Johnny Dumfries Obituary
Handsome, glossy and really quick, he appeared every inch the champion in ready. In 1996 he offered family furniture and paintings which fetched £10.7 million at Christie’s. Three years later he sold the island of Great Cumbrae, in the Firth of Clyde, for £1 million, and in 2000 he bought a uncommon copy of Audubon’s Birds of America for £5.5 million.
Yet with his aristocratic background John Colum Crichton-Stuart, Earl of Dumfries, had provided a vibrant addition to the F1 circus. And in truth his background may barely have helped him negotiate the often fraught politics of Formula One. Invariably self-deprecating, he described himself as “completely ineffective” at negotiating himself a deal. It meant, despite his burgeoning popularity, he only had one yr at a Grand Prix group, driving for Lotus as Ayrton Senna’s quantity two. He by no means hit it off with Senna, later admitting he most likely knew the enigmatic Brazilian much less after a yr working with him than he did before.
He misplaced his drive in 1987 when Lotus did an engine deal with Honda, which was conditional on them signing Satoru Nakajima. Educated at Ampleforth College, he ditched his public faculty schooling to pursue his hobby of motor racing. After spells as a painter, decorator and driver of the Williams’ staff bus, his perseverance paid off and he began to get some drives in karting in 1980. From there he graduated to Formula Three, successful the British Championship in 1984, which gained him a season test driving for Ferrari whereas struggling in Formula 3000. Installed at Lotus however missing experience with 1,000-horsepower turbocharged F1 vehicles, he quickly found that an aloof Senna was being given the higher tools. By midsummer it had been made clear that there could be no second season with the group; as part of a deal to acquire Honda engines, his seat would go to a Japanese driver.
- In 1985, Dumfries graduated to the brand new Formula 3000 collection, which featured a mix of bespoke equipment and former F1 vehicles.
- The closest he came, thereafter, to the heights of his seventh general in 1984, was with Arrows in 1988.
- Dumfries gained the British Formula Three championship in 1984, succeeding Senna, and spent a yr as a Ferrari take a look at driver in 1985 before being signed by Lotus.
- While Senna received two grands prix that 12 months, the Earl of Dumfries could do no better than a fifth place in Hungary.
- After a few years with the Toyota and Cougar teams, in 1991 he retired from racing to run the household estates, his father having fallen sick.
As for Alliot, he spent an excellent deal extra time as an F1 driver, however with precious little reward – seven factors in more than a hundred races. Whilst capable of a blindingly quick lap time, he was never the entire article, erratic being the best word. Like de Cesaris and Jarier , the speed wasnt all the time there, and typically a crash wouldnt be distant. For 1994 he grew to become the Peugeot-appointed McLaren take a look at driver and did one race for the banned Häkkinen and one for Larrousse earlier than a swap to Touring Cars. 1985 saw Johnny share his driving duties between an Onyx March 85B and a works Lola T950 in the inaugural F3000 International Championship. There was little success in the F3000 championship but by the tip of 1985 Johnny had already logged miles in a Grand Prix automotive for Brabham, McLaren, Lotus, Williams in addition to his Ferrari duties.
He signed a Maranello test contract that proved to be a useless end, having earlier turned down an opportunity with Bernie Ecclestone and Brabham. He gained 4 races in the European F3 collection, and despite not contesting all of the rounds, he was an in depth runner-as much as champion Ivan Capelli. He scored 10 victories and gained the title easily – together with his prize together with a McLaren F1 check. He even turned down a chance to sub for the injured Martin Brundle at Tyrrell to concentrate on his F3 campaign. Having given himself a surname that would not appeal to attention, Dumfries first made his mark in FF1600 in 1980.
Formulation One Document
On a observe he knew properly Johnny was once more inside the top-ten during qualifying at his house GP at Brands Hatch. In our picture we see Johnny initially of the German GP on the Hockenheimring, in his evasive motion to the Johansson/Fabi accident to the left of him. Some mid-race confusion in the Lotus pits meant that he was unlucky to not score factors in his premier GP. Dumfries’ Lotus had developed a misfire mid-race and he arrived within the pits simply at the time that Senna was about to pit for brand new tyres. The pit crew promptly modified the tyres on Johnny’s automotive and despatched him out once more. Next time around the pit was occupied by Senna and Johnny needed to wrestle round one other lap with the misfiring engine earlier than with the ability to pit once more.
Even a critical karting accident at the age of 22, when he broke each ankles, did not put him off. “He spent his whole life trying to live down the very fact he was descended from Robert the Bruce,” says Damon Hill, remembering his fellow Formula One driver, whose dying, aged 62, was announced this week. Back in 1984, the word in motor racing circles was that there was a new subsequent massive thing revving up on the grid.
He also gained his first sportscar expertise, driving a Porsche 956 digital camera car at Spa and at Sandown Park, sharing at the latter with Sir Jack Brabham. In 1983 he graduated to F3, the place he was initially run by former racer Dave Morgan. The following yr he took a step up to Dave Price’s frontrunning team, with sturdy BP backing.
He switched to sports cars, first racing for Sauber, earlier than his move to Jaguar for 1988 and then additionally drove for the Toyota and Cougar groups before retiring from racing at the end of 1991. The struggle didn’t go unnoticed and in 1984 Dave Price Racing took him on with cash from BP. The staff was so successful that it also took half in the European series that yr and Dumfries finished runner-as much as Ivan Capelli. This earned him the job of being a Ferrari check driver in 1985 whereas contesting the brand new European Formula 3000 championship with Mike Earleís Onyx team, although it was not an enormous success. He was born in the family citadel at Rothesay in 1958, the inheritor to certainly one of Scotlandís oldest aristocratic families and one of the biggest fortunes, and the descendant of a British Prime Minister.
After testing for Ferrari for Formula 1 in 1985, in 1986 he was signed by Team Lotus alongside Senna and competed in 15 Grands Prix that season. But he struggled against the good and extra experienced Brazilian and was dumped from the group after a year. He started in 1980 racing karts, graduating the next yr to Formula Ford, ending fourth in his third race and notching up two wins. After retiring from racing, Bute focused on changing his ancestral family residence, Mount Stuart, into a vacationer attraction. His exploits had brought him to the eye of various F1 staff managers, and in 1985 he signed a contract with Ferrari to check a four-cylinder automobile built to the next set of F1 laws. But when those rules were scrapped, so was his relationship with the Italian group.
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