The Motor Sport Month - Obituaries
Fifteen years after suffering a devastating accident in a GT race at Nogaro, Soames Langton died in late April at the age of 44.
Langton first made his name racing historic singleseaters and sports cars, notably Can-Am McLarens in the early 1990s, having taken over the family classic car business when his father Stephen was killed in the historic race supporting the 1985 European Grand Prix at Brands Hatch.
Soames progressed into GT racing, but the Porsche accident in 1996 left him in a coma suffering `locked-in syndrome’, a condition from which he never recovered. Before the accident, he was a larger-than-life character and an excellent racer.
Aviator, garagiste, racer and rally driver Douglas WilsonSpratt has died aged 89.
His diverse motor sport career included Bentleys, Triumphs and Minis on track, while he shared a Reliant with Raymond Baxter on the 1963 SpaSofia-Liege rally, won his class in a Cooper S on the 1964 Acropolis and won the Monte Cibie in 1959, among many rally entries. But it is his streamlined WSM Sprites and MGs which will be best remembered. Several restored WSM cars have recently been racing, notably at Goodwood, and one qualified on pole at Brands Hatch just days before his death.
Eric Liddell, the former international sports car racer, died in early May.
He started his motor sport career as a speedway rider in the early 1950s and later switched to cars with a Cooper 500 and then an Emeryson F1 car, which burnt out at Charterhall before its first race.
It was in sports cars that Liddell really made his name, racing in Britain and Europe through to the late 1960s. Notably, he raced a Ford GT40 for Nicol Cuthbert and was a good friend of Paul Hawkins. He quit racing in 1969, soon after Hawkins was killed at Oulton Park.
His son Robin is now a successful GT racer, based in the United States.