Johnny Dumfries, who was Ayrton Senna’s teammate at Lotus in 1986, has died at the age of 62 following a short illness.
The Scotsman’s full name was John Colum Crichton-Stuart, 7th Marquess of Bute, but he raced under the name Johnny Dumfries and won the 1984 British Formula 3 championship, and finished runner-up to Ivan Capelli in the European F3 championship that same year. Two years later he was named named alongside Senna at Lotus, and although he failed to qualify in Monaco, Dumfries picked up his first points with fifth place in the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Another point followed when he finished sixth in the season-ending Australian Grand Prix, a race where he famously carried an onboard camera on his 98T, capturing his opening lap at Adelaide.
That turned out to be Dumfries’ final F1 race, but in 1988 he went on to enjoy his biggest career victory when he won the 24 Hours of Le Mans driving for Tom Walkinshaw Racing, securing the win alongside Jan Lammers and Andy Wallace in the Silk Cut Jaguar XJR-9LM.
A statement from the Dumfries family confirmed the passing of the “devoted husband, father, brother, uncle, son and grandfather and loved by all” on Monday.
“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,” the statement read.
“I had the pleasure of bumping into Johnny on a couple of occasions, long after he’d hung up his helmet,” recalls RACER editor-in-chief Laurence Foster. “No airs or graces – he’d introduce himself as John Bute, rather than the Marquess of Bute. He was happy to talk about his racing career, often with brutal honesty, but always with a genuine warmth and affection for the sport and the challenges and experiences it had given him. We’ll miss an engaging, modest, decent man – and bloody quick with it.”