Johnny Dumfries


Saturday 26th April 1958

Born on this day, Johnny Dumfries, 7th Marquess of Bute, former racing driver, who most notably won the 1988 24 Hours of Le Mans. In 1984 Dumfries was the sensation of the F3 season, scoring 14 race victories on his way to winning, and completely dominating, the British Formula 3 Championship for Team BP (Dave Price Racing). He also finished runner-up to Ivan Capelli in the European Formula Three Championship that year. In 1985, he graduated to the newly created FIA International Formula 3000 Championship, initially competing for Onyx Race Engineering before switching to Lola Motorsport. It was a disappointing season, with a sixth-place finish in Vallelunga being the highlight of the year. In 1986 he made his breakthrough into F1, and raced a single season for the JPS Team Lotus. He was a late addition to the team, apparently as a result of Ayrton Senna not wanting Derek Warwick as a teammate. He competed in 15 Grands Prix for Lotus (not qualifying at Monaco), which used the turbocharged Renault engines and scored 3 championship points.He was replaced for 1987 by the Japanese driver Satoru Nakajima as part of Lotus’s deal to use Honda engines from that season onwards. During the most part of the 1986 season, he was usually one of the midfield drivers, on par with the Tyrrell drivers Martin Brundle and Philippe Streiff. In 1988, Dumfries scored the biggest racing victory of his career when he won the Le Mans 24 Hours driving a Jaguar XJR-9 for Tom Walkinshaw’s Silk Cut Jaguar Team alongside Dutchman Jan Lammers and Englishman Andy Wallace.


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