Caledonian Classic & Historic Motorsport Club
Home | About | Events | News| Committee | For Sale | Links


Read a fine obituary to Mike at John Fife's  'Jaggy Bunnet'

Graeme Gallaoway's Anglia
Mike Gascoigne : 1949 - 2021  Report by Jonathan Lord

Mike Gascoigne, who has died aged 72, was involved in many aspects of motorsport in Scotland, and at the time of his death he was still Chairman of RSAC Motorsport Limited.

His first involvement with the Club came when he was a Sector Marshal on the Scottish Rally in the early 1970s. This was not a job for the faint-hearted, as it involved opening a group of three, four or even five stages before returning to close them again. In those pre-radio days, decisions often had to be made on the hoof, something at which Mike excelled. It was hard on the car too, which is why the transport was often provided by, as he said, “Uncle Hertz and Auntie Avis". The RSAC finance department loved him, because he never claimed any expenses for the Scottish, regarding it as his way of putting something back into the sport.

Mike then became the first ever Communications Officer on the Scottish, with radios, pagers and primitive mobile phones all playing a part. He moved on to become Deputy Clerk of the Course, based in Rally Control, where his wise counsel and considered view of any incidents were invaluable. When we ran the UK Rally Challenge events at Knockhill, he volunteered as Groundsman, taking care of all the physical set-up of the event while I concentrated on Blue Books and time cards. And when we were asked to run a Formula 3 meeting at Knockhill, Mike was in his element – until he jumped off a moving trailer on the way to rebuild a tyre wall and had to be chauffeured to hospital lying on the back seat of my Fiesta XR2.

At the same time, Mike was rising in the hierarchy of the RSAC itself. He was Chairman of the Motor Sport Policy Committee and the Club’s Roads Policy Committee. As such he was an ever-present when our team met the big guns of the AA and RAC three times a year to discuss matters of mutual interest Although we were very much the junior partners if measured by number of members – the other two had several million each compared to our five thousand – we never felt inferior at the Committee table when Mike was on the case. His keen legal brain allowed him to master any brief put in front of him, whether it was an obscure toll bridge in Oxfordshire or a major road traffic bill proceeding through Parliament.

Mike eventually became Chairman of the RSAC in 1998, something I had secretly been hoping would happen, because it meant his term of office would coincide with the Club’s Centenary the following year. He was the ideal man for the job, welcoming visiting dignitaries to Blythswood Square and speaking amusingly, sincerely and with authority at the many functions which marked the year.

His involvement with Scottish Motorsport Marshals Club and Scottish Motor Racing Club was also substantial and is documented elsewhere, and for many years he was also a senior official on the RAC Rally. It was all, as he once put it, “hard work and good fun in equal measures" – which is exactly as it should be. The release of the year's Beaujolais Nouveau was usually celebrated at the RAC Rally, and after one Scottish I was introduced to that unique Gascoigne refreshment of a pint of gin and tonic.

Mike continued as Chairman of RSAC Motorsport after the demise of our Clubhouse and remained a regular official at the Scottish Rally and Three Lochs Classic until ill-health began to take its toll. He was my friend for exactly fifty years, as we first met in Cardrona as marshals on the 1971 Scottish, and over the years his advice was always there when I needed it.

To Linda and the rest of his family, our sincere sympathy. Rest in peace, my friend – Rally Control is standing by.

Jonathan Lord

Back to Top

Published 14 June 2021