John Crichton-Stuart, 7th Marquess of Bute

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The Marquess of Bute
Born
John Colum Crichton-Stuart

(1958-04-26)26 April 1958
Rothesay, Buteshire, Scotland
Died22 March 2021(2021-03-22) (aged 62)
Other namesJohnny Dumfries
John Bute
EducationAmpleforth College
OccupationRacing driver
Spouses
Carolyn Waddell
(m. 1984; div. 1993)
Serena Solitaire Wendell
(m. 1999)
Children4
Parent(s)John Crichton-Stuart, 6th Marquess of Bute
Nicola Weld-Forester
Formula One World Championship career
NationalityUnited Kingdom British
Active years1986
TeamsLotus
Entries16 (15 starts)
Championships0
Wins0
Podiums0
Career points3
Pole positions0
Fastest laps0
First entry1986 Brazilian Grand Prix
Last entry1986 Australian Grand Prix
24 Hours of Le Mans career
Years19871991
TeamsKouros Racing
Silk Cut Jaguar/TWR
Toyota Team Tom's
Courage Compétition
Best finish1st (1988)
Class wins1 (1988)

John Colum Crichton-Stuart, 7th Marquess of Bute (26 April 1958 – 22 March 2021),[1] was a Scottish peer and racing driver, best known for winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1988. He was known as Johnny Dumfries, or, after he succeeded his father as marquess in 1993, John Bute.[2][3] He attended Ampleforth College, as had his father and most male members of the Crichton-Stuart family, but did not finish the normal five years of study.

Early life[edit]

Bute was born in Rothesay into one of Scotland's oldest families, the son of John, 6th Marquess of Bute, and Nicola Weld-Forester. He was a descendant of the 3rd Earl of Bute, an 18th-century prime minister.[4] His courtesy title as heir to his father's peerage was "Earl of Dumfries".[2]

He had two older sisters, Sophia, who later married the musician Jimmy Bain, and Caroline, who died in a car accident in 1984. He also had a younger brother, Anthony, who became an art dealer in the United States.[2]

The children's nanny was Helen Lightbody, who had served as nanny to Prince Charles and Princess Anne, and they were brought up in Mount Stuart House on the Isle of Bute. Bute later recalled how easy it was for a child to hide in the house.[2]

Heir to a large fortune, the young Dumfries was educated at Ampleforth College, which he left at the age of sixteen and set about pursuing a career in motor racing.[4]

Career[edit]

In 1984, Bute, then known as Johnny Dumfries, was the sensation of the F3 season, scoring 14 race victories on his way to winning, and completely dominating, the British Formula 3 Championship for Team BP (Dave Price Racing). He also finished runner-up to Ivan Capelli in the European Formula Three Championship that year. In 1985, he graduated to the newly created FIA International Formula 3000 Championship, initially competing for Onyx Race Engineering before switching to Lola Motorsport. It was a disappointing season, with a sixth-place finish in Vallelunga being the highlight of the year.[5]

In 1986, he made his breakthrough into F1, and raced a single season for the JPS Team Lotus. He was a late addition to the team, apparently as a result of Ayrton Senna not wanting Derek Warwick as a teammate.[4] He competed in 15 Grands Prix for Lotus (not qualifying at Monaco), which used the turbocharged Renault engines and scored 3 championship points.[6] During most of the 1986 season he was usually one of the midfield drivers, on par with the Tyrrell drivers Martin Brundle and Philippe Streiff.[7][8] He was replaced for 1987 by the Japanese driver Satoru Nakajima as part of Lotus's deal to use Honda engines from that season onwards.

In 1988, Bute scored the biggest racing victory of his career when he won the Le Mans 24 Hours, driving a Jaguar XJR-9 for Tom Walkinshaw's Silk Cut Jaguar Team alongside Dutchman Jan Lammers and Englishman Andy Wallace.[9]

Bute also participated in the 1-hour endurance race in the 1988 British Touring Car Championship at Donington Park with fellow ex-F1 Briton Guy Edwards for Andy Rouse's Kaliber Racing team in Ford Sierra RS500, finishing third overall and in Class A.

He died of cancer in March 2021.[10]

Wealth[edit]

Bute ranked 616th in the Sunday Times Rich List 2008, with an estimated wealth of £125m. In the 2006 list, he ranked 26th in Scotland with £122m.

He lived with his family in London and at his ancestral seat, Mount Stuart House, 5 miles (8.0 km) south of Rothesay on the Isle of Bute. In December 2020 he was charged with breaching COVID-19 restrictions for allegedly travelling to his Bute home from London.[11][12]

In 2007, another family country house, Dumfries House in Cumnock, Ayrshire, was sold to the nation for £45 million.[13]

Marriages and children[edit]

In 1984, he married Carolyn Waddell; they were divorced in 1993. They had three children:

  • Lady Caroline Crichton-Stuart (b. 26 September 1984)
  • Lady Cathleen Crichton-Stuart (b. 14 September 1986)
  • John Bryson Crichton-Stuart, 8th Marquess of Bute (b. 21 December 1989)

On the Isle of Bute in February 1999, he married his second wife, fashion designer Serena Wendell.[14] They had one child:

  • Lady Lola Affrica Crichton-Stuart (b. 23 June 1999)

Racing record[edit]

