LONDON, Dec 12 (Reuters) - Former Arrows Formula One team boss and Gloucester rugby club chairman Tom Walkinshaw has died at the age of 64.
A Gloucester club spokesman said a statement was likely to be issued on Monday morning, as tributes flowed on social network site Twitter.
“Just heard that Tom Walkinshaw passed away today, great loss to the world of motorsport, good driver and team owner, RIP,” said former Le Mans and F1 driver Mark Blundell.
Walkinshaw, who had been suffering from cancer, enjoyed success with Jaguar in sportscars and at Le Mans, which TWR Jaguar won in 1988 and 1990. He then joined the Benetton team as director of engineering and brought with him Ross Brawn.
The no-nonsense Scot was also instrumental in signing the young Michael Schumacher from Jordan after the German’s impressive 1991 debut at Spa.
After Schumacher’s controversial first championship in 1994, Walkinshaw joined Ligier — at the time owned by Benetton team boss Flavio Briatore — before taking over at Arrows in 1996.
Walkinshaw found himself with a world champion driver in Damon Hill on 1997 after the Briton won the title with Williams and was then dropped by that team.
Arrows never won in 382 races, although Hill almost did in Hungary, and eventually folded in 2002 due to financial problems.
The boss, a former chairman of the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC), remained a powerful character in motorsport, however, with a Holden team in Australia’s V8 Supercar championship.
Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ed Osmond. To query or comment on this story email@example.com