It is with great sadness that we record the passing of one of our longest standing members, Rally Journalist, and brilliant photographer Martin Holmes.
Martin became a member of Sutton & Cheam Motor Club in the early 1960’s and simply fell in love with the sport of rallying. Always inquisitive with a brilliant writing style, he quickly became involved in the day to day running of the club, writing, and eventually editing the Club’s magazine, Spotlight.
Although he is almost certainly best known for his talents as a freelance rally reporter, Martin was also a keen co-driver alongside Andy Dawson, Pentti Airikkala, Ove Andersson and Jean Ragnotti, and even competed at WRC level.
One of his proudest achievements was his Pirelli Books of World Rallying, a meticulously researched and compiled annual bible for the sport which recorded the minute detail of events ranging from the Safari to our own Tempest.
He attended over 500 World Championship Rallies all around the world and although recently he had become more Pyrford-based, he marvelled at the technology which allowed him to know stage times and get incident reports almost as fast as the Team Management.
He had become a regular attendee at our Down the Pub nights when they were local to his house that he shared with wife and PA Sally, who sadly died a few years ago. He was elected to Life Membership 3 years ago and spoke eloquently at the clubs 60th Anniversary Dinner at the RAC Club.
Martin was always be the font of all motor sport knowledge and his encouraging yet wise advice was always welcomed. His understanding of the sport was endless, and his friendship was always sought and enjoyed by everyone who knew him.
Martin Holmes was a one-off and we will never see his like again: Professional, thorough, talented and above all else, a real gentleman.
RIP Mr Holmes, it has been a pleasure to have known you.