LETTERS RIP David Stokes
I had known of David Stokes through reading as a schoolboy about his escapades in a Ford Escort in the 1970s as a Ford works-backed driver and him becoming British Castrol/ Autosport Rally champion in 1976.
After a massive accident in 1980 he decided to give up rallying and concentrate on running his family business.
This is where our paths first crossed as we were both from family baking businesses and competed with each other. With our mutual love of rallying we could only become friends.
David was very much his own man and told it to you as he saw it and if you didn’t like it, well get over it. He was honourable with a good sense of humour and was good company to be out and about with.
In 1996, I persuaded him to get back to a rally car, my car, the first time in 16 years and he did Sweet Lamb. Then, in early 1997, he did the Wyedean.
I remember at scrutineering they found the bag tank was out of date by about eight years and they made us change it and his brother Andrew found an old Ford Capri tank which he put in overnight.
David still managed 32nd overall in an old dilapidated Pinto-powered Escort: not bad considering what he was competing against at the time.
Not too long after that, he and his brother Andrew were out looking to buy a bodyshell to build a car and for his return to the rallying scene.
His return to the sport saw his determination drive him to be one of the most competitive drivers out there. He did tell me one of the drivers told him they were having a nice jolly until he turned up. He was a class act in the car and was always there or thereabouts. If you have ever watched his in-car footage, you would see there is very little input in for the greatest amount of output, making him one of the most tidy and consistent drivers.
Year-in and year-out David put
the effort in becoming British champion three times and runnerup on many occasions. In the latter years, with Guy Weaver at his side, they were a formidable team on any event.
David will be a massive loss in so many areas, especially to his wife Sue and all his family but also to the baking industry and of course to British rallying. David I will miss you. Jonathan Brace Via email
■ Blyton Park, Gainsborough
Jack Neal Memorial Rally Starts 0930hrs Admission TBA Web cdmconline.com