Motorsport's great and good have been paying their tributes to 'Mr. Karting', Martin Hines, who sadly passed away last weekend following a battle with cancer, aged 64.
The founder of Zip Kart and a multiple British, European, World and Endurance Karting Champion in his own right, Hines played a key role in making a success out of the sport in the USA, South Africa, Australia and Europe, and in 1983 he was instrumental in setting up the first FIA World Championship for Formula 'E' Superkarts.
Renowned as a karting guru and inarguably one of the greatest drivers the sport has ever known, it was Hines' influence in introducing McLaren and Mercedes-Benz to karting in the 1990s that was pivotal to the emergence of Lewis Hamilton, and for his contribution to motor racing and the mentoring of young drivers, he received in 2002 the coveted Autocar Motorsport Achievement Award. The runner-up? A certain Michael Schumacher...
Other drivers to have benefitted from Hines' expert tutelage and guidance in the development of their own formative careers include David Coulthard, Anthony Davidson, Gary Paffett and Jason Plato – all of whose tributes can be read below.
David Coulthard, BBC F1 Commentator:
I would like to pay my respects to Martin Hines, who died on Sunday morning aged 64. Martin was basically 'Mr. Karting' in this country and everyone – from myself to Seb [Vettel] to Lewis to Jenson [Button] – owes him a debt of gratitude. A huge loss to motorsport.
Anthony Davidson, BBC Radio Five Live Pundit:
Martin Hines of Zip Kart gave me my first works drive during the '90s. Very upsetting news & my thoughts are with his family.
Dario Franchitti, IndyCar Series:
Just read the news about Martin Hines, a very sad loss. One of racing's characters, he really helped lots of young drivers. He'll be missed.
Gary Paffett, DTM:
Saddened to hear the news that Martin Hines has passed away. He did so much for me in my early career and will be sorely missed. Martin Hines did so much for young kids trying to make it in karting and his passion for the sport was immense. A true karting legend.
Mark Gallagher, Cosworth:
Very sorry to hear news of Martin Hines' passing. Fortunate to have met him a few times. Legendary talent and professionalism.
Mike Conway, IndyCar Series:
So sorry to hear of Martin Hines passing away, helped me out in my early karting days. All my luv to Luke, Tina and Tuesday.
Jason Plato, BTCC:
Devastated to hear the sad news that Martin Hines has passed away. Sincere condolences to Tina, Luke and Tuesday.
Martin Plowman, IndyCar Series:
I'm devastated at the news that Martin Hines has passed away. He gave me and so many British drivers like Lewis Hamilton their big break. He certainly lived life to the full! Still in shock, he was one of those guys u thought would never die...
Tiff Needell, TV Presenter:
Shocked to hear of the death of Martin Hines. One of motorsport's great characters and a master of the Superkart. Sincere condolences to all.
All of us here at Crash.net
extend our heartfelt condolences to Martin's wife Tina, son Luke and daughter Tuesday.