The Automobile Club de l’Ouest has announced the passing of Gordon Spice, third place finisher at the 1980 24 Hours of Le Mans then turned constructor.
Born on April 18, 1940, in London, Gordon Spice first made his mark on his home turf at the end of the 1960s in touring cars, eventually becoming one of the top Ford Capri experts in the 1970s.
He took his rookie start in the 24 Hours in 1964 (retirement), and it took nearly 15 years for him to return to Le Mans. He took the wheel of a Porsche 911 in 1978 and subsequently became a major contender in the various prototype classes through 1989.
At the wheel of a car fielded by Le Mans native Jean Rondeau, Spice clinched his best results at the race, including third place overall in 1980 (and a class win), along with Belgian brothers Jean-Michel and Philippe Martin, a performance they repeated the following year, that time with French driver François Migault. In addition to those two podiums, he also finished 14th in 1985, 19th in 1986, sixth in 1987 and 13th in 1988.
Having become a constructor with Spice Engineering in the mid-’80s, Spice won two victories at the wheel of his own cars at the 24 Hours in C2 prototypes (predecessor to LMP2) in 1986 and 1987. During that era, his chassis were considered top of the line in the class in endurance racing across the globe thanks to two world championship titles in 1986 and 1987, not to mention winning the 1978 24 Hours of Spa. Throughout a brilliant career that spanned more than a quarter of a century, Spice created a legacy at the 24 Hours of Le Mans both as a driver and constructor.
To his family and loved ones, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest extends its sincerest condolences.