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We regret to have to inform Members that Peter Pilsworth passed away peacefully last Saturday, 9th June at the age of 87. He had been suffering from ill health and dementia for some years.

A Full Member since 1994, Peter will be best remembered as a saloon car driver, first with a Riley One Point Five from 1959 to early 1962 and subsequently with a Sunbeam Rapier Series IIIA entered by the Alan Fraser Racing Team through 1962 and 1963, regularly finishing in the top three of the 1600 cc class in the British Saloon Car Championship. With his good friend Peter Jopp, Peter shared a Fraser Rapier to seventh overall and second in class in the inaugural Motor 6 Hours touring car race at Brands Hatch in October 1962. However, the advent of the Ford Cortina GT meant that the Rapier’s days were numbered so that for 1964 Peter switched to an Austin Cooper S, again achieving a strong result in the Brands Hatch 6 Hours, now a round of the European Touring Car Championship, by coming home 12th overall and third in class, sharing with Tony Rutt. Also for Alan Fraser, Peter drove a Sunbeam Alpine in the 1962 RAC Tourist Trophy at Goodwood and in the Peco Trophy at Brands Hatch. 

Peter was also one of the first British drivers to compete in Formula Junior, finishing third in the first ever British Formula Junior race on 3rd August 1959 at Brands Hatch in an Elva-BMC 100 behind Ian Raby’s Gemini Mk 2 and Scott Bloor’s Elva-BMC 100. A few weeks later he won a combined Formula Junior and Monoposto Formula race at Mallory Park. In 1960 and early 1961 Peter drove the works Merlyn Mk 2, retiring from each of his three races and withdrawing from single seater racing after the car’s final failure at Snetterton.

Off track Peter had a part to play in introducing sponsorship to Formula 1. In 1959, whilst employed as a sales representative by the Yeoman Credit finance company, he discussed with Fabien Samengo-Turner, one of the three sons of the company’s founder, the idea of using motor racing as a means of promoting Yeoman Credit’s business. An introduction to Ken Gregory, Stirling Moss’s manager who had recently set up the British Racing Partnership with Alfred Moss, Stirling’s father, followed and for 1960 Yeoman Credit became the sponsor and entrant of BRP’s Formula 1 team. 

To his partner Ann and to his family the BRDC extends its sincerest condolences. Peter’s funeral will take place at 3pm on Monday 25 June at Aldershot Crematorium, Guildford Road, Aldershot GU12 4BP all Members are welcome.

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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