It was with great sadness that we learned of the death of Cyril Posthumus, who passed away on Saturday October 9.
Born on August 28 1918, he began his motorsporting career as Associate Editor of Autosport between 1950 and 1957, but eventually his untiring ability to mastermind the weekly publication of the magazine, against persistent odds, attracted the attention of our Chairman Wesley Tee, who invited him to join our emergent weekly sister Motoring News as Associate Editor and then, very quickly, Editor. He stayed until 1959, when he was succeeded by his assistant John Blunsden, and was invited back when John went freelance in 1961. This time Cyril left in 1963 to take up a position as Features Editor on Motor until 1966, whereupon he did a two-year stint with Motor Racing. After that he remained a freelance, more recently editing the Brooklands Society Gazette.
Cyril was of rather nervous character, and an excellent writer. He was very perceptive, and had a deep and enduring love of racing cars. He was the schoolboy motor racing fanatic, possessed of a plethora of facts and anecdotes.
I first became aware of him when I received a copy of his excellent book Land Speed Record as a Christmas present in 1971. It was, and is, the definitive work on the record. I felt honoured and privileged when, approached to update it in 1984, he no longer felt knowledgeable enough and suggested to Osprey that I do it instead. That gave me my first book opportunity and typified of his lack of ego, his desire for accuracy and his wish to help others. I’d devoured the book in one sitting first time around, and then I came to appreciate from the professional point of view too just what an excellent job he had done.
Arthur Benjamins, the motor racing and record breaking artist, once told me a story that epitomised Cyril’s penchant for self-effacement. Arthur had asked him to autograph his copy of the revised Land Speed Record and had posted it to Cyril. The latter had returned it, duly signed, but with a note attached. Cyril was worried that his signature had become a scrawl and that Arthur might feel it had defaced his book, and therefore offered to replace it with one of his own fresh copies if necessary.
Cyril leaves a widow, Betty, and son, and to them we extend our condolences on the loss of a real gentleman.
A terrible accident in the final round of the HEAT FF1600 Championship at Castle Combe claimed the life of Ian McArdell. The 29 year-old accountant from Farnborough, Kent, was disputing the lead with Bob Higgins when the two cars brushed wheels. McArdell hit the barriers with substantial force, and succumbed to serious head injuries two days later.
After attending the racing school at Brands Hatch, Ian started contesting that circuit’s local series in 1985. A long-time devotee of Formula Ford, he was best known for his exploits at Snetterton, where he won the regional FF 1600 title in 1989. After a year’s sabbatical in 1990, he transferred his attention to the Castle Combe series, just being pipped to the title by Nigel Jenkins. He was again chasing championship honours at the time of the accident.
We extend our sympathies to Ian’s family and his many friends in racing on their sad loss.
Geoffrey Kent, the man whose innovative marketing ideas revolutionised F1 sponsorship, passed away recently. Kent was responsible for introducing John Player to F1 racing, via its Gold Leaf brand, with Team Lotus in 1968. We extend our sympathy to his widow, Brenda, and to all his family and friends.