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We regret to inform Members that Peter West passed away last Friday, 19 October, at the age of 84. Peter was elected to the BRDC as an Associate Mechanic Member in 1978, proposed and seconded by two very well known touring car drivers of the time – Gerry Marshall and Bernard Unett.

Members with long memories will recall Westune Services in Horwich, near Bolton which became a mecca for Alfa Romeo enthusiasts from the North West of England and beyond from the late ‘60s. Although Alfas became and remained Peter’s passion, his career as a motor engineer had begun with the legendary Don Moore in Cambridge where Peter was born. On moving to Lancashire, Peter’s reputation for top class competition car preparation initially attracted leading drivers from the world of rallying rather than racing. In particular Jimmy Bullough’s Lotus Cortina and Ford Escort Twin Cam, with Don Barrow navigating, achieved numerous successes thanks to Peter’s preparation skills including victory in the 1968 Motoring News Rally Championship.

With his great friend John Myerscough, Peter became involved in circuit racing by preparing John’s Ford Anglia twin cam special saloon and later a Ford Falcon whilst also being entrusted with Ken Coffey’s Escort Twin Cam for the 1968 Spa 24 Hours with Nigel Moores as co-driver. They won the 1600cc class at the first attempt and were second in class the following year when Autosport reported that their car spent the least time in the Pits of the whole field. 

With the financial support of Arthur Taylor, Westune became Alfa Romeo dealers in the early 1970s which coincided with the launch of the first Alfasud. Peter immediately saw the competition potential of the ‘Sud and prepared one for John Myerscough to drive in the 1975 RAC Tourist Trophy at Silverstone, a round of the European Touring Car Championship. Second in class and victory in the Index of Performance was the result which so impressed the Alfa Romeo Dealer Team that Peter was entrusted with the race preparation of the successful ‘Sud Tis for Jon Dooley, Rex Greenslade and others in the 1300 cc class of the British Saloon Car Championship.

When the ‘Sud gave way to the 33, Peter kept the faith and devised an impressively rapid version of the latter. He also made something out of the otherwise awful Arna but, as Alfa Romeo’s fortunes fluctuated, eventually Westune had to close its doors, never to be replaced for alfisti by any other company. In retirement Peter visited Silverstone as often as he could, although suffering from poor health in recent times, but never lost his interest in the Club of which he was a very proud Member.

The BRDC extends its most sincere condolences to Peter’s wife Pat and their daughters Suzanne and Lou.  Members are welcome to attend Peter's funeral on Monday 29 October at 10.30am at Overdale Crematorium, Chorley New Road, Bolton BL1 5BU.

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