DRIVERS: DAVID PROPHET

Name: David Prophet
Nationality: Great Britain
Date of birth: October 9, 1937 - Hong Kong
Date of death: March 29, 1981 - Silverstone

Born in Hong Kong, Prophet grew up in the Midlands and began racing when he was 23 in a rare Kieft Formula Junior car, which had been built locally by Cyril Kieft. He moved on in 1963 to a Brabham BT6 Formula Junior car and took it out to South Africa at the end of that year. He finished second to John Love in the Rhodesian Grand Prix at Kumalo, took part in the Rand GP at Kyalami and finally raced the car in the South African GP. In 1964 he converted the car to Formula 3 spec and raced in British events, while also competing in F2 with a Lotus 32 and later with a Brabham BT10. He also began racing sports cars with a Lotus 30.

His business, a garage in Kings Norton, specialised in exotic cars and did very well. He was thus able to buy not only nice racing machinery but also an impressive manor house near Stratford-upon-Avon which had been designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens. He was also a regular visitor to South Africa for the end-of-season races and in 1965 finished third to Paul Hawkins in the Cape South Easter Trophy at Killarney in his Brabham. He also took part in the South African GP at the very start of 1965 but made little impression with the Brabham. He continued to race with his Lotus 30 in 1965 until midseason when he acquired a McLaren M1A sportscar which he took to South Africa that year and finished second to Hawkins in the Rand GP and was fourth in the Pietermaritzburg 3Hrs in the same car. He again took part in the South African GP but made little impression with his F2 Brabham.

In 1967 he tried his hand with a Ferrari 250LM and then got his hands on a Ford GT40 which he raced in Britain and South Africa. This was followed by a Lola T70 and in 1970 by a rare McLaren M6A CanAm car. In 1970 he became a regular competitor in Formula 5000 with a McLaren 10B which he took to Argentina in 1971 in order to contest the non-championship Argentine GP. He finished fourth after others retired. In 1970, 1971 and 1972 he won the BRDC's Chris Bristow Trophy for setting the fastest lap each year on the Club Circuit at Silverstone but otherwise results were few and far between. He continued to attend races but in March 1981 he was killed when he crashed his personal Bell Ranger helicopter while taking off at Silverstone after watching the International Trophy Formula 2 race.

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