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OBITUARY: RON CARNELL 1935-2017

Brian Crichton writes: The funeral of former Duckhams Oils competition manager Ron Carnell is due to take place at Gravesend Crematorium, Shorne, Kent DA12 3JH on Friday 14 July at 3pm. Ron died of a heart attack aged 82. The eulogy will be given by former Duckhams MD Peter Newman.

Ron was Duckhams competitions manager from 1966 to 1994 in a high profile, colourful role, signing sponsorship deals with top riders and drivers. During these years, the yellow and blue corporate colours of Duckhams had major penetration on the race tracks and in the high streets as producer of the first multigrade oil.

Well liked by the race teams, Ron helped oil the careers of Mike Hailwood, John Surtees, Paul Smart, Ray Pickrell, Percy Tait, John Blanchard, Helmut Fath, Colin Seeley and Ron Chandler, to name but a few.

On four wheels he arranged Duckhams backing for F1 Team Lotus, Graham Hill’s F1 Embassy team, Surtees, James Hunt at Hesketh, Ayrton Senna and Mark Webber when they raced Van Diemen F2 cars. plus many others.

Ron attended countless race meetings and was as much a part of the paddock scene as the racers. Duckhams Oils held an ultra-high profile in all branches of motor sport, and was the oil of choice for the sports-minded motorist.

Colin Seeley, who secured Duckhams sponsorship through Ron for the Norton Rotary race team he managed, remembers him fondly: “He was one of the tops in the industry. Without him we wouldn’t have achieved our success. He was a nice guy. Everybody liked him. He liked playing golf, and one of his best chums was Ralph Fairman, manufacturer of Van Diemen F2 cars.”

Ron Carnell leaves his wife Phyllis, son David and daughter Lynda. David is manager of the HM motorcycle race team at BSB rounds and raced sidecars at European championship level in the 1970s and 1980s, and at the 1988 and 1989 Isle of Man TT.

1972 – Ron Carnell, left, takes Duckhams into F1 sponsorship by signing 1964 F1 world champion and seven times bike world champion John Surtees, right.

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