From left to right: Peter Warr, Team Manager for Lotus, Ayrton Senna and Johnny Dumfries (Photo by Sutton Images / Motorsport Images / Shutterstock).
John Cullum Crichton StewartEarl Dumfries, became known in motorsport as Johnny Dumfries. A member of the British nobility came to Formula 1 And in his only year he was a companion Ayrton Sina In the Lotus team in 1985. Overwhelmed by the Brazilian and without a place in Maxima, he went to the World Series of Prototypes, where he won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1988. Today, at the age of 62, his family announced he had died of a rapid illness.
He was born on April 26, 1958 on the 120 km long Scottish island where the family castle is located. He was the seventh Marquis of Bout, but far from building his life on the well-being of high society, Dumfries was influenced by his immense passion for racing cars. Although he decided to run with this name to hide his aristocratic origin.
Despite being an heir to fortune, he started from the bottom with his own budget for the competition and set out for the British Formula Ford 600, driven by Ray. He held various jobs and was a painter and decorator, as well as a truck driver for the Williams team. When he arrived at the scene, few people knew that he was, in fact, the Earl of Dumfries, son of the Marquis de Bout.
Although in 1984 he showed what was made and what is British Formula 3 champion, At that time one of the best promotions in the world and where Sina had devoted the previous year. He jumped into the Formula 3000 in 1985 (then a precursor to F1), but he wasn’t a good performer and being a Ferrari test driver was hardly a consolation.
By 1986, the Italian Elio de Angelis Lotus left to go to Brabham (killed that year in a test at Paul Ricard) and the vacant place was filled by Dumfries, but by decision of Cena himself, who had known him since his time in F3. Ayrton, although the previous year was already a winner at Maxima, he didn’t want a partner like De Angelis. Besides because the team founded it Colin Chapman I didn’t have enough budget to outfit two competing cars. So he chose someone who was not up to his level and the Scotsman had this opportunity.
Jan Lammers, Johnny Dumfries and Andy Wallace celebrate your victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (Motorsport Images / Shutterstock).
However, out of 16 races in the season, he finished only six and his best result was fifth in Hungary. In the rest of the competitions in which he crossed the line, he ranked ninth in Brazil and Portugal, seventh in the United States (Detroit) and Great Britain, and sixth in the last date held in Australia.
That season, Johnny added only 3 points and finished 12th in the tournament. Overshadowed by Cena, who scored two victories and fought for the title to the end. The poor performance of the British and the entry of Honda engines in the Lotus around 1987 led to his departure. Is that the Japanese called for their own pilot and Satoru Nakajima Was his replacement.
With no place for him in Formula 1, Dumfries migrated to the prototypes of world sports in 1987 where he ran some races and that was the following year when he achieved glory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the most important long-range race on the planet. That was with Jaguar, the brand that won the French event again 30 years later. Success was next to the English language Andy Wallace And dutch Jan Lamers.
That year, he also competed in the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) and took 16th place in the event aboard a Ford Sierra RS Cosworth.
He retired in 1991 and went to live on Butte Island, which he inherited after his father’s death in 1993. There he ran the estate of the Mount Stuart family and although he devoted himself to painting, it is estimated that he had wealth in close proximity to 165 million pounds ($ 230 million).
Arguably Johnny Dumfries was the last playboy in Formula One at a time when super-professionalism was just beginning. He had more sacrifice than talent, but he knew how to earn a spot until he reached the pinnacle of motorsport.
With information from Agence France-Presse
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At the age of 16 and without a driver’s license, he won two classes on the same day