LES LESTON 1920 – 2012
Les Leston in F3 action at Snetterton. Photo: LAT Photographic
Sad news has reached the Club that Les Leston passed away on Sunday, aged 91 years old.
Les enjoyed a very long association with the BRSCC, as both a Racing Member and a Director of the Club. He was very much a recognisable figure of 500cc F3 era in the 1950’s that featured so many iconic names of the period. Les was a Cooper works driver in the 1954 season and enjoyed great success that same year, claiming the national Formula 3 title. Amongst other notable achievements during his racing career, Les also participated in three Formula One World Championship rounds, making his debut at Monza in 1956.
It was during this period that Les started to carve out a business career away from track, albeit connected with motorsport. As something of an entrepreneur, Les was quick to spot the potential growth of the accessories market for competitive motorsport and set up a thriving business with a flagship store in High Holborn. Les played an instrumental role in the introduction of the now mandatory fire retardant suits and helmets, amongst other safety initiatives.
During his tenure as a BRSCC Director, the Club called on the business acumen of Les, to assist them with their latest project – the launch of the first Racing Car Show. Les was a key member of the Committee tasked with getting the show up and running. That first show was a great success. Held at the Old Horticultural Halls in Westminster, it was opened on January 2, 1960 by Earl Howe, and over the following seven days attracted 40,000 people.
Les will be sorely missed by all who knew him and the Club would like to extend their deepest sympathies to his family.