Vale Eoin Young, a great New Zealand motorsport icon
I was sad to hear of motorsport writer Eoin Young's passing this morning; I can't claim to have known him long, in terms of his illustrious career, but I first met him twelve years ago when he brought the recently-retired voice of Formula One, Murray Walker, on a book tour of New Zealand. They were a great pair on stage, prompting each others' memory as needed (with a bit of assistance from his great friend Michael Clark), and made for a very enjoyable event.
I saw Eoin again a few years later at the A1 Grand Prix at Taupo, where he - as an original member of the McLaren Formula 1 team, and Bruce's own private secretary (even if Bruce couldn't explain to Eoin what that was meant to be) - was part of the group launching a film project about Bruce's life, which sadly has yet to be completed.
Eoin was in his element, amongst his old gang - three-time F1 world champions Sir Jack Brabham and Emerson Fittipaldi, world champion John Surtees, drivers Chris Amon and John Watson, former team boss Phil Kerr, mechanics Walter Wilmott and Bruce Harre, and of course many of the McLaren family as well as some of Denny Hulme's, too. These were his people, his contemporaries, his coworkers and friends. And he was, in his own way, entirely their equal.
Of course, Eoin wrote a number of books about his adventures - including 'It Beats Working' and 'It Still Beats Working', which were his own memoirs of life in the fast lane. I mean, just look at the list of titles next to his name - and yes, I think I've got most of them!
So go well, Eoin - and I hope there's a great Barley Mow in the sky where you and your mates can have a pint, and chat about the old times. I'm sure it still beats working!
p.s. Here's a great way to remember Eoin - a Road & Track article, circa 1970 - and McLaren have just added a tribute by fellow writer Maurice Hamilton, including this tidbit: "I found this huge house that the agents couldn’t rent and we took that. It became known as The Castle and, when there was an international race as Brands Hatch, we’d have people like Graham Hill, Chris Amon, AJ Foyt and Roger Penske come to the parties. These would go all hours; visits from friendly policemen responding to neighbours’ complaints. Proper parties..."