Barrie Williams

Barrie Williams

14/11/1938 - 8/9/2018

With over 700 races and 250 rallies behind him. Barrie 'Wizzo' Williams raced anything he could get his hands on, saloons, GTs, prototypes and historic cars with a distinctive and flamboyant style.

Born in rural Herefordshire in November 1938, Barrie was an only child. His father Frank, who had raced motorcycles in the TT, ran a small engineering firm in Bromyard near Hereford, and got involved in karting making his own designed machine called the Fastakart in 1959

After leaving Hereford Cathedral School, Williams took and apprenticeship with the David Brown group and started competing at Prescott hillclimbs in the summer of 1957 initially with a Singer which shared with his father and then an Austin A40 Devon which Williams admits was uncompetitive but sounded nice.

The Austin was replaced with a Morris 1000 and Williams made his circuit debut on Easter Sunday at Rufforth in 1960. He also raced karts that year in a team run by his father to promote the Fastakart.

He purchased a Mini Cooper S and with it took a famous win in the 1964 International Welsh Rally. Apparently this is where his nickname came from when Autosport journalist asked "Who is this Welsh Whizz-Kid?"

In 1967 and 1968 he raced in F3, but the death of his team mate and friend Chris Lambert at Zandvoort had a profound effect on him as did the death of Jim Clark that year. These events prompted his move to saloons cars.

He raced Production Saloons, the BTCC, where he had a works drive for Colt, as well as competing in the World Sportscars Series and World Endurance Championship. Famed for his spectacular driving style and his ability to race anything on two wheels as well as four he was at home racing, on rallies and hillclimbs.

His last major success came in 1998 winning the 4 Heurs Du Castellet at Paul Ricard in a Porsche 911 GT2 partnered by Geoff Lister and Max Aitken, 3rd Baron Beaverbrook.

In 1986 he made his debut in historic racing and over the next 32 years he raced everything from ERAs to BRMs and was a regular winner at the Goodwood Revival including winning the inaugural TT Celebration in 1998 driving Nigel Corner's E-type.

He had stepped down from racing earlier this year (2018). Barrie died after a short illness and a fall at the age of 79.

HR

Leave a comment

Comments