Obituaries

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Marcel Albers

The death of Marcel Albers at Thruxton on Easter Monday robbed Dutch motorsport of one its brightest young prospects. The immensely likable 25 year-old was just beginning to realise the promise that he’d shown in 1991, when he undertook his first season of F3 with Alan Docking Racing.

The excellent relationship between Marcel and ADR bore fruit in the opening F3 race of the present campaign, when he took his Ralt to victory from pole position at Donington Park. He ran second at Silverstone before engine problems intervened, and featured briefly in the lead in his final race. In short, he looked to be a formidable contender for outright championship honours.

We offer our heartfelt condolences to his girlfriend Sandra, father Jacques, mother Jeannette, brother Ronald and all at Alan Docking Racing.

Geoff Sykes

One of the prime figures behind the development of motor racing in Australia, Geoff Sykes passed away recently at the age of 83.

Secretary of the BARC during the club’s Aintree days, Sykes emigrated to the Antipodes where he founded the Australian Automobile Racing Club in the early ’60s.

In that capacity and as manager of the Warwick Farm circuit, he did much to stimulate international competition via the once thriving Tasman Series, which allowed the top local drivers to compete against the likes of Clark, Hill and Rodriguez. He also assisted and encouraging local youngsters such as Peter Collins and Peter Windsor, now respectively managing director of Lotus and team manager at Williams.

To his widow Meris and sons Richard and Robert, we extend our deepest sympathies at this sad time.

Count Rudy van der Straten

One of motor racing’s great privateers, Count Rudy van der Straten passed away recently in California. The Belgian formed Team VDS in the 1960s, initially running Alfa Romeos in sports car events. He later took his countryman Teddy Pilette under his wing. Pilette eventually graduating from sports cars to Formula 5000 with success, winning the European Championship in 1973 and 1975.

When F5000 fizzled out in Europe, Team VDS switched its activity to the USA, building an eponymous CanAm title with which Geoff Brabham won that title in 1981. In recent years, VDS had faded from the racing scene, though the Count did take an interest in CART.

Molly Cronin

It was with sadness and many fond memories that I heard of the death, on May 3, of Molly Cronin, Motor Sport’s first secretary. Shortly after our proprietor had taken over the magazine, just prior to World War II, she gave him great assistance in what was, then, a new venture for both of them. During that war, while I was away doing things for MAP, Molly took a big part in keeping the magazine going, coping with edited manuscripts.

Hostilities over, Molly was of inestimable help to me when I took over full time. She knew an astonishing amount about motor racing’s personalities, never forgot an episode or a face and kept us on our toes, year in, year out, until her retirement.

Myself, the staff and the readers in those days owed a great deal to this quiet girl, whose life was so bound up with seeing that we published on time every month.

For such enthusiasm and loyalty, my grateful thanks.