Johnny Dumfries, Racing Driver And Scion Of One Of Many Richest Households In Scotland
His last appearance at Le Mans came in an historical Porsche-powered Cougar C26S. The flat-6 expired on lap 45 and with it the Earl of Dumfries pale away from the large scene. At the 2000 Festival of Speed Johnny – in the art business these days and himself a gifted painter – put on a new set of overalls, these being fireplace-proof once more, as he reacquainted himself along with his Le Mans-profitable Silk Cut Jaguar mount. A happy rendez-vous with his erstwhile staff chief Jan Lammers preceded a spectacular run up the hill – or quite, towards the hill, as Johnny missed his breaking point at Molecomb, the sharp lefthander turning in the direction of the hill ascent. The Big Cat slid off straight forward and comprehensively thumped the hay stacks.
“I was always uncomfortable with inherited wealth. I have always had a strong work ethic and felt I had not earned it,” he advised the Independent in 1999. Between the wars, aristocrats – a cigar clamped in teeth and a Martini in hand – would purchase themselves a seat in a Bentley to test their mettle. In the Nineteen Seventies Lord Hesketh financed his own Formula One group from the family coffers, using the suitably posh James Hunt to drive his vehicles.
But in the extremely-aggressive F3000 championship Johnny seemed lost as he didn’t have any strong showings. 8W is forix.autosport.com’s motorsport history section and covers the drivers, vehicles, circuits, eras and expertise that formed the face, sounds and smells of motor racing. Dumfries raced for them the complete season with two points-scoring finishes from 16 starts, his best was a fifth place in Hungry.
After Formulation One
Dumfries gained the British Formula Three championship in 1984, succeeding Senna, and spent a 12 months as a Ferrari check driver in 1985 before being signed by Lotus. In 2002 he decided to advertise the Mount Stuart Motorsport Classic ñ a motoring festival at his household home on the Isle of Bute in Scotland. The occasion was a giant success however was too huge for the services and has since disappeared.
Then, in a cruel mid-season coincidence, Derek grew to become the one to go to Brabham, not following De Angelis but changing him. Carel Godin de Beaufort, Wolfgang von Trips and Siamese prince “B Bira” are just a few of the later names to crop up in World Championship racing correct. He had all the time liked being behind a wheel; his father had taught him how to put his foot on the throttle by letting him spin round Bute as a toddler. It wasn’t long after leaving Ampleforth School with no qualifications, aged 16, that he set his sights on driving fast for a dwelling.
- Another point adopted when he finished sixth in the season-ending Australian Grand Prix, a race where he famously carried an onboard camera on his 98T, capturing his opening lap at Adelaide.
- After retiring from racing, Bute centered on converting his ancestral household residence, Mount Stuart, right into a tourist attraction.
- His last appearance at Le Mans got here in an ancient Porsche-powered Cougar C26S. The flat-6 expired on lap forty five and with it the Earl of Dumfries faded away from the big scene.
- He gained 4 races within 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 retained few ties with the game – he remained involved with close pals like Dave Price – however because the years handed he was able to look again fondly.
Dumfries’ biggest win of his career was in the Hours of Le Mans with fellow International F3000 drivers Jan Lammers and Andy Wallace. It was Johnny Dumfries’s good fortune to be born into the Scottish aristocracy, as a descendant of Robert the Bruce and the heir to the marquisate of Bute. It was his unhealthy luck, when his career as a grand prix driver seemed to be taking off, to be chosen to associate Ayrton Senna in the Lotus group during the 1986 season. In 1986, he made his breakthrough into F1, and raced a single season for the JPS Team Lotus. He was a late addition to the team, apparently because of Ayrton Senna not wanting Derek Warwick as a teammate. He competed in 15 Grands Prix for Lotus , which used the turbocharged Renault engines and scored three championship points.
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He loved the camaraderie of the garage, but by no means sought a status as a quick liver. There aren’t any chortling tales of him swigging from a bottle of Scotch as he spun spherical Silverstone with a few racy debs within the again seat. Indeed, when he take a look at drove for Ferrari he raised many a neighborhood eyebrow by refusing a glass of Lambrusco that was offered to all of the drivers with their extended lunch.
In Alliot’s case, there was all the time a French team round to offer Philippe yet one more break, regardless of his mediocre talent – in an age when the variety of entries was soon to peak at forty it seems someone all the time had a seat left for the Frenchman. At McLaren, Ron Dennis allowed Gordon’s low-line ideas to sink in with chief designer Steve Nichols, the pair arising with perhaps probably the most dominating GP machine ever, the McLaren-Honda MP4/4. Johnny Dumfries, nonetheless, was the residu of Ayrton Senna’s grinding mill, and he remained so, left with completely no probability to rejoin Grand Prix racing.
Four wins and two seconds received him within four points of the victorious Italian, while four extra wins at residence won him that title by a crushing margin. This led to a experience with Onyx in F3000, but he solely managed to attain a single point, at Vallelunga, and he was let go early. Having done some testing for the Lotus F1 staff, nevertheless, a better chance opened up for him in 1986. This happened when Ayrton Senna informed the team that he wouldn’t accept Derek Warwick as his new team-mate, following the departure of Elio de Angelis to Brabham. The Brazilian reasoned, quite probably accurately, that Lotus have been, at this stage of their illustrious historical past, unable to correctly area two aggressive cars that could challenge for good outcomes.