Johnny Dumfries Obituary
Handsome, sleek and very quick, he looked every inch the champion in waiting. In 1996 he offered family furniture and work which fetched £10.7 million at Christie’s. Three years later he offered the island of Great Cumbrae, in the Firth of Clyde, for £1 million, and in 2000 he offered a rare copy of Audubon’s Birds of America for £5.5 million.
Yet along with his aristocratic background John Colum Crichton-Stuart, Earl of Dumfries, had supplied a colourful addition to the F1 circus. And in truth his background might slightly have helped him negotiate the often fraught politics of Formula One. Invariably self-deprecating, he described himself as “utterly ineffective” at negotiating himself a deal. It meant, regardless of his burgeoning status, he solely had one yr at a Grand Prix team, driving for Lotus as Ayrton Senna’s quantity two. He never hit it off with Senna, later admitting he most likely knew the enigmatic Brazilian much less after a 12 months working with him than he did earlier than.
He lost 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 school education to pursue his hobby of motor racing. After spells as a painter, decorator and driver of the Williams’ group bus, his perseverance paid off and he began to get some drives in karting in 1980. From there he graduated to Formula Three, profitable the British Championship in 1984, which gained him a season take a look at driving for Ferrari whereas struggling in Formula 3000. Installed at Lotus but lacking expertise with 1,000-horsepower turbocharged F1 cars, he soon discovered that an aloof Senna was being given the higher equipment. By midsummer it had been made clear that there could be no second season with the staff; as part of a deal to amass Honda engines, his seat would go to a Japanese driver.
- However, the automotive was not easy for a rookie to tame and Dumfries struggled to make an impression.
- He was born within the family citadel at Rothesay in 1958, the heir to certainly one of Scotlandís oldest aristocratic households and one of the largest fortunes, and the descendant of a British Prime Minister.
- The Renault-powered 98T was one of many quickest and most powerful cars of the turbo area.
- Apart, that’s, from attending the annual dinner of the ‘Rat Pack’, the informal dining club of former British racing drivers.
He lived with his household in London and on the ancestral seat Mount Stuart House, 5 miles (eight.0 km) south of Rothesay on the Isle of Bute. In December 2020 he was charged with breaching COVID-19 rules for allegedly travelling with others to his Isle of Bute home.
He signed a Maranello take a look at contract that proved to be a useless finish, having earlier turned down an opportunity with Bernie Ecclestone and Brabham. He gained 4 races within the European F3 collection, and regardless of not contesting all of the rounds, he was a detailed runner-as much as champion Ivan Capelli. He scored 10 victories and won the title simply – along 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 focus on his F3 marketing campaign. Having given himself a surname that may not entice consideration, Dumfries first made his mark in FF1600 in 1980.
Formula One Record
On a observe he knew properly Johnny was once more inside the top-ten during qualifying at his home GP at Brands Hatch. In our image we see Johnny at the start of the German GP at the Hockenheimring, in his evasive motion to the Johansson/Fabi accident to the left of him. Some mid-race confusion within the Lotus pits meant that he was unlucky not to rating factors in his premier GP. Dumfries’ Lotus had developed a misfire mid-race and he arrived in the pits just on the time that Senna was about to pit for brand spanking new tyres. The pit crew promptly modified the tyres on Johnny’s automobile and despatched him out again. Next time across the pit was occupied by Senna and Johnny had to battle round one other lap with the misfiring engine before having the ability to pit again.
Even a critical karting accident on the age of twenty-two, when he broke both ankles, did not put him off. “He spent his complete life trying to reside down the actual fact he was descended from Robert the Bruce,” says Damon Hill, remembering his fellow Formula One driver, whose death, aged sixty two, was introduced this week. Back in 1984, the word in motor racing circles was that there was a brand new next big factor revving up on the grid.
While Senna gained two grands prix that 12 months, the Earl of Dumfries may do no better than a fifth place in Hungary. Discarded at the finish of the season, he was by no means in a position to make his way again into F1, though in 1988 he achieved the distinction of becoming the primary member of the British aristocracy to win the Le Mans 24 Hours race since Lord Selsdon in 1949. The younger Brazilian, already recognised as Formula One’s outstanding new talent, was adamant that all the staff’s efforts wanted to be concentrated into supporting the No 1 driver, that means himself. The man in the second car was effectively there to make up the numbers. Bute was born in Rothesay, Argyll and Bute, into certainly one of Scotland’s oldest aristocratic families, the son of Beatrice Nicola Grace Weld-Forester and John Crichton-Stuart, 6th Marquess of Bute, and the descendant of a British Prime Minister. Bute was inheritor to a big fortune, and turned his back on an expensive education at Ampleforth College and set about pursuing a career in motor racing.
A assertion from the Dumfries family confirmed the passing of the “devoted husband, father, brother, uncle, son and grandfather and beloved by all” on Monday. Johnny Dumfries, who was Ayrton Senna’s teammate at Lotus in 1986, has died at the age of 62 following a short illness. He bought a second family mansion, Dumfries House in Ayrshire, to the Prince’s Foundation, a charity run by the Prince of Wales, in 2007. In December 2020 he and six different individuals, aged between 21 and ninety, were charged with breaking Covid-19 travel guidelines after a journey from London, where he had a house in Ladbroke Grove, to Bute. In 2007, the opposite family house Dumfries House in Cumnock, Ayrshire, was offered to the nation for £45 million.
He acquired a automobile from early mentor Bert Ray, whose manufacturing facility primarily based near Brands Hatch, and his cousin Charlie helped out with contacts where he might. Johnny Dumfries, who has died after a short sickness on the age of sixty two, will always be greatest remembered for his yr as Ayrton Senna’s Lotus teammate in 1986. In sportscars he was entered in a Sauber C9 which he shared with the enigmatic Mike Thackwell and none other than the present CART staff owner Chip Ganassi, for his first Le Mans in 1987.