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The Club Office has just been informed that Life Member John Bloomfield passed away suddenly on 17 December at the age of 85.

John’s competitive instincts initially flourished as a boy when he enjoyed considerable success riding ponies in gymkhanas. During his National Service as a tank instructor he competed for the Army in motor-cycle scrambles and again won many trophies. In his mid-20s in 1962 John began racing with a 1-litre GSM Delta with which he achieved some success. However, it was when the South African GT car was replaced by one of the Don Sim-designed Diva GTs that John really began to be noticed. Once the car was fully sorted, there was no stopping John who, from late July to the end of the season, was undefeated, securing seven wins, two seconds and one 3rd from his last 10 races.

At Snetterton in March 1963 John finished second to the ‘Wooden Wonder’ Marcos GT of Chris McLaren but ahead of future Formula 1 driver Jackie Oliver’s Marcos GT and the Diva of Doug Mockford. For the next five years John stayed loyal to Diva, achieving considerable success in the small capacity GT class at home and abroad. He undertook a notably challenging season in 1967 in particular by venturing as far afield as Mugello’s round of the World Sports Car Championship with fellow Diva exponent John Corfield as co-driver. The Italian road race ended in retirement but John had more success on the Nurburging Nordschleife where he finished second in class in the 1000 Ks, this time with Doug Mockford as co-driver.

The second phase of John’s racing career began partway through 1968 when he raced one of the new Ford Escort 1300GTs in the Nurburgring 500 Ks, finishing 2nd in class driving solo. The Escort then ran as a Twin Cam and was principally used in national Special Saloon events. Once the TC had been replaced with a BDA engine in 1970, John had a highly competitive car in his hands which he used to good effect against the likes of Dave Brodie’s Run Baby Run Escort and Colin Hawker’s V6-engined version. In total John won the ‘Escort’ class on 10 occasions.

A move into the British Saloon Car Championship followed in 1971 with a new Group 2 Escort developed by David Wood Engineering. John was up against the ultra-rapid combination of John Fitzpatrick and his Broadspeed car by which it was no disgrace to be beaten into second place. From nine starts John won his class on four occasions and ended the season fourth on points in his class. The year ended on a high note with John taking third place overall in the Motor Show 200 at Brands Hatch behind Gerry Birrell’s Ford Capri RS2600 and Brian Muir’s Chevrolet Camaro after stalling at the start and being hit in the rear which bump-started the Escort and allowed John to storm through the field.

This was to be John’s last full season in racing. In 1972 he was offered by BMW the chance to drive a 2002Ti in some European events, sharing with Tony Lanfranchi and Motor magazine’s Roger Bell in the Spa 24 Hours but they failed to finish. The time had come to concentrate on building up his garage and property businesses in Camberwell and to spend time with his family and more leisurely pastimes on the water in motor boats and a yacht. Although John ceased to be an active participant in motor racing after the early ‘70s, he retained his interest in the sport and kept in touch with his many friends in the BRDC of which he was a very proud Member, having been elected to Full Membership in 1972. John will be remembered as a quiet but fiercely competitive driver with a mischievous sense of humour who always managed to see the funny side of life. The BRDC offers its deepest condolences to John’s wife Lynn, his children Linda and Michael and to their grandchildren.

The Club regrets to report on the death of Neville Hay, who was elected as a BRDC Member in 1993
The Club regrets to report on the death of Alan Minshaw, who was elected as a BRDC Member in 1984
The Club regrets to report on the death of Ray Thackwell who was elected as a BRDC Member in 1957
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