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David Leslie

The news of the tragic death of racer David Leslie brings back many memories of an immensely likeable and warm hearted Scot that I met often when covering the wilder days of the BTCC in the early 90s, indeed I was fortunate enough to drive alongside him on several occasions, twice with him driving me and twice with him very patiently acting as my “instructor” during track test days at Silverstone.

My lasting impression of David is of a racer who was not only very quick whether in saloons or in Le Mans sports cars but who had an enviable reputation for being firm but fair on track, not for him the excesses of some of the larier BTCC drivers which may have kept him off the podium on some occasions but I’m sure made him rather more popular with those around him and his paddock standing was always high, he never needed to hide in the motor home away from irate drivers. At an SMMT test day at Silverstone some years ago I was driving David in a rare beast, a 4x4 turbo Vauxhall Cavalier, a car we both liked, when we got caught up in someone else’s high speed accident we taking to the gravel at around 90 mph, just missing the wall before scrabbling back on track, a nasty few seconds with nary a blink from David, he only commented that it was the same spot he had hit the wall heavily in BTCC qualifying only a week before.

In recent years he had become a regular at both Goodwood events where he happily took part in all of the proceedings, dressed with good humour in some real spiv suits, chatted to anyone and everyone, drove with spirit whatever he was offered and was well liked by many of the owners lending him cars, he always bought the cars back in one piece and scored good results, for a professional racer David Leslie was a gentleman among gentleman drivers.

Our thoughts are with his family.

 

Graham Benge - First Take Media

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