John Hindmarsh

Full Name:
John Stuart "Johnny" Hindmarsh
Born:
25th November 1907
Hastings, East Sussex
Died:
6th September 1938 (Aged 30)
Weybridge, Surrey, during Hurricane test flight
Nationality:
British
Most recent race (in database):
Biography

J.S.Hindmarsh was a career soldier who graduated from Sandhurst as a tank commander in 1928. He began racing at Brooklands a year later and finished fourth in the 1930 Le Mans 24 Hours with Tim Rose-Richards and a Fox & Nichols-prepared Talbot GB90.

On secondment to the Royal Air Force at the time, Hindmarsh also learnt to fly that year. Adamant that flying was his future; he resigned his commission in the Army and transferred the RAF on a fulltime basis. He joined Hawker Siddeley as a test pilot in early 1935 and was one of the three men entrusted with initial testing of the Hurricane fighter plane later that year.

Surprise victory at Le Mans

His finest achievement as a racing driver also came in 1935 when paired with Luís Fontes at Le Mans. Alfa Romeo had been pre-race favourites but their red Arthur Fox-entered Lagonda Rapide took the lead after 18 hours and held on for an unexpected victory.

He competed in the race again in 1937 but was by then fully committed to developing the Hurricane. It was in this pursuit that Hindmarsh lost his life in 1938 while on a test flight above Brooklands. He inexplicably crashed into the nearby St George’s Hill golf course and was killed instantly.

A quiet and unassuming man, he had married fellow racing driver Violette Cordery seven years earlier and one of their two daughters would later marry Roy Salvadori.