Sir John Whit­more: 1937-2017

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week - Richard He­sel­tine

For­mer tour­ing car star, Sir John Whit­more, died on 28 April fol­low­ing a stroke. He was 79. This un­pre­ten­tious racer turned jour­nal­ist and mo­ti­va­tional speaker in­her­ited the ti­tle in 1962, a year af­ter he had claimed the Bri­tish Saloon Car Cham­pi­onship with a Don Moore­tuned 848cc Mini Mi­nor. He had ac­quired the car for just £400. This suc­cess led to a con­tract with the works team for the fol­low­ing two sea­sons, which re­sulted in a class ti­tle in ’63. He also ex­celled in as­sorted Lo­tus Elites and For­mula Ju­nior sin­gle-seaters, yet his name is for­ever linked with Lo­tus Corti­nas.

The rac­ing baronet joined Alan Mann Rac­ing in 1964 and claimed the 1600cc cat­e­gory of that year’s Euro­pean Tour­ing Car Cham­pi­onship. He won the ti­tle out­right the fol­low­ing sea­son, with eight class wins from nine starts (six of them over­all vic­to­ries), while dove­tail­ing out­ings in Corti­nas with rac­ing works AC Co­bras and Ford GT40s.

How­ever, he re­tired from com­pet­i­tive driv­ing at the end of 1966 while still only in his mid-twen­ties. In later life, he be­came a highly-re­spected sports psy­chol­o­gist and colum­nist for The Daily

Tele­graph. In 1990, he was tempted to re­turn track­side aboard a McLaren M8F Can-Am car and was in­stantly a fron­trun­ner.

Whit­more (right) with Jack Sears (left) and Bob Olthoff in­spect their MGA ahead of the 1962 Se­bring 12 Hours race.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.