Death of motor racing legend

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FORMER racing-driver and motor accessories magnate Les Leston, who hailed from Bulwell, has died at the age of 91.

Leston, who was born in the town as Alfred Lazarus Fingleston in December 1920, won the British Formula Three championship, driving a works Cooper, in 1954.

Two years later, he competed in three Formula One grand prix, including at Monza in Italy. And in 1957, he shared sixth place in the Le Mans 24 Hours Race, driving an Aston Martin.

Leston also competed in the famous Nurburgring 1000km race.

But after he was lucky to survive a bad accident in an F2 Lotus at Caen, France in 1958, he downgraded his competitive career and became almost unbeatable in British GT Saloon-Car Racing in a diminutive Lotus Elite.

The redoubtable Leston, who was also an award-winning jazz musician, forged another successful career in the manufacture of aftermarket parts for cars, such as steering-wheels, helmets, fireproof overalls, thin-soiled driving boots and gear-shifters.

His company, Les Leston Ltd, based in London, became internationally renowned. He more or less invented the go-faster car accessory business.

Leston even did occasional broadcasts for London Weekend Television before retiring to Hong Kong in 1973.

OUR PHOTO shows Leston driving a BRM P25 in the 1957 British Formula One Grand Prix at the old circuit at Aintree, Liverpool.