An accident on Rally Great Britain resulted in the loss of one of the most well-liked figures in the sport.
Michael Park was the latest in the tradition of British co-drivers who gained their spurs in road rallying and then found their métier reading pace notes to top World Rally Championship drivers.
In late 1999 Park met up with Markko Märtin. They peaked with two WRC wins for Ford in ’03 and three more in ’04, putting them third in the points.
A move to Peugeot came for this year. Märtin was never happy with the 307, but Park’s infectious humour was shared with the TV audiences thanks to the in-car camera. He certainly made an enormous contribution to the Estonian’s performances by defusing the serious moments. He took everything in good part, including the universal use of his schoolboy nickname of ‘Beef’. He will be much missed. — JDFD
LeonardJ K Setright has died, aged 74. How can we ever forget this unique chap, who dressed for race meetings as if for luncheon at a top hotel, and who in books and magazines tackled such difficult technical subjects as the biographies of famous automobile designers, the first book about aero-engines from 1903, GP cars, motorcycle history, etc? I gather that his presentation to editors was impeccable — would that I could say the same. I felt his style was, perhaps, influenced by that of another great character, the late Laurence Pomeroy Jnr.
The motoring writers’ world has lost a great character and a notable contributor of erudite articles and books in inimitable prose. — WB
The most charismatic of the ‘old school’ of British racing drivers died at the beginning of October in Bahrain.
Andrew Hedges’s principal association was with MGs, but before that he had been introduced to bobsleighing when working for the family meat business in Switzerland In ’55. He was later to be a member of the British Olympic bobsleigh team in ’64, when he was also competing in powerboat racing!
In ’64 and ’65 he was paired with Paddy Hopkirk in a works MGB for Le Mans — in the latter year they finished fourth in the GT class. Hedges did the Targa Florio three times in MGs, the best placing being ninth overall in an MGC with Timo Mäkinen in ’67. He won the Marathon de la Route at the Nürburgring in ’66 with Julian Vernaeve and the same year took an MGB to a class win at Mugello accompanied by Robin Widdows.
Also with Hopkirk, he took Sebring12 Hours class wins in 1967 (with an MGB GT) and ’68 (MGC GTS). Lately he had lived abroad but often returned at British Grand Prix time to enliven the BRDC enclosure. — JDFD
Born in Sweden but a naturalised Finn since 1961, this prime mover in Scandinavian motorsport died recently aged 86.
Curt Lincoln was a leading light in the post-war 500cc Formula Three movement and raced sportscars too, sometimes on ice. He was also a Formula Junior ace in the early ’60s. Throughout his career he competed mostly in Scandinavia, but made a handful of impressive forays further afield.
Lincoln was responsible for building the Keimola track in 1965-66 and ran Ronnie Peterson close in an F3 race there in ’67 — aged 49! Our sympathies to his family, including his daughter Nina Rindt.– MS