Eric Thompson

Full Name:
Eric David Thompson
Born:
4th November 1919
Ditton Hill, Surrey
Died:
22nd August 2015 (Aged 95)
Guildford, Surrey
Nationality:
British
Most recent race (in database):
Biography

Eric Thompson was a Surrey-based Lloyd’s broker with Morice, Tozer & Beck who raced when his professional commitments allowed. He enjoyed some sports car success and finished in the points on his one Grand Prix appearance.

Le Mans and Grand Prix finisher

He made the first of seven starts at Le Mans in 1949 – finishing eighth and winning his class with Jack Fairman and a 1500cc HRG-Singer. Thompson joined Aston Martin for the 1950 Le Mans 24 Hours but retired early both that year and again in 1952.

However, the 1951 race was altogether more satisfactory with Thompson sharing the third placed Aston Martin DB2 with Lance Macklin. Despite all of his experience so far coming in sports cars, Thompson joined Connaught for the 1952 British GP at Silverstone. Originally a reserve driver, he was allowed a start when three cars withdrew. He qualified ninth and he was up to fifth by the second lap. He drove an impressive and consistent race to complete his only world championship race in that position.

He started another three non-championship Formula 2 races in 1953 with his Connaught now entered by Rob Walker. All were at Snetterton and he won both an Aston Martin Owners’ Club-organised race in April and the subsequent Redex Trophy.

Victory at Goodwood

But his greatest victory came in the 1953 Goodwood Nine Hours when he shared the winning Aston Martin DB3S with Reg Parnell. They also finished second from scratch in that year’s Tourist Trophy at Dundrod – a round of the inaugural World Sportscar Championship.

Thompson shared a Lagonda DP115 with Dennis Poore in the wet 1954 Le Mans 24 Hours but he crashed at the Esses after three hours. The 1955 Goodwood Nine Hours was his last race before retiring to concentrate on his insurance career.

Even then, Thompson remained in touch with the sport, working in the Aston Martin pit as time keeper throughout the decade and running a motoring bookshop in later life.

Championship seasons