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Marc Haynes: 1968-2016

Bute Motorsport founder and disability motorsport pioneer passes

Whilst in Japan for the latest round of the FIA WEC, news reached the DSC Editor of the passing of Marc Haynes.

Marc, best known to most here as the driving force behind Bute Motorsport and the GT Cup, was, quite simply, a remarkable man, a pioneer in motorsport in a number of very significant ways, and a man that truly understood, in this sometimes assumptive business of ours, that listening and responding to your customers is not only good manners, it’s good business too.

Time spent with Marc was never wasted, though in recent years our paths had crossed only infrequently it was always a pleasure to catch up, and Marc was always generous with his time and with explanation of what had been going on, what was planned, and why.

He will be sorely missed on the UK national motorsport scene.

Our heartfelt condolences go to his family and friends, in particular to Hannah, Phil, Tom, Jock and the rest of the team at Bute Motorsport. My trip to Snetterton for the preview of the latest addition to the package, the Prototype Cup, proved again that the bonhomie on which the package was founded lives on beyond it’s founders passing.

The Haynes family have provided the following words which say more than I ever could about the challenges that Marc took on, and conquered during his time with us.

Marc Haynes passed away peacefully on Sunday the 16th October 2016 aged 48, finally succumbing to the health challenges he had bravely faced over the past few years.

Marc was a loving and devoted Son, Brother and Uncle, whose love of his family and of life was only matched by his courageous determination to challenge misconceptions about disability. Through his actions and achievements he demonstrated that disability does not necessarily define or limit what a person can achieve.

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Marc was an intelligent, effusive, humourous and extremely generous man who had a strong and fierce determination and a humbling courage. It was this wonderful combination that defined his charming character, and is the reason he will be greatly missed by so many, from boardroom to motorsport paddock.

Born with syringomyelia, a degenerative spinal disorder, by the age of 5 years old Marc was confined to a wheelchair. Marc demonstrated exceptional resilience, and through sheer determination and force of will refused to accept that his disability would prevent him from having a fulfilling and exciting life.

As the second son of John & Annette Haynes, Marc was born into a car loving family. Marc graduated from Manchester University with a BSC (Hons.) Business Degree and worked at IBM before joining Haynes International Motor Museum. Marc’s huge influence upon the development of the museum is testament to his foresight. This vision culminated in 2014 when, having successfully raised £6,000,000 and after many years of planning, Marc oversaw the reopening of the museum. The importance of the new facility was publically recognised at The International Historic Motoring Awards, winning the highest accolade of museum of the year. The museum will be a lasting physical testament to his hard work and vision, and will house the prestigious collection he cared so deeply about, for many years to come.

Marc’s career at the Museum culminated in his appointment as CEO in 2014. He was a Non-Executive Director of the Haynes Publishing Group PLC as well as holding various posts within a range of private property investment and development business interests in the UK and the USA.

His love of cars and particularly the desire to compete on a level playing field meant that it was inevitable that Marc would become a pioneer in Motorsport. In 1989 he was the first paraplegic to obtain a racing licence from the RAC Motor Sports Association and in so doing has changed the lives of many disabled drivers who followed his lead into Motorsport.

From his early motorsport days hill climbing and sprinting, he progressed into national GT racing in the Porsche Classic Championship, campaigning in a 911T and later a 911SC. Marc inspired and encouraged his brothers, Chris and J, to share the adventure and excitement of motor racing with him. For several seasons the three of them shared the same grid.

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Marc progressed to racing a Ferrari 360 Challenge and both this and his Porsche 911T remain on permanent display in the museum, as a tribute to his racing and to the man that changed the attitude and outlook for many people. It was the frustration of not being able to find a suitable race series to enter his Ferrari 360 Challenge car that prompted him to create the GT Cup, which had its inaugural race in the autumn of 2007. In that same year Marc founded Bute Motorsport to manage the new racing series.

From its first year in 2008 as a series, the GT Cup became a full Championship in 2009 and flourished under Marc’s close attention to the wishes of the entrants and drivers.   Marc, as founder and CEO, believed passionately that the GT Cup Championship should be run ‘by racers for racers’. This founding philosophy remains at the heart of the GT Cup, which continues to provide amateur enthusiasts with the opportunity to race against like-minded drivers in a congenial, but competitive, environment.

Marc was immensely proud to be elected as an Associate Member of the BRDC in recognition of his exceptional contribution to British motor sport, especially his pioneering role as an inspiration and source of support and encouragement to other disabled racing drivers.

This year heralded a new dawn for UK motorsport as his team at Bute Motorsport established the Prototype Cup for LMP3 and CN cars. It held its first race at Snetterton in early October to much applause and support.

Long term Championship Co-ordinator Hannah Wilson was promoted to Director and Race Manager in July, to allow Bute to continue to expand its activities.  She will continue to run the company with support from Technical Co-ordinator Phil Boland. Chris Haynes remains a director of the company, and will be joined by J Haynes. Their objective is to continue Marc’s work with the Bute Motorsport team, and to remain true to the principals and reasons that Marc founded Bute Motorsport.

Marc was a unique force of nature, never letting barriers get in the way of what he wanted to achieve. He was a generous soul who thrilled in inviting and encouraging others to join him on his many adventures. He will be remembered for many reasons including his sense of humour in the face of adversity, his unbridled drive and vision but most of all, for being a racer.

Marc’s family would like to welcome everyone to join them in remembering a remarkable man at a thanksgiving service to be held at Sherborne Abbey at 2pm on Monday 21st November 2016. Due to the large numbers expected to join us in celebrating Marc’s life we ask that you please email amanda.wilson@himm.co.uk to register your attendance. Charitable donations will be collected on the day for Cancer Research UK and Muscular Dystrophy UK.