Gra­ham Boothby 1953-2016

Classic Racer - - REGULAR PADDOCK GOSSIP - Words: Malc Wheeler

The world of clas­sic rac­ing lost a true leg­end when Gra­ham Boothby passed away at his home in France, on July 30, aged just 63. A for­mer teacher, Gra­ham pro­vided an out­stand­ing ser­vice through his busi­ness, TGA, to hun­dreds, if not thou­sands, of clas­sic rac­ers around the world. He founded the busi­ness in 1980, along with fel­low teacher Tony Teas­dale, as a way of earn­ing a lit­tle bit ex­tra for trips around the UK to the em­bry­onic CRMC meet­ings, of which Gra­ham was a found­ing mem­ber. By 1990 the busi­ness had taken over and Gra­ham gave up teach­ing. In 2003 TGA moved to North­ern France. A for­mer racer him­self, Gra­ham put lots back in to the sport through TGA and spon­sored the CRMC from day one, as well as sup­port­ing AFAMAC in France, CRMB in Bel­gium and Time Tun­nel in Ja­pan. When Alan Cath­cart launched the In­ter­na­tional His­toric Rac­ing Or­gan­i­sa­tion, Gra­ham was on-hand to help from the start and since 1994 had run IHRO alone, of­ten de­scribed as a ‘benev­o­lent dic­ta­tor’. The mod­ern take on the Con­ti­nen­tal Cir­cus proved pop­u­lar with rid­ers, en­thu­si­asts and cir­cuit own­ers alike and soon in­vi­ta­tions from the lat­ter the length and breadth of Europe rolled in. By keep­ing the rules tight, IHRO showed a new gen­er­a­tion what Grand Prix looked like in the golden era of our sport. The so­cial side of the sport was also im­por­tant to Gra­ham, just as it was back in the day, and Julie and I have en­joyed many such oc­ca­sions with Gra­ham and Euwain at the big race truck. Gra­ham and I were friends from the launch of the CRMC and I’ve al­ways tried to sup­port IHRO through Clas­sic Racer. We’ve ‘en­joyed’ some heated de­bates, and more glasses of wine than was per­haps good for us, but through good times and bad Gra­ham was al­ways a good lis­tener and a gen­uine friend. All at Clas­sic Racer send their deep­est sym­pa­thy to Gra­ham’s fam­ily and friends around the world.

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