Author Topic: Derek Bennett (1933 - 1978)  (Read 1580 times)

Christopher

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Derek Bennett (1933 - 1978)
« on: 16:54:57, 06/04/07 »
I spotted a reference to Derek when searching the www for details of a West Belfast garage owner named Gerry Kinnane who at one time competed in motor races in Ireland. In the early 1960s Derek worked all night at Gerry Kinnane’s garage off Belfast’s Falls Road to get his Clubmans car ready for its first race at Kirkistown race track in Co. Down.

Derek Bennett was born in Manchester in 1933. He suffered from poor health as a child .. he was asthmatic and suffered with dermatitis. He also contracted pneumonia. This gave him little chance to shine academically and he went attended a Secondary Modern school close to his home.

When Derek left school in 1948 he served his time as an apprentice electrical engineer. When his apprenticeship was completed in 1954 he left his place of employment and set out on his own, starting with a small lock-up in Salford, building and repairing cars. This soon became a full-time occupation. He got his first taste of racing on the shale speedway track at Manchester’s Belle Vue, first with a stock car, and then in an open-wheeled Midget racer – the first racing car he built himself.

Derek Bennett died when his hang glider crashed onto a Lancashire hillside and he sustained head injuries from which he did not regain consciousness.

Source: Chevron - The Derek Bennett Story
« Last Edit: 17:04:27, 06/04/07 by Christopher »