Complete British Formula Three results[edit]

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

Year Entrant Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 DC Pts
1984 Team BP Volkswagen SIL
1
THR
1
SIL
1
ZOL
2
THR
1
THR
1
DON
1
SIL
4
SNE
1
DON
9
OUL SIL
1
SPA
7
ZAN BRH
18
THR
1
SIL
1
1st 106

Complete International Formula 3000 results[edit]

(key)

Year Entrant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Pos. Pts
1985 Onyx Racing SIL
Ret
THR
7
EST
Ret
NÜR
C
VAL
6
PAU 16th 1
Lola Motorsport SPA
Ret
DIJ
10
PER ÖST ZAN DON
1988 GEM Motorsport JER VAL PAU SIL MNZ PER BRH BIR BUG ZOL
Ret
DIJ
13
NC 0

Complete Formula One results[edit]

(key)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 WDC Pts.
1986 John Player Special Team Lotus Lotus 98T Renault V6 t BRA
9
ESP
Ret
SMR
Ret
MON
DNQ
BEL
Ret
CAN
Ret
DET
7
FRA
Ret
GBR
7
GER
Ret
HUN
5
AUT
Ret
ITA
Ret
POR
9
MEX
Ret
AUS
6
13th 3
Source:[15]

Complete 24 Hours of Le Mans results[edit]

Year Class No Tyres Car Team Co-Drivers Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
1987 C1 62 M Sauber C9
Mercedes-Benz M117 5.0L Turbo V8
Switzerland Kouros Racing United States Chip Ganassi
New Zealand Mike Thackwell
37 DNF DNF
1988 C1 2 D Jaguar XJR-9LM
Jaguar 7.0L V12
United Kingdom Silk Cut Jaguar Netherlands Jan Lammers
United Kingdom Andy Wallace
394 1st 1st
1989 C1 37 B Toyota 89C-V
Toyota R32V 3.2L Turbo V8
Japan Toyota Team Tom's United Kingdom Geoff Lees
United Kingdom John Watson
58 DNF DNF
1990 C1 37 B Toyota 90C-V
Toyota R32V 3.2L Turbo V8
Japan Toyota Team Tom's Japan Aguri Suzuki
Italy Roberto Ravaglia
64 DNF DNF
1991 C2 13 G Courage C26S
Porsche Type-935 3.0L Turbo Flat-6
France Courage Compétition Sweden Anders Olofsson
Sweden Thomas Danielsson
45 DNF DNF

Complete British Touring Car Championship results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position in class) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap in class - 1 point awarded all races)

Year Team Car Class 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 DC Pts Class
1988 Kaliber Racing Ford Sierra RS500 A SIL OUL THR DON
3‡
THR SIL SIL BRH SNE BRH BIR DON SIL 43rd 4 16th
1989 Kaliber Racing Ford Sierra RS500 A OUL SIL THR DON
DNS
THR SIL SIL BRH SNE BRH BIR DON SIL NC 0 NC
Source:[16]

‡ Endurance driver.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ex-Formula 1 driver Marquess of Bute dies aged 62
  2. ^ a b c d "The 7th Marquess of Bute obituary" in The Times, accessed 17 February 2023
  3. ^ Georgina Adam (26 April 2007). "Race to save Dumfries House". The Art Newspaper. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 13 July 2007.
  4. ^ a b c "Drivers:Johnny Dumfries". Retrieved 13 July 2007.
  5. ^ "F3 1985 season".
  6. ^ "Painter-cum-racer". Retrieved 13 July 2007.
  7. ^ Alexandre Vasconcellos. "1986-Prost again, but the Williams..." 4mula1stata.com.
  8. ^ "How Dumfries's Lotus F1 dream turned into a nightmare". autosport.com. Retrieved 22 March 2021.
  9. ^ "Johnny Dumfries profile". Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 13 July 2007.
  10. ^ "Johnny Dumfries obituary". The Guardian. 24 March 2021. Retrieved 31 March 2021.
  11. ^ "COVID-19: Marquess of Bute charged for alleged virus rule breach to visit namesake island". Sky News. 22 December 2020. Retrieved 21 August 2022.
  12. ^ Brooks, Libby (23 December 2020). "Marquess of Bute charged with breaking Covid travel laws". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 August 2022.
  13. ^ "Historic mansion sold to nation". BBC News. 27 June 2007. Retrieved 13 July 2007.
  14. ^ Fox, Chloe (15 January 2019). "Bonnie in Clyde: Meet the Marchioness of Bute". Tatler. Retrieved 5 August 2020.
  15. ^ Small, Steve (1994). The Guinness Complete Grand Prix Who's Who. Guinness. p. 124. ISBN 0851127029.
  16. ^ de Jong, Frank. "British Saloon Car Championship". History of Touring Car Racing 1952-1993. Retrieved 26 October 2022.
  • "Burke's Peerage and Baronetage"

External links[edit]

Peerage of Great Britain
Preceded by Marquess of Bute
1993–2021
Succeeded by
John Crichton-Stuart
Sporting positions
Preceded by British Formula Three Champion
1984
Succeeded by
Preceded by Winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans
1988
With: Jan Lammers & Andy Wallace
Succeeded by
Awards and achievements
Preceded by Autosport
National Racing Driver of the Year

1984
Succeeded by