John Colum Crichton-Stuart, 7th Marquess of Bute (26 April 1958 – 22 March 2021),[1] styled Earl of Dumfries before 1993, was a Scottish peer and a racing driver, most notably winning the 1988 24 Hours of Le Mans. He did not use his title and preferred to be known solely as John Bute, although he had previously been called Johnny Dumfries before his accession to the Marquessate.[2] The family home is Mount Stuart House on the Isle of Bute. 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.

Life

Bute was born in Rothesay, Argyll and Bute, into one of Scotland's oldest aristocratic families, the son of Beatrice Nicola Grace Weld-Forester and John Crichton-Stuart, 6th Marquess of Bute, and the descendant of a British Prime Minister. Bute was heir to a large fortune, and turned his back on an expensive education at Ampleforth College and set about pursuing a career in motor racing.[3]

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.[4]

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.[3] He competed in 15 Grands Prix for Lotus (not qualifying at Monaco), which used the turbocharged Renault engines and scored 3 championship points.[5] 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.[6][7] 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.[8]

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.[9]

Wealth

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 the 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 regulations for allegedly travelling with others to his Isle of Bute home.[10][11]

In 2007, the other family home Dumfries House in Cumnock, Ayrshire, was sold to the nation for £45 million.[12]

Marriages and children

In 1984, he married Carolyn E. R. Margaret "Freddy" Waddell, they were divorced in 1993. They had three children:

On the Isle of Bute in February 1999, he married his second wife, fashion designer Serena Solitaire Wendell,[13] they had one child:

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

Racing record

Complete International Formula 3000 results

(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

(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:[14]

Complete 24 Hours of Le Mans results

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

(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

‡ Endurance driver.

References

  1. ^ Ex-Formula 1 driver Marquess of Bute dies aged 62
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ a b "Drivers:Johnny Dumfries". Retrieved 13 July 2007.
  4. ^ "F3 1985 season".
  5. ^ "Painter-cum-racer". Retrieved 13 July 2007.
  6. ^ Alexandre Vasconcellos. "1986-Prost again, but the Williams..." 4mula1stata.com.
  7. ^ "How Dumfries's Lotus F1 dream turned into a nightmare". autosports.com. Retrieved 22 March 2021.
  8. ^ "Johnny Dumfries profile". Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 13 July 2007.
  9. ^ "Johnny Dumfries obituary". The Guardian. 24 March 2021. Retrieved 31 March 2021.
  10. ^ "COVID-19: Marquess of Bute charged for alleged virus rule breach to visit namesake island". Sky News.
  11. ^ correspondent, Libby Brooks Scotland (23 December 2020). "Marquess of Bute charged with breaking Covid travel laws". The Guardian.
  12. ^ "Historic mansion sold to nation". BBC News. 27 June 2007. Retrieved 13 July 2007.
  13. ^ Fox, Chloe (15 January 2019). "Bonnie in Clyde: Meet the Marchioness of Bute". Tatler. Retrieved 5 August 2020.
  14. ^ Small, Steve (1994). The Guinness Complete Grand Prix Who's Who. Guinness. p. 124. ISBN 0851127029.
  • "Burke's Peerage and Baronetage"

External links

Peerage of Great Britain
Preceded by Marquess of Bute
1993–2021
Succeeded by
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