Paddy Hopkirk Cause Of Death, Rally Driver Illness - What Happened?


Paddy Hopkirk dies aged 89 ( Source : Mirror )

Paddy Hopkirk, a legendary rally driver who won the Monte Carlo Rally in 1964, passed away at the age of 89.

After collaborating with the British Motor Corporation in the 1960s, Hopkirk became closely associated with the Mini brand, which saw popularity in 1964.

The driver, born in Belfast, started his professional career in 1955 by competing in circuit racing and hill climbs. He then went on to win the Hewison Trophy, given to the most successful Irish rally driver, three times in a row.

His big break came in 1956 when the Standard Motor Company gave him a factory drive at the prestigious RAC Rally, which he led for a short time before experiencing mechanical problems.

Paddy Hopkirk Cause Of Death

The former rally driver passed away on July 21, 2022. Paddy Hopkirk passed away, but the exact reason is still a mystery. His wife and other family members are still in shock at his passing.

He was a renowned and accomplished rally driver from Northern Ireland. He was a rally driver who won the 1964 Monte Carlo Rally in a classic Mini Cooper S. He died at the age of 89.

Hopkirk's first victory came in a Volkswagen Beetle with the registration number EI 5756 in 1953 at the Cairncastle Hillclimb. Isaac Agnew of Belfast offered him a free Beetle for the 1953 Circuit of Ireland. It would be the 1st of many Circuit entries since the following year; on the first day of the competition, he was leading the Circuit.

He won his first Hewison Trophy, given to the most successful Irish rally driver of the year, at the 1955 Circuit of Ireland, launching his successful career in professional racing and rally driving. He would go on to win the Trophy three times in a row.

Did Paddy Hopkirk Have Any Illness? 

As per a source, Paddy Hopkirk didn't have any significant illness. Hopkirk's triumph in the 1964 Monte Carlo Rally while riding shotgun with Henry Liddon in the now-iconic #37 red and white roofed Mini Cooper S was arguably his best professional achievement.

The victory occurred precisely one year after the car's debut at the renowned alpine rally competition. He became well-known after the win thanks to a telegraph from the then-UK Prime Minister Alec Douglas-Home.

Driving for Mini in 1967, Hopkirk would also win the renowned Acropolis Rally in Greece. 

Paddy Hopkirk was appointed MBE in the 2016 New Year Honours list.
Paddy Hopkirk was appointed MBE in the 2016 New Year Honours list. ( Source : Belfasttelegraph )

Hopkirk was among the inaugural entrants of the Rally Hall of Fame, an exhibition that opened in Finland and where new inductees are unveiled during each Rally Finland, together with Timo Makinen Rauno Aaltonen and Erik Carlsson, in 2010.

In 1967, he was chosen to be a lifetime member of the British Racing Drivers Club. He would continue to be well-known in the motorsports sector, rising to the position of BRDC vice president before taking the helm as president from 2017 to 2019.

What Happened To Paddy Hopkirk? 

Many people are grieving the loss of Paddy Hopkirk. He competed in circuit racing in addition to rallying as part of BMC's attack on Mount Panorama's Bathurst 500 touring car event, which was held at the time and later evolved into today's 1000-kilometer enduro.

He and fellow rally driver Makinen drove a Mini Cooper S to their best finish of sixth overall and third in class.

Outside of racing, Hopkirk has grown in popularity among Mini owners. As a result, the Northern Irishman has given his name to aftermarket parts for the well-known British automobile.

BMW also hired Hopkirk as a consultant for the re-launch of the Mini brand in 2001 because of his relationship with the firm. His professional accomplishments were recognized in 2016 with an MBE.

In addition to his commercial ventures, Hopkirk is a vice-president of the British Racing Drivers' Club and an enthusiastic supporter of WheelPower, a foundation that promotes wheelchair sport.

His wife Jennifer, children Katie, Patrick, and William, as well as six grandchildren, survive him. In 2005, his wife served as Buckinghamshire's High Sheriff; from 2006 to 2011, she served as the county's Vice Lord Lieutenant.

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