The sad news about David Leslie (below) and Richard Lloyd reached me in Henley, late on Sunday afternoon.
It is always a shock when racing drivers lose their lives doing something other than pushing a car to the limits on track. They have chosen that as a job and so have, in a way, accepted the dangers of it. It is sad anytime someone loses their life, but for someone like Leslie to survive years of close racing in saloon and touring cars it seems so unjust that he should pass away like he did.
Leslie was on his way to the south of France to drive a Motorsport Jaguar XKR in an FIA GT3 equalisation test at Nogaro circuit tomorrow and Richard Lloyd (below), the sports car team boss, was also on the plane; having started Richard Lloyd Racing in the 80’s, he went on to take the Bentley team to overall victory at Le Mans in 2003.
From what we have been told the pilot, having taken off from Biggin Hill Airfield in Kent, reported severe engine vibration and was forced to make an emergency landing. The Cessna Citation 501 private jet went down in a housing estate and luckily the house, which it crashed into, was empty – the family having gone on holiday. Sadly all 5 people on the plane lost their lives.
A sad day for motor sport indeed.