Former Lotus Racer Johnny Dumfries Passes Away, Aged 62

Former Lotus Racer Johnny Dumfries Passes Away, Aged 62

However, somewhat than spending the household fortune, he tried to make it on his personal, not using his name to open doors. Never one to undergo fools gladly, he retained a dry sense of humour – and always had a down-to-earth perspective on his profession. At the same time, that was the tip of an F1 career for the Scottish aristocrat but his greatest success in racing still had to come.

Dumfries struggled to determine himself but was quietly dropped at the finish of the year. He turned as a substitute to sports automobiles and have become a Jaguar driver in 1987, successful several races together with the 1988 Le Mans 24 Hours. He finished off his profession with the Toyota factory sports activities car group in 1989 and 1990. His solely season of F1 was in 1986 for Lotus, where he scored three factors to complete 13th in the championship.

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He got to Lotus in 1990, however their finest days were lengthy gone, so then it was into sportscars earlier than an F1 revival in 1993. Currently his Triple Eight Race Engineering runs the Vauxhall Vectras within the BTCC, which he himself drove in ‘ninety seven-’98, with a win at Knockhill. Lotus secured a second supply of the Honda engines already utilized by Williams, and a condition of this was to give the second seat to Satoru Nakajima of Japan. He would do some test driving for Benetton, but then it was into sportscar racing with Porsche, Toyota, Jaguar.

There’s no lack of ambition in F1 in the intervening time as Ferrari chases a competitive comeback, Red Bull becomes an engine manufacturer in its own proper and Aston Martin returns – aiming for championship glory in 5 years. After a few crashes Dumfries was dropped by Walkinshaw, and for 1989 he went to the new TOM’S Toyota World Championship operation, with John Watson and Geoff Lees alternating as his staff mates. By now he’d attracted the attention of fellow Scot Tom Walkinshaw, which led to a drive in a Jaguar XJR-eight at Spa. His inventory remained high, and he gained F1 expertise testing for varied teams, notably Ferrari.

Obituary: Johnny Dumfries, 1958

He then moved to London the place, adopting the name Johnny Dumfries, he labored as a painter, decorator and jobbing builder and later as a mechanic at a garage at Elephant and Castle, before going on to pursue his career as a racing driver. Dumfries turned as an alternative to endurance racing, first for Sauber then, from 1987, with Tom Walkinshaw’s Jaguar team, successful a number of races together with the 1988 Le Mans 24 Hours. After a few years with the Toyota and Cougar teams, in 1991 he retired from racing to run the family estates, his father having fallen unwell. In 1988, Bute scored the most important racing victory of his profession when he won the Le Mans 24 Hours, driving a Jaguar XJR-9 for Tom Walkinshaw’s Silk Cut Jaguar Team alongside Dutchman Jan Lammers and Englishman Andy Wallace. Inexperienced, and with the group focusing on Senna, Dumfries had an underwhelming season, finishing solely five races and including one additional factors putting to his Hungarian outcome when he was sixth in the season-closing race in Australia. A new driver mixture, a refreshed mentality and winter developments targeted on the weaknesses of its 2020 Formula 1 automotive places Ferrari in a much stronger position heading into the brand new season.

John Colom Crichton-Stuart, the Earl of Dumfries, preferred to make it in his personal proper, so stuck with the more basic “Johnny Dumfries.” Ironically, it appears, his profession lost momentum by way of lack of adequate backing. In 1980 he made his start, driving karts, and in 1981 it was on to Formula Ford. His capability was adequate that he moved to F3 with Dave Morgan, two years later. Then, in 1984, he really blossomed with the Dave Price Racing / BP Ralt-VW. From the first seven rounds of the British sequence, he received six and had one second place. That just about set him up for a dominant display, and he was ready to fit in loads of rounds within the European championship, the place he additionally challenged for supremacy against such abilities as Ivan Capelli and Gerhard Berger.

Bute additionally participated within the 1-hour endurance race within the 1988 British Touring Car Championship at Donington Park with fellow ex-F1 Briton Guy Edwards for Andy Rouse’s Kaliber Racing team in Ford Sierra RS500, ending third total and in Class A. In 1984, Bute, then known as Johnny Dumfries, was the feeling of the F3 season, scoring 14 race victories on his approach to winning, and fully dominating, the British Formula three Championship for Team BP . He additionally completed runner-up to Ivan Capelli in the European Formula Three Championship that yr. In 1985, he graduated to the newly created FIA International Formula 3000 Championship, initially competing for Onyx Race Engineering before switching to Lola Motorsport. It was a disappointing season, with a sixth-place finish in Vallelunga being the highlight of the 12 months. Two years after his sole F1 season, Dumfries cemented his status as a more-than-helpful pedaller by taking overall victory on the 1988 Le Mans 24 Hours alongside Jan Lammers and Andy Wallace, at the wheel of a Jaguar XJR-9LM.

johnny dumfries

His family launched a statement which described him as a “devoted husband, father, brother, uncle, son and grandfather and liked by all”. While finding out Sports Journalism at the University of Central Lancashire, Chris managed to talk his way into working on the British Grand Prix in 2008 and was retained for three years before becoming a member of ESPN F1 as Assistant Editor. After three years at ESPN, a spell as F1 Editor at Crash Media Group was followed by the most important task of launching F1i.com’s English-language website and operating it as Editor. Present at each race for the reason that start of 2014, he has continued constructing his freelance portfolio, working with worldwide titles. As properly as writing for RACER, he contributes to BBC 5Live and Sky Sports in the UK in addition to working with titles in Japan and the Middle East. “The indomitable spirit and energy which Johnny delivered to his life might be significantly missed, and the immense heat and love with which he embraced his family,” the assertion learn.

Johnny climbed out and raised his hands towards his helmet in despair however fortuitously the XJR9 proved far more sturdy than the Maserati Birdcage that had gone off a while earlier than and was towed away with a severely bent nose. The Toyota years of 1989-’90 did not deliver much for Johnny in the way of results. Unreliable automobiles and powerful opposition from TWR Jaguar, Sauber-Mercedes but in addition – little question a lot to the dissatisfaction of the Toyota people – the improving Nissan cars prevented that. A seventh place at Jarama and an eighth at Spa-Francorchamps had been Johnny’s poor rewards. The early promise proven at Jacarepagua wasn’t fairly fulfilled and the rest of the season was not on par with his debut drive. An early accident during qualifying on the twisty Monaco track meant that poor Johnny even needed to put a DNQ on his 1986 resumé.

Career Factors

Back in 1984 Johnny had been topped British F3 champion, driving a Ralt RT3/eighty three-Volkswagen for Dave Price Racing. The blue-blooded Scot was on his method to the double in 1984 but he ultimately finished second within the European Formula three Championship on 53 factors, Ivan Capelli taking the title on 60 factors. Thanks to his 4 wins Dumfries completed ahead of Gerhard Berger, who scored forty nine points. 1984 had additionally seen Johnny pattern a Lotus-Renault 95T at Donington Park as his testing expertise were extremely regarded. He retired from racing in 1991 due to the illness of his father, and took over the family estate in 1993. An unassuming and unpretentious individual, he has few airs or graces and prefers to be called John Bute.

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