Karl-Heinz Kalbfell.

Karl Heinz At Brands Hatch this weekend we raced our motorcycles. Works-powered bikes finished 1st (Mike Russell) and 3rd (Charlie Williams) in Sunday's race. This is of no importance.

Tragically, our great friend Karl-Heinz died during practice for the racing. This has left all of us feeling numb and confused. KH was a great man. Huge in stature, huge in personality, he was a true Gentleman Racer. When around him, you knew that you were in the presence of a very important man - his CV shows him to have been a true 'Captain of Industry'. But the most surprising thing about KH was that in spite of all his achievements, he was completely down to earth. He utterly eschewed the trappings of success when racing and always insisted that he was perfectly comfortable sleeping in the passenger seat of his tiny hire car. He clearly loved riding with the Lansdowne, probably because it was so different from the pressures of his corporate life.

He was also extremely funny. In reality he spoke perfect English, but he liked to make fun of us by pretending that he didn't always quite understand the conversation. He had his own unique way of expressing himself with unusual use of English - after greeting his various friends upon arrival in the paddock one Saturday morning, I remember him standing up tall, looking around and booming 'Good Messages!'

As a tribute to KH, the Lansdowne riders held a parade in place of racing on Sunday morning. This was a very moving experience that all those who took part will not forget. Marshalls lined the track edge waving their multi-coloured flags and the spectators clapped as we passed them.

Karl-Heinz leaves a huge void in the Lansdowne grid, a void that will not be filled by anyone like him.

We offer our sincere condolences to his family.

Patrick Walker
Works Racing Motor Cycles Ltd.