RIP Eoin Young: Kiwi doyen of motor sport journalists

| 7 Sep 2014

Eoin Young, Autocar columnist for over 30 years, renowned motor sport reporter, prolific author and personal friend of both Denny Hulme and Bruce McLaren, has died. He was 75.

Young's writing career began in his native New Zealand when he began to file race reports for his local paper, the Timaru Herald, which he worked around his job as a bank teller. During these early years, Young met an up and coming Kiwi racer named Bruce McLaren, quickly establishing a close friendship. 

He followed McLaren's career closely, ghosting his columns during his time with the Cooper Formula One team after he won the New Zealand 'Drive to Europe' scholarship in 1958. By 1961, Young had travelled to Europe to see the racing first hand, returning to New Zealand after 12 months abroad to take a position at the Hobart Mercury

However, he never took the job: instead, McLaren suggested that Young become his secretary, which he did. Before long he was made a director of McLaren's new team, Bruce McLaren Motor Racing Ltd, managing the team's day to day arrangements and helping to write the driver's Autosport column, which found its way into a number of other publications. 

By 1966 he parted company with McLaren, marrying John Surtees' former secretary, Sandra Bourne, and settling down in Surrey. It was at this time that he began writing Straight From The Grid, his weekly Formula One column in Autocar that would run for 31 years in various guises. 

He also turned his hand to public relations, most notably representing Elf-Tyrrell throughout the 1970s and '80s, though his insightful words were never far from Autocar. He returned to New Zealand 10 years ago.

RIP Eoin Spence Young 1939-2014