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Tony Dron, who died aged 75 on 16 November after a long illness, was that rare beast: a motoring journalist who really did know how to race cars.
He was sports editor of the weekly Motor and then editor of Classic Cars, and he also wrote for the Daily Telegraph and authored several books.
His racing career lasted from 1968 to 2011, and in those 43 seasons he scored victories in no fewer than 41 different types of car, from Camaro to Morgan Plus 8, Fiat 128 to Allard JR, vintage Bentley to Lister ‘Knobbly’.
After his first Formula Ford his budget never stretched to owning a race car, but his speed, intelligence and team spirit assured him of a constant supply of seats.
In the 1970s he was a works driver in the BL/Broadspeed Triumph Dolomites, twice winning his class in the British Saloon Car Championship, and in 1977 he missed the overall title by one point.
He also raced for the Unipart March Formula Three team.
But his true forte was endurance racing. He did Le Mans four times, winning his class in 1982 in Richard Cleare’s Porsche 934, and did several more 24-hour races at Spa and the Nürburgring.
There were 1000km and six-hour races from Vallelunga to Kyalami, in BMWs, Porsches, Mazdas, Opels, Audis and others.
He was prolific in historic racing, winning the Sussex Trophy at Goodwood three years running in a Ferrari 246S, and on the Nürburgring Nordschleife he beat a field of 180 cars to win the Eifel Klassik, driving single-handed in a Ferrari 330LMB.
Even more than his talent and versatility on the track, he will be remembered for his approachable friendliness, his bean-pole build – he was 6ft 5in – and his unquenchable, irreverent humour.
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