Eric Thompson, one of the oldest F1 GP drivers, died at the age 95
Former Formula 1 Grand Prix driver and Aston Martin factory sportscar racer Eric Thompson has died at the age of 95. Thompson was second oldest living former F1 driver (born at November 11th 1919) and the only one driver older than him is Andre Guelfi (born at May 6th 1919).
Thompson made a single Formula 1 GP start, finishing fifth at the 1952 British Grand Prix at the wheel of a Connaught Type A. He was most known as sportscar driver at endurance races, with seven starts at 24h Le Mans between 1949 and 1955. Hist best Le Mans results was third place overall and first in the three-litre class in 1951, driving the Aston Martin DB2 together with Lance Macklin.
He also won the 1953 Goodwood 9 Hours together with Reg Parnell driving a DB3S. Parnell was a regular co-driver of Thompson’s and saved his life by pulling him from the car at a pitstop at Goodwood in 1952, moments before it erupted in flames as a result of a fuel spillage.
Thompson, a Lloyd’s broker by profession, retired from racing at 1955 and concetrated to job at Lloyd’s. He resigned his job in the 1980s and opened a bookshop that sells rare books on the history of motor racing in Guildford. He has made occasional appearances at historic festivals and in 2013 became the first driver to be inducted into the Le Mans 24 Hours Drivers Hall of Fame as the oldest surviving Briton to have competed in the famous race.
Photo: 24h-lemans.com, autosport.com