Sportscar driver and constructor Louts Descartes died at the end of December when his road car crashed into a tree north of Paris. He was the epitome of the private entrant in endurance racing, compensating for his lack of success with an enormous amount of enthusiasm for the sport.
Descartes, who was 40, started racing in 1972 but concentrated on building up his publishing business. He eventually formed his own team in 1984 with a BMW powered car, the ALD (Automobiles Louis Descartes), and the high point in his career was to finish 11th at Le Mans in 1987 with Dominique Lacaud and Jacques Heuclin as co-drivers.
His untimely death casts doubt on the future of ALD in the FIA Cup sports car category. M L C
Our sympatnies go out to Eddie Jordan and the whole of his dedicated F1 team, following the death in a road accident before Christmas of the popular Irishman Richard ‘Bosco’ Quinn. He was 30.
The accident occurred late at night, as Bosco returned home from another long stint finalising details of Jordan GP’s move into its brand new F1 facility opposite Silverstone.
Irishman Quinn started his long association with Eddie Jordan back in 1983, working as mechanic. Apart from a couple of seasons with the Magnum F3 team, he remained loyal to EJ. He became manager of the EJR F3 team in 1988, before taking charge of the factory as Eddie concentrated on his F3000 programme and his long-term F1 ambitions.
Ironically, the move to the new site was scheduled for December 20, just 48 hours after his death. Motor Sport offers its sincere condolences to his family and many friends in racing. He was truly likeable man. The sport is poorer for his passing. S A
The successful pre- and post-war racer George Abecassis died shortly before Chnstmas, aged 78.
After establishing his reputation with an Austn Seven and latterly an Alta in the mid ’30s. he flew with distinction in the Second World War.
After hostilities had ended, he was quick to resume his competition career. In 1947, he set up HWM with friend John Heath, the marque’s first sports car appearing one year later. While Abecassis’ own sports car racing activities centred on an Aston Martin, HWM’s single seaters were handled by several promising newcomers, among them Moss and Collins.
HWM pulled out of motor racing after Heath’s death in the 1956 Mille Miglia, though Abecassis himself continued in the motor trade under the HWM banner, finally retiring in 1980. His love of the sport remained intact throughout, and he took a particular interest in the museum at Brooklands, where he had first made his name.