John Colum Crichton-Stuart, 7th Marquess of Bute (26 April 1958 – 22 March 2021), styled Earl of Dumfries before 1993, was a Scottish peer and a racing driver, most notably winning the 1988 24 Hours of Le Mans. He did not use his title and preferred to be known solely as John Bute, although he had previously been called Johnny Dumfries before his accession to the Marquessate. The family home is Mount Stuart House on the Isle of Bute. He attended Ampleforth College, as had his father and most male members of the Crichton-Stuart family, but did not finish the normal five years of study.
The Marquess of Bute
John Colum Crichton-Stuart
26 April 1958
|Died||22 March 2021(aged 62)|
|Other names||Johnny Dumfries|
(m. 1984; div. 1993)
Serena Solitaire Wendell
John Bryson Crichton-Stuart, 8th Marquess of Bute
|Parent(s)||John Crichton-Stuart, 6th Marquess of Bute|
|Formula One World Championship career|
|Entries||16 (15 starts)|
|First entry||1986 Brazilian Grand Prix|
|Last entry||1986 Australian Grand Prix|
|24 Hours of Le Mans career|
|Years||1987 – 1991|
Silk Cut Jaguar/TWR
Toyota Team Tom's
|Best finish||1st (1988)|
|Class wins||1 (1988)|
Bute was born in Rothesay, Argyll and Bute, into one of Scotland's oldest aristocratic families, the son of Beatrice Nicola Grace Weld-Forester and John Crichton-Stuart, 6th Marquess of Bute, and the descendant of the 18th-century Prime Minister, the 3rd Earl of Bute. Bute was heir to a large fortune, and turned his back on an expensive education at Ampleforth College and set about pursuing a career in motor racing.
In 1984, Bute, then known as Johnny Dumfries, was the sensation of the F3 season, scoring 14 race victories on his way to winning, and completely dominating, the British Formula 3 Championship for Team BP (Dave Price Racing). He also finished runner-up to Ivan Capelli in the European Formula Three Championship that year. In 1985, he graduated to the newly created FIA International Formula 3000 Championship, initially competing for Onyx Race Engineering before switching to Lola Motorsport. It was a disappointing season, with a sixth-place finish in Vallelunga being the highlight of the year.
In 1986, he made his breakthrough into F1, and raced a single season for the JPS Team Lotus. He was a late addition to the team, apparently as a result of Ayrton Senna not wanting Derek Warwick as a teammate. He competed in 15 Grands Prix for Lotus (not qualifying at Monaco), which used the turbocharged Renault engines and scored 3 championship points. During most of the 1986 season he was usually one of the midfield drivers, on par with the Tyrrell drivers Martin Brundle and Philippe Streiff. He was replaced for 1987 by the Japanese driver Satoru Nakajima as part of Lotus's deal to use Honda engines from that season onwards.
In 1988, Bute scored the biggest racing victory of his career when he won the Le Mans 24 Hours, driving a Jaguar XJR-9 for Tom Walkinshaw's Silk Cut Jaguar Team alongside Dutchman Jan Lammers and Englishman Andy Wallace.
Bute also participated in the 1-hour endurance race in the 1988 British Touring Car Championship at Donington Park with fellow ex-F1 Briton Guy Edwards for Andy Rouse's Kaliber Racing team in Ford Sierra RS500, finishing third overall and in Class A.
He died of cancer in March 2021.
He lived with his family in London and at the ancestral seat Mount Stuart House, 5 miles (8.0 km) south of Rothesay on the Isle of Bute. In December 2020 he was charged with breaching COVID-19 restrictions for allegedly travelling to his Isle of Bute home from London.
Marriages and childrenEdit
In 1984, he married Carolyn E. R. Margaret "Freddy" Waddell, they were divorced in 1993. They had three children:
- Lady Caroline Crichton-Stuart (b. 26 September 1984)
- Lady Cathleen Crichton-Stuart (b. 14 September 1986)
- John Bryson Crichton-Stuart, 8th Marquess of Bute (b. 21 December 1989)
- Lady Lola Affrica Crichton-Stuart (b. 23 June 1999)
Complete International Formula 3000 resultsEdit
Complete Formula One resultsEdit
|1986||John Player Special Team Lotus||Lotus 98T||Renault V6 t||BRA
Complete 24 Hours of Le Mans resultsEdit
Mercedes-Benz M117 5.0L Turbo V8
|Kouros Racing|| Chip Ganassi
Jaguar 7.0L V12
|Silk Cut Jaguar|| Jan Lammers
Toyota R32V 3.2L Turbo V8
|Toyota Team Tom's|| Geoff Lees
Toyota R32V 3.2L Turbo V8
|Toyota Team Tom's|| Aguri Suzuki
Porsche Type-935 3.0L Turbo Flat-6
|Courage Compétition|| Anders Olofsson
Complete British Touring Car Championship resultsEdit
(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position in class) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap in class - 1 point awarded all races)
|1988||Kaliber Racing||Ford Sierra RS500||A||SIL||OUL||THR||DON
|1989||Kaliber Racing||Ford Sierra RS500||A||OUL||SIL||THR||DON
‡ Endurance driver.
- Ex-Formula 1 driver Marquess of Bute dies aged 62
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- "Drivers:Johnny Dumfries". Retrieved 13 July 2007.
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- Alexandre Vasconcellos. "1986-Prost again, but the Williams..." 4mula1stata.com.
- "How Dumfries's Lotus F1 dream turned into a nightmare". autosport.com. Retrieved 22 March 2021.
- "Johnny Dumfries profile". Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 13 July 2007.
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- "COVID-19: Marquess of Bute charged for alleged virus rule breach to visit namesake island". Sky News. 22 December 2020. Retrieved 21 August 2022.
- Brooks, Libby (23 December 2020). "Marquess of Bute charged with breaking Covid travel laws". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 August 2022.
- "Historic mansion sold to nation". BBC News. 27 June 2007. Retrieved 13 July 2007.
- Fox, Chloe (15 January 2019). "Bonnie in Clyde: Meet the Marchioness of Bute". Tatler. Retrieved 5 August 2020.
- Small, Steve (1994). The Guinness Complete Grand Prix Who's Who. Guinness. p. 124. ISBN 0851127029.
- de Jong, Frank. "British Saloon Car Championship". History of Touring Car Racing 1952-1993. Retrieved 26 October 2022.
- "Burke's Peerage and Baronetage"