Racing Legend Gerry Marshall Dies

British racing legend Gerry Marshall has died today, at the age of 63. Marshall was testing at Silverstone, when he pulled over, feeling unwell

Racing Legend Gerry Marshall Dies

Marshall had battled ill health in recent years but retained his enthusiasm for motorsport to the end.

Born November 1941, Marshall began his racing career in a one-litre Mini Cooper in 1964 and took his first race win at Snetterton that same year. He remained an active driver to his final days, taking his 600th race win in August 2000 driving an Aston Martin DB4. In the intervening years Marshall proved his mastery of everything from awesome big banger sportscars, to single-seaters, to front-wheel drive saloons.

In the 1970s, Marshall raced a series of Bill Blydenstein-prepared Vauxhalls with distinction, with his time in everything from a Magnum to a V8-powered Ventora - known to the racing world as "Big Bertha" - leaving indelible images of his on-the-edge driving style etched into racing folklore.

In 1971 he won the first Escort Mexico Championship, beating future F1 World Champion Jody Scheckter, and went on to enjoy success in the British Saloon Car Championship and grueling Tour of Britain events.

Internationally, Marshall excelled on his occasional outings. Second place in the Spa 24 Hours in 1977 sharing a Vauxhall Magnum with Australian legend Peter Brock was the high point of his international career.

A massive roll while racing a Triumph Dolomite Sprint at the British Grand Prix support race in 1979 left him seriously injured in hospital, but the back injuries he sustained and which plagued him for the rest of his life didn't prevent him from racing, and winning, for another two decades.

Marshall's contribution to British motorsport is greater than the sum of his considerable on-track successes. He remained a fine ambassador for the sport to the end, and in 2002 was awarded the Gold Medal by the British Automobile Racing Club, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to British Motorsport.

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