Kieth O'dor

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Kieth O'dor (5 April 1962 – 11 September 1995) was a British racing driver, born in Salisbury, who competed primarily in touring cars. He scored Nissan's first win during the super touring era in both the British Touring Car Championship and the Super Tourenwagen Cup. He was killed during a race at the AVUS circuit in Berlin.[1]

Background and early life[edit]

Kieth O'Dor was born in Salisbury, Wiltshire in the United Kingdom on April 5th 1962 and was the son of János Ódor whom emigrated from Hungary to the United Kingdom after the Soviet invasion in 1956. He founded the Janspeed automotive engineering company and racing team.

Kieth raced under the surname O'dor or Odor (changing from one spelling to another from year to year).

He was married to Anita.

Early career and British touring cars[edit]

Odor started out in rallying during the mid-1980s before switching to circuit racing, winning his class in the British Production Saloon Car Championship in 1987 driving a Peugeot 205. He won the overall championship in 1989 driving a Ford Sierra. In 1990 he won the Group N Production Championship driving a Nissan Skyline GTR[2] prepared by his father's Janspeed outfit.

The following year Odor moved up to the British Touring Car Championship, again with his father's Janspeed team, driving a manufacturer backed Nissan Primera. He continued to drive for the team in 1992 and then enjoyed a competitive 1993 with improving results including his first pole position, podium and then securing Nissan's first BTCC win of the super touring era at the high profile Formula One grand prix support race on the Silverstone GP circuit eventually finishing sixth overall in the standings.

He continued with the team in 1994 but the Nissan was not nearly as competitive, a fourth place at Snetterton early in the season the only time the car showed any real pace. After only scoring a handful more points during the season Nissan decided to call time on the BTCC program.

Death[edit]

Following Nissan's withdrawal from the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) O'dor switched to the German ADAC Super Tourenwagen Cup driving for the Nissan backed BMS Scuderia Italia in a year-old Primera. Although the Nissan was not the most competitive car O'dor was a regular top ten finisher and had the measure of his team mates.

He scored his and Nissan's first victory in the championship at first race of the double header meeting at AVUS, defeating eventual champion Joachim Winkelhock's BMW. He was running third behind Winkelhock and Peter Kox in the second race when he clipped the barriers and spinning in the path of oncoming cars. The close-following Altfrid Heger and Hans-Joachim Stuck managed to avoid O'dor but Frank Biela's Audi crashed heavily into the driver's side of O'dor's car at 118mph.[3]

Biela quickly extracted himself from his car, but O'dor did not. Rescuers took several minutes to reach O'dor, while cars continued to circulate behind the safety car for several laps. They were unable to open the door of the heavily damaged Nissan and it took half an hour before O'dor could be removed from the car and airlifted to hospital in Berlin. He died in the early hours of the following morning.[4]

Racing record[edit]

Career history[edit]

  • 1980s – Began career in rallying.
  • 1987 – British Production Saloon Car Championship – 2000cc Class Champion (Peugeot 205).
  • 1989 – British Production Saloon Champion (Ford Sierra Cosworth).
  • 1990 – British Group N Saloon Champion (Nissan Skyline GT-R).
  • 1991 – British Touring Car Championship (Nissan Primera eZX).
  • 1992 – BTCC – 12th in points (Nissan Primera eGT).
  • 1993 – BTCC – 6th in points, British Grand Prix support race winner (Nissan Primera eGT).
  • 1994 – BTCC – 15th in points (Nissan Primera eGT).
  • 1995 – German STW Cup – 10th in points, 1 win (Nissan Primera eGT) – Killed in STW race at Avus, Berlin.

Complete British 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 17 18 19 20 21 DC Pts
1991 Nissan Janspeed Racing Nissan Primera eGT SIL
SNE
Ret
DON
Ret
THR
11
SIL
131
BRH
15
SIL
Ret
DON
1

10
DON
2

8
OUL
10
BRH
1

Ret
BRH
2

Ret
DON
9
THR
6
SIL
11
17th 10
1992 Nissan Janspeed Racing Nissan Primera eGT SIL
6
THR
15
OUL
12
SNE
Ret
BRH
7
DON
1

16
DON
2

8
SIL
10
KNO
1

10
KNO
2

7
PEM
9
BRH
1

10
BRH
2

8
DON
Ret
SIL
Ret
12th 17
1993 Nissan Castrol Racing Nissan Primera eGT SIL
Ret
DON
5
SNE
DNS
DON
9
OUL
4
BRH
1

2
BRH
2

2
PEM
5
SIL
1
KNO
1

7
KNO
2

11
OUL
10
BRH
5
THR
11
DON
1

8
DON
2

11
SIL
11
6th 82
1994 Old Spice Nissan Racing Nissan Primera eGT THR
9
BRH
1

11
BRH
2

Ret
SNE
4
SIL
1

8
SIL
2

DNS
OUL
11
DON
1

13
DON
2

12
BRH
1

12
BRH
2

13
SIL
DNS
KNO
1

14
KNO
2

14
OUL
10
BRH
1

16
BRH
2

DNS
SIL
1

11
SIL
2

Ret
DON
1

22
DON
2

18
16th 16

Complete Super Tourenwagen results[edit]

Pos Driver ZOLBelgium SPABelgium ÖSTAustria HOCGermany NÜRGermany SALAustria AVUGermany NÜRGermany Pts
10 United Kingdom Kieth O'Dor 9 7 10 9 12 7 8 7 6 5 Ret DNS 1 Ret 225
  1. ^ – Race was stopped due to heavy rain. No points were awarded.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Search Results
  2. ^ http://motorsportwinners.com/defunct/production-saloon-car-championship-mcdbrdcbrscc/
  3. ^ "British driver dies after collision". The Independent. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  4. ^ "Obituaries | Motor Sport Magazine Archive". Motor Sport Magazine. 7 July 2014. Retrieved 15 November 2018.

External links[edit]