Jeremy Lord obituary

Best known in motorsport circles as the former head of British Formula 3 teams group FOTA, Jeremy Lord died on Sunday after an illness lasting a few months. He was 74

Jeremy Lord obituary

Lord, a solicitor by profession, made his name as a very useful club racer in the 1960s and '70s.

He graduated from Clubmans, where he got to know rival and fellow lawyer Max Mosley, to the Motoring News Sports GT Championship. Here he was hugely successful, winning the title in 1970 and '72 with an Astra and in '73 with a Lola T212, before racing a Cosworth DFV-powered Lola T280 in '74.

Dave Price ran cars for Lord, who would become company secretary for David Price Racing and sister company DPS and become forever known by Price as 'Ace'. Price also allowed his friend to race one of his Unipart-liveried F3 March-Triumphs in a Formula Libre race at Silverstone.

Using his legal skills, Lord was asked in the 1980s by Price - in his role as chairman of new British F3 teams group FOTA - to look after the administration and contracts of the organisation.

For many years he continued as an occasional instructor at the racing school at Thruxton, and even made a brief comeback to competition in 1987.

Eventually, Lord would become the main driving force of FOTA, still under the title of 'secretary', to the point where he was eventually the de facto championship coordinator in his last few years at the helm.

Price said: "Racing was just a hobby for him, but he was bloody good for the level at which he chose to race. He was more or less unbeatable really.

"When I didn't have time to run FOTA any more, it made sense to put him in charge. He was perfect for the job because he was so non-confrontational."

Lord stood down from FOTA after the 2008 season, which had been particularly volatile off-track in the wake of a flirtation with joining the British Touring Car package, and was replaced by Peter Briggs.

Although his formal relationship with the series had ended, Lord retained a keen interest in British F3 and attended races up until the end of the 2012 season, even offering advice to series promoter SRO.

He will be remembered as someone who combined a lawyer's analytical, careful mind with an unquenchable passion for the sport.

The former quality meant he was always excellent at explaining the finer points of the administration of the sport to the media, but was sometimes reluctant to speak on the record, leading to his self-deprecatingly referring to himself as the 'FOTA non-quoter'.

Lord's passion meant that, when the work was done, he was often enthusiastically taking photos, taking time to get to know everyone in the F3 paddock, be they driver, team manager, mechanic, truckie, catering staff, media person or marshal.

Top team boss Trevor Carlin said: "He had a huge hand in motorsport, particularly British F3. In fact, he was Mr British F3. He loved all the youngsters coming through. He particularly liked Jan Magnussen and then Kevin, because he was a chip off the old block. But he was passionate about everyone. He will be missed."

To many AUTOSPORT staffers who covered British F3 over the years he was much more than an industry contact. Instead, he was a dry-witted, funny, kind and knowledgeable friend who will be dearly missed.

Lord is survived by his ex-wife Pauline and a son, Stephen.

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Author Marcus Simmons
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