David Leslie (racing driver)

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David Leslie
David Leslie 2003.jpg
Leslie in 2003
Nationality United Kingdom British
BTCC record
Teams BMW, Vauxhall,
Mazda, Honda,
Nissan, Proton
Drivers
championships
0
Wins 9
Podium finishes 35
Poles 16
Fastest laps 17
Debut season 1990
First win 1993
Best championship position 2nd (1999)
Final season (2003) position 11th (28 points)
24 Hours of Le Mans career
Participating years 19841991, 1993, 1995
Teams Ecurie Ecosse, Mazdaspeed, Aston Martin, Silk Cut Jaguar, TWR Jaguar, Team Marcos
Best finish 8th (1987)
Class wins 0

David Leslie (9 November 1953 – 30 March 2008) was a racing driver. He was most associated with the British Touring Car Championship, in which he was runner-up in 1999. He was particularly noted for his development skill, helping both Honda and Nissan become BTCC race winners. He was born in Dumfries, Scotland.

Career[edit]

Leslie driving for Honda at Brands Hatch in the 1996 BTCC season.

He was Scottish karting champion 5 times before switching to cars, winning the Formula Ford title in 1978. He later moved to the British Formula Three Championship from 1981 to 1984, becoming involved with the Ecurie Ecosse team. With Ecosse, he moved to the World Sportscar Championship, driving to multiple C2 class victories and helping the team earn the 1986 championship. Leslie himself would earn second place in the Drivers Championship in 1987 alongside teammate Ray Mallock.[1] Ecosse eventually took over the Aston Martin sports car program before Leslie departed in 1990 to become part of Tom Walkinshaw's Jaguar team.

Leslie maintained his links with Ecosse when the team moved to the British Touring Car Championship in 1990. Leslie competed on a partial schedule for the first two seasons before becoming a full-time driver for Vauxhall in 1992. He took his first win a year later,[1] and earned a total of six pole positions over those two years, both of which ended in top 10 championship placements.

1994 was an unsuccessful season in a Mazda, but for 1995 he joined Honda as they entered the series for the first time. The car was late getting onto the track in pre-season, and reliability was initially poor, however he finished 10th overall after a strong end to the season. 1996 started badly with several collisions, but a victory in the British Grand Prix support meeting kick-started a strong 2nd half of the season, allowing him to snatch 4th overall at the final round of the season.

Leslie's Primera in the 1999 BTCC.

For 1997 James Thompson and Gabriele Tarquini raced the Hondas and Leslie switched to Nissan alongside Anthony Reid. Again the car was initially uncompetitive, and much of the credit for its eventual success is widely attributed to Leslie, who finished as runner up to Laurent Aïello in 1999. The company pulled out after that, and Leslie did only occasional races in 2000, and contest the Speedvision Challenge in the U.S. in 2001. He joined Proton in the BTCC for the 2002 and 2003 seasons, but the project was not a great success, and thereafter Leslie provided commentary for Eurosport on the World Touring Car Championship series, although he continued to occasionally participate in the Britcar series.[1]

For the past 3 years, he had been lecturing Motorsports Management, part-time at Swansea Metropolitan University.

Allan McNish credited the start he, David Coulthard, and Dario Franchitti were given at the start of their careers as largely to Leslie and his late father David senior.[2]

Death[edit]

Leslie died on 30 March 2008, when the private jet he was travelling in crashed into a housing estate in Farnborough, London. He was flying with fellow racing driver and team owner Richard Lloyd and data engineer Chris Allarton.[3] They were travelling to the Nogaro Circuit in France to test for Lloyd's Apex Motorsport in preparation for the FIA GT3 European Championship.[4]

The investigation into the crash found that a combination of incorrectly identified, non-critical system failures led to the in-flight shut-down of both engines, with the crew unable to restart them in time to avoid the impact.

Racing record[edit]

Complete British Touring Car Championship results[edit]

(key) Races in bold indicate pole position (1 point awarded – 1996–2002 all races, 2003 just in first race) Races in italics indicate fastest lap (1 point awarded – 2000–2003 all races) * signifies that driver lead race for at least one lap (1 point awarded – 1998–2002 just for feature race, 2003 all races)

Year Team Car Class 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 Overall
Pos
Pts Class
Pos
1987 John Maguire Racing Rover Vitesse A SIL OUL THR THR SIL SIL BRH SNE DON OUL
NC‡
DON SIL NC 0 NC
1989 Brooklyn Motorsport Ford Sierra RS500 A OUL SIL THR DON
DNQ‡
THR SIL SIL BRH SNE BRH BIR DON SIL NC 0 NC
1990 Pyramid Motorsport BMW M3 B OUL DON
7‡
THR SIL OUL SIL BRH
6/NC‡
SNE BRH BIR DON THR
15
SIL 38th 1 26th
1991 Auto Trader Techspeed Team BMW M3 SIL SNE DON THR SIL BRH SIL
9
DON
1
DON
2
OUL BRH
1
BRH
2
DON THR 16th 12
Pyramid Motorsport SIL
4
1992 Ecurie Ecosse Vauxhall Vauxhall Cavalier SIL
7
THR
7
OUL
5
SNE
5
BRH
5
DON
1

6
DON
2

5
SIL
7
KNO
1

Ret
KNO
2

DNS
PEM
7
BRH
1

6
BRH
2

6
DON
10
SIL
3
7th 66
1993 Ecurie Ecosse Vauxhall Vauxhall Cavalier SIL
Ret
DON
Ret
SNE
3
DON
8
OUL
Ret
BRH
1

18
BRH
2

6
PEM
Ret
SIL
5
KNO
1

9
KNO
2

7
OUL
7
BRH
13
THR
1
DON
1

4
DON
2

8
SIL
4
8th 72
1994 Team Mazda Mazda Xedos 6 THR
8
BRH
1

8
BRH
2

11
SNE
17
SIL
1

16
SIL
2

11
OUL
Ret
DON
1

Ret
DON
2

DNS
BRH
1

Ret
BRH
2

19
SIL
11
KNO
1
KNO
2
OUL BRH
1
BRH
2
SIL
1
SIL
2
DON
1
DON
2
20th 6
1995 Honda Team MSD Honda Accord DON
1

Ret
DON
2

Ret
BRH
1

17
BRH
2

17
THR
1

8
THR
2

12
SIL
1

9
SIL
2

8
OUL
1

DNS
OUL
2

DNS
BRH
1

12
BRH
2

18
DON
1

7
DON
2

9
SIL
12
KNO
1

11
KNO
2

7
BRH
1

17
BRH
2

10
SNE
1

8
SNE
2

8
OUL
1

6
OUL
2

3
SIL
1

5
SIL
2

4
11th 61
1996 Honda Team MSD Honda Accord DON
1

Ret
DON
2

Ret
BRH
1

10
BRH
2

Ret
THR
1

8
THR
2

5
SIL
1

3
SIL
2

9
OUL
1

8
OUL
2

7
SNE
1

9
SNE
2

Ret
BRH
1

5
BRH
2

7
SIL
1

4
SIL
2

1
KNO
1

6
KNO
2

7
OUL
1

3
OUL
2

2
THR
1

1
THR
2

8
DON
1

2
DON
2

1
BRH
1

3
BRH
2

5
4th 159
1997 Vodafone Nissan Racing Nissan Primera GT DON
1

4
DON
2

11
SIL
1

3
SIL
2

Ret
THR
1

7
THR
2

11
BRH
1

4
BRH
2

3
OUL
1

10
OUL
2

6
DON
1

9
DON
2

Ret
CRO
1

Ret
CRO
2

3
KNO
1

11
KNO
2

Ret
SNE
1

9
SNE
2

6
THR
1

8
THR
2

10
BRH
1

6
BRH
2

8
SIL
1

6
SIL
2

6
8th 87
1998 Vodafone Nissan Racing Nissan Primera GT THR
1

7
THR
2

12
SIL
1

1
SIL
2

Ret
DON
1

Ret
DON
2

1*
BRH
1

Ret
BRH
2

6
OUL
1

3
OUL
2

Ret
DON
1

Ret
DON
2

2*
CRO
1

Ret
CRO
2

2*
SNE
1

6
SNE
2

4
THR
1

5
THR
2

2
KNO
1

5
KNO
2

9
BRH
1

4
BRH
2

Ret
OUL
1

4
OUL
2

Ret
SIL
1

13
SIL
2

2*
6th 148
1999 Vodafone Nissan Racing Nissan Primera GT DON
1

4
DON
2

Ret
SIL
1

2
SIL
2

7
THR
1

11
THR
2

Ret
BRH
1

6
BRH
2

2
OUL
1

2
OUL
2

8*
DON
1

2
DON
2

1*
CRO
1

2
CRO
2

4
SNE
1

1
SNE
2

2*
THR
1

4
THR
2

1*
KNO
1

9
KNO
2

3
BRH
1

4
BRH
2

2*
OUL
1

2
OUL
2

4*
SIL
1

11
SIL
2

2
2nd 228
2000 Redstone Team Honda Honda Accord T BRH
1
BRH
2
DON
1
DON
2
THR
1

6
THR
2

Ret
KNO
1
KNO
2
OUL
1
OUL
2
SIL
1
SIL
2
CRO
1
CRO
2
SNE
1
SNE
2
12th 15
PRO Motorsport Nissan Primera GT '00 DON
1

7
DON
2

10
BRH
1
BRH
2
OUL
1
OUL
2
SIL
1

6
SIL
2

Ret
2002 Petronas Syntium Proton Proton Impian T BRH
1

Ret
BRH
2

Ret
OUL
1

8
OUL
2

3
THR
1

9
THR
2

9
SIL
1

3
SIL
2

9
MON
1

3
MON
2

11
CRO
1

2
CRO
2

7
SNE
1

5
SNE
2

Ret
KNO
1

9
KNO
2

8*
BRH
1

9
BRH
2

Ret
DON
1

6
DON
2

6
7th 79
2003 Petronas Syntium Proton Proton Impian T MON
1

5
MON
2

9
BRH
1

9
BRH
2

6
THR
1

17
THR
2

8
SIL
1

Ret
SIL
2

10
ROC
1

11
ROC
2

Ret
CRO
1

9
CRO
2

19
SNE
1

Ret
SNE
2

9
BRH
1

9
BRH
2

8
DON
1

Ret
DON
2

Ret
OUL
1

Ret
OUL
2

DNS
11th 28

‡ Endurance driver (Ineligible for points in 1990)

Complete Swedish Touring Car Championship results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Team Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 DC Pts
2000 P.R.O. Motorsport Nissan Primera GT KAR
1
KAR
2
KNU
1
KNU
2
MAN
1
MAN
2
FAL
1
FAL
2
AND
1
AND
2
ARC
1
ARC
2
KAR
1
KAR
2
MAN
1

Ret
MAN
2

Ret
NC 0

References[edit]

External links[edit]