Festival organisers pay tribute to Mini racer

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Organisers of the Donington Historic Festival have paid tribute to Mini Cooper racer Christian Devereux, who lost his life after the crash at the event.

The Chiswick-based historic racer's 1965 Mini Cooper 'S' collided with another car in the Touring Car race and he later died from his injuries.

Duncan Wiltshire said: "This was the third Donington Historic Festival, and the first to be held over three days. By the Sunday morning we were very pleased with the attendance numbers, the quality of racing and of the various displays, as well as the friendly atmosphere that continues to make this event so special.

"But, of course, all that pales into insignificance in the light of that afternoon’s tragedy. Now the thoughts of the Donington Historic Festival team are very much with the family and friends of Christian Devereux, and everybody affected by the accident.

"We would like to thank Donington Park, the HSCC, the emergency services and marshals and all who helped after Sunday’s accident, for dealing with a very difficult situation in such a professional manner.”

Devereux, 50, was boss of Hexagon Motorcycles and a regular competitor in The Masters Series. He leaves a wife and two children.

A spokesman for the series commented: "Christian had been racing with us for just five years but had made a huge contribution to Masters racing in that time through his regular support of our races.

"He was always ready for a chat in the paddock with a smiling face and witty banter. On-track, he was a hard but fair racer, who had quickly become one of the fastest Mini exponents around."

More than 20,000 visitors attended the Festival, which boasted an 18-race card including the HGPCA Nuvolari Trophy for pre-1940 Grand Prix cars, the HMRN Pre-63 GT race, the Royal Automobile Club Woodcote Trophy for pre-56 sportscars, HSCC Historic F2 and the Formula Junior race.

The meeting also honoured Ayrton Senna, with seven cars once driven by the triple World Champion on display. Four of them were demonstrated on the circuit, including the JPS Lotus 97T in which Senna had his first-ever GP win, at Estoril in 1985.

Other attractions included some 1000 classic cars on display, historic rally car demos, fly-pasts, plus demonstration laps by Donington Park owner Kevin Wheatcroft in his painstakingly built replica of a 1937 Mercedes-Benz W125 Grand Prix car.

Comments

PaulJ

We were there over the whole weekend and due to circumstances had to leave during that tragic race, having photographed Christian hunting down a Mustang at Redgate a few minutes before the crash. We heard about his death on the news later on, and it immediately turned a weekend of happy memories into a weekend of sadness and reflection. Our thoughts are with his familly and friends.

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