so the spare D-type was readied for the race. Co-driver Paul Frère started but hit the wall at the Esses on the third lap so Titterington never raced.
Also third in the 1956 International Trophy at Silverstone, Titterington made his Grand Prix debut at the Northamptonshire airfield circuit. He qualified a Connaught B-type in a promising 11th position but the con rod broke after 74 laps of the race.
A full season was expected in 1957 but the promising 28 year old suddenly quit racing to concentrate on his successful supplies company in Northern Ireland. When Ulster was engulfed by the sectarian "Troubles" in the early 1970s, Titterington moved back to Scotland where he died in 2002.