LET­TERS RIP David Stokes

Motor Sport News - - Karting -

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I re­mem­ber at scru­ti­neer­ing they found the bag tank was out of date by about eight years and they made us change it and his brother An­drew found an old Ford Capri tank which he put in overnight.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

Mo­tor­sport News,

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

Fe­bru­ary 10

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