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Brian Laban: 1948-2016

Author and Journalist

News reached the DSC Editor yesterday of the passing of Brian Laban at just 68 years old after finally losing a valiant battle with cancer.

Author and journalist Laban shared the Le Mans press room (and many others!) with the DSC crew right up until 2016, though his appearance this year was a poignant one, his health battle sadly all too obvious.

A long-time correspondent for the Daily Telegraph, Brian’s love of all things automotive was legendary.

He and I shared a very happy day at the Millbrook Test Track almost a decade ago as we put, of all things, a selection of London Buses through their paces. He was gracious enough later to write me a letter expressing thanks for my efforts in enabling him to cross off one of his ‘bucket list’ of drives – a 1960s AEC Routemaster! The contrast between the 38 mph we managed on the speed bowl and the rather rapid lift he gave me back to the station aboard an Audio RS6 will live with me for a long time!

Brian (pictured above with Sebring Turn 10 legend the late Norm Koury) was a garrulous sort, always ready with a yarn or some paddock gossip, though never happier when given the space to be expansive in his observations about an issue of the day.

That made him ideally suited to the role of author, his tally in a career that spanned more than four decades was an impressive one – over 40 books published covering motorsport, general automotive issues and more, notably his 2001 tome on the Le Mans 24 Hours

Brian is survived by his mother Irene. Our sincere condolences to her and to his many friends in the press room and far beyond.