Sunday, March 30, 2008

David Leslie, 1953-2008

I'm sure the motoring press will carry decent, well-researched obituaries for Scottish touring car driver David Leslie, so there's no need for me to go into any great depth about his career. He was a great driver who enjoyed a reasonable amount of success in the BTCC, as well as in sportscar racing. He went on to do some great work as a commentator for Eurosport and MotorsTV, filling the role of expert on coverage of the WTCC, Le Mans Series and SuperGT amongst others.

I'd like to simply add one David Leslie memory I have to the wealth of others that people will be talking about as we remember the man.

It was back in 1997, at Laguna Seca. My father and I were down there for the fantastic Monterey Historic Sportscar races, and the highlight of the day was the historic Trans-Am race, featuring wonderful old muscle cars such as Camaros, Chargers, Mustangs and Challengers. Leslie was lined up in a Shelby Mustang 350 fastback, but for some reason had to start from the back of the grid. For ten spectacular laps the Scotsman showed his innate talent as he battled through to a worthy third-place, behind the legendary Parnelli Jones and Tommy Drissi's Camaro. It was one of those races that sticks in your mind, and I'm truly grateful to David Leslie for the entertainment he provided to us that day.

RIP David, and sympathies to his family.


Jimmy said...

A talented driver who became a hugely knowledgeable commentator. I've watched him race and heard him commentate countless times.

I was at a GT race at Knockhill a few years back, and David Leslie walked past, chatting to a friend. I'm always impressed by a driver who will wander around with the fans instead of shutting himself up in a motorhome when he's not in the car.

patrick said...

A talented driver who, unusually in a world full of inflated egos, seemed by all accounts to be a thoroughly decent bloke. I remember seeing him in his old Royale 24P at a Historic FFord race at Knockhill a couple of years back - much quicker than regulars in much more recent machinery.

A sad loss.