David Leslie to be remembered ...

at Knockhill Classic SpeedFair David Leslie, who died in the Biggin Hill aircraft accident in March, will be remembered during the third annual Classic SpeedFair at Knockhill circuit over the weekend of 7/8 June. A special 'driver of the day' award will be named in honour of the Scottish racer and will be presented to the most worthy competitor from the ranks of the JYS Trophy Formula Ford 1600 entry. David's father, David Leslie Senior, will choose the winner of this special award.The JYS Trophy, in honour of the three-time World Champion Sir Jackie Stewart, will again go to the winner of the Formula Ford 1600 knock-out event. Interest in the category is running at record levels in Scotland, and over 60 cars expected with drivers from Scotland, Ireland and England. "We had 50 entries last year and this year we are expecting between 60 and 70 cars," said Knockhill's Stuart Gray.Other awards for FF1600 racers a Knockhill include a day's testing in a Duratec Formula Ford for the overall winner, free entries to the Walter Hayes Trophy for the leading pre-90 and post-90 cars and a free set of Avon tyres for the two class winners.While Leslie achieved a great deal in his 30-year racing career, including success in international sports car racing and the BTCC, he never forgot his formative years in FF1600. "I was 22 or 23 when I moved into cars in 1976 with a seven-year old Crossle. I'd been racing karts for quite some time and just fancied having a go at motor racing. We bought an old Crossle 16F Formula Ford," David said, when recalling his early foray into racing.After a learning season in 1976, he raced a new Royale RP24 in 1977 and had a fantastic season. "There were so many Formula Fords racing you often had heats and a final and by the end of the year we'd had 32 wins, including heats. We raced every weekend, sometimes twice."However, the whole operation was run on a shoestring, with David and his father doing all the work on the car. "We couldn’t afford to damage it, because we couldn't afford to repair it. So I had to drive within certain limits. I finished second in the Townsend Thoresen Championship, won the Phillips Championship and finished second in the Formula Ford Festival."Although his racing career then took David up and on from Formula Ford, he retained strong links with the category and later returned as a team boss. "We started David Leslie Racing to help young Scottish karters not make the same mistakes that I made," said David of the team he created with his father. "We ran Allan McNish and David Coulthard in Formula Ford."More recently, David bought back the Royale RP24 he raced in 1977 and had great fun racing it in events like the JYS Trophy and the Walter Hayes Trophy at Silverstone. Despite being in his early 50s, he raced the Royale with all the flair and determination that had marked him out as a rising star three decades earlier.