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James Hunt's Biography

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Who was James Hunt?

James Simon Wallis Hunt was born on 29 August 1947 in London.

The son of a senior partner of a stockbroking firm, James Hunt was educated at Wellington College.

From 1973 to 1979 the charismatic Hunt drove with the Hesketh and McLaren teams.

In 1976 James Hunt became the motor racing Grand Prix champion. The English Formula One driver was 17 points behind Austrian, Niki Lauda, with only three races left Hunt. But wins in Canada and the US edged him towards the title. Then Lauda pulled out of the Japanese Grand Prix and Hunt was able to win the championship.

James Hunt's first marriage was in 1974 to Susan Miller and they lived as tax exiles in the Costa del Sol. However they divorced and Susan went on to marry Richard Burton.

Hunt himself remarried to Sarah Lomax, whose mother was a racehorse trainer. Reportedly Sarah gave James Hunt two budgerigars; and he became a fanatic breeding and showing hundreds of birds, which may have been a contributing factor to