This long-time sportscar entrant and driver died suddenly after suffering a stroke at his Miami home at the end of October. He was 63.
One of the true gentlemen racers on the international GT scene, O’Rourke enjoyed a highly successful career in the music industry, including being the manager of Pink Floyd. This allowed him to indulge his passion for motorsport, both through his collection of historic sportscars and single-seaters, and via his EMKA Racing team in contemporary endurance events.
Le Mans held a particular fascination for him. He first raced there in 1979 in a Ferrari 512BB, and the highlight of his career was finishing fourth overall in 1998 in a McLaren F1 GTR co-driven by Tim Sugden. O’Rourke also paired with Sugden to win the 1997 British GT title before latterly taking EMKA into FIA GTs.
In 1981, O’Rourke shared his BMW M1 with friend Derek Bell. They finished second in the Silverstone 1000Km, before he famously allowed Bell out of his contract to join Porsche’s factory line-up for Le Mans, which Bell then won. EMKA also built its own Aston Martin-powered Group C car, which briefly led at Le Mans in ’85.
He stopped driving this year on medical grounds, but still oversaw his team’s Porsche 911 to two FIA GT class wins.