Mal­colm Neill

Motor Sport News - - Rally News -

For­mer RAC Rally and Rally GB clerk of the course Mal­colm Neill died last week fol­low­ing a short ill­ness.

Born into a mo­tor­sport fam­ily, Neill’s fa­ther Gor­don raced Bu­gat­tis and or­gan­ised the Cir­cuit of Ire­land Rally – an event Mal­colm ran him­self in the early 1970s.

It was, how­ever, run­ning Bri­tain’s round of the World Rally Cham­pi­onship for which he will be best re­mem­bered. For 14 years, from 1986 to 2000 (10 as clerk of the course and four as rally man­ager), Neill ruled over the event through ar­guably its big­gest and most suc­cess­ful years with Bri­tain’s Colin Mcrae win­ning in that pe­riod.

Cur­rent Rally GB co-or­di­na­tor An­drew Kel­litt was em­ployed by Neill in 1989.

“This rally has an aw­ful lot to thank Mal­colm for,” said Kel­litt. “When it was clear we had to al­low a recce on the event, it was Mal­colm who made it a two-pass speed re­stricted recce, which has be­come stan­dard around the world.

“The suc­cess of the Sun­day stages, when there was re­ported to be a mil­lion and a half spec­ta­tors, was thanks to Mal­colm’s dili­gence is do­ing com­mer­cial deals with the venues – he was more than just a clerk of the course.”

When he stepped down from Rally GB, he worked closely to es­tab­lish Rally of Turkey and Mex­ico as WRC rounds, his as­so­ci­a­tion with the Mex­i­cans re­mained this sea­son. As well as that, he es­tab­lished The Rally Show, which brought crowds to Chatsworth and Corn­bury for a week­end of ral­ly­ing.

Be­yond his time as an or­gan­iser, he was also a suc­cess­ful co-driver, win­ning the 1976 Done­gal Rally with Brian Nel­son in a Porsche 911.

Mal­colm’s funeral ser­vice takes place at West Berk­shire Cre­ma­to­rium, Bath Road, Thatcham, Berk­shire, RG19 4LD on Mon­day July 25 at midday. Friends are in­vited to the ser­vice and a celebration of Mal­colm’s life which fol­lows at Was­ing Park, Al­der­mas­ton, Berk­shire, RG7 4NE.

MN ex­tends its deep­est sym­pa­thies to his wife Irene, chil­dren An­drew and He­len and many fam­ily and friends around the world.

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