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JOHNNY DUMFRIES: 1958–2021

JOHNNY DUMFRIES: 1958–2021

Posted by James Howe on 23rd March 2021

Image: Simon Miles via Getty Images

Johnny Dumfries – otherwise known by his official title John Crichton-Stuart, 7th Marquess of Bute – has passed away at the age of 62 following a short illness

Dumfries was most well-known for his stint in Formula 1 as Ayrton Senna’s teammate at Lotus in 1986, but his racing career spanned a number of disciplines.

Dumfries’ racing career began in earnest in FF1600 in 1980 but it was F3 where he first made big waves; having stepped up to F3, he won the British championship in 1984. A move to F3000 in 1985 precluded his eventual step up to F1 with Lotus in 1986.

During his time with Lotus, Dumfries scored three championship points across the 15-race season behind the wheel of his Renault-powered Lotus 98T, with his top result being a 5th-place finish at the Hungarian GP.

Dumfries’ greatest success came following a move to sportscar racing, where in 1988 he was part of the winning Silk Cut Jaguar team at the 1988 24 Hours of Le Mans, alongside Jan Lammers and Andy Wallace in the iconic Jaguar XJR-9LM.

In a statement, Dumfries’ family said: “The indomitable spirit and energy which Johnny brought to his life will be greatly missed, and the immense warmth and love with which he embraced his family.”

Dumfries will be fondly remembered as one of the best British racing drivers of his generation. Our condolences go to Johnny’s friends, family and fans.