RIP Tom Delaney


Never heard of Tom Delaney? At 94 years of age, Tom was the oldest licensed racing driver in the world. He raced the same Lea-Francis for more than three-quarters of a century from 1930 until a few weeks before his death in 2006.

In 2004 Delaney crashed during a race at Silverstone, and was run over by his car which rebounded off the barriers. Later in hospital, when he was found to have nothing more than a sore wrist, he called his mechanic to see if the car could be repaired for racing the following day.

In 2005 Tom received the UK Motor Sports Association’s first ever Lifetime Achievement award to mark his 75 years of racing. His last race was at a Vintage Sports Car Club meeting at Silverstone in April 2006; he had been invited to the Goodwood Revival meeting in early September, but died, after a short illness, just a few days before it was held. His cars are still regularly competed by his son Geoffrey and his granddaughter Lucy.

Hopefully someone in the Royal Automobile Association of Thailand will read this and get off my back. I may be old for Thailand, but I’ve got 20 years to go yet, so just give me my license and let me go racing!