DECEMBER 9, 1996
DENIS JENKINSON - probably the most famous Formula 1 journalist - has died after a long illness. As a boy "Jenks" saw his first racing events at London's Crystal Palace circuit in 1931 and immediately developed a fascination for racing cars and motorbikes. He trained as an engineer, serving with the Royal Air Force in World War Two and after the war began racing motorcycles. In 1948 he began his wanderings around Europe because prize money being offered on the Continent was much better than in England and it was as a result that Bill Boddy, editor of Motor Sport magazine, asked Jenkinson to writes reports. In 1953 Jenkinson became the magazine's Grand Prix reporter, writing as "DSJ".
He remained an active competitor and in the 1950s was regularly Stirling Moss's co-driver for the Mille Miglia road race. In 1955 the duo became famous for winning the event in a Mercedes, "Jenks" having invented a system of notes to warn Moss about obstacles up ahead. This was the beginning of pace notes which are now used in every rally.
Jenks remained with Motor Sport until the early 1990s - when he was in his 70s - he continued to travel to Grand Prix races and report in his own uncompromising manner. He was a great fan of the late Ayrton Senna.
Jenkinson's Motor Sport reports provided inspiration not only for thousands of fans around the world but also for a generation of F1 reporters.
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