Former commercial director of Williams F1 and a motor racing personality for the past half century, Sheridan Thynne died suddenly while on holiday with his wife in Egypt. He was 72.
Thynne discovered motor sport as a schoolboy at Eton and raced a variety of unlikely machines in his teens and twenties, finally settling on an 850 Mini. He campaigned this with some success until deciding that his talents lay more in advising and helping his racer friends – people such as Piers Courage, Charlie Crichton-Stuart, Charles Lucas and Frank Williams.
In 1979, as the Williams F1 team grew in stature, Frank appointed him as commercial director and he filled this role for 13 years, becoming one of the first and most successful of the modern breed of sponsor hunters. When Nigel Mansell left Williams acrimoniously in 1992 Thynne (above left) sided with him and followed him to the USA to help co-ordinate his Indycar campaign. Always a shrewd and articulate commentator on the current racing scene, in recent years he had become a familiar sight in British hillclimb paddocks, helping his son Piers with his 2-litre Dallara single-seater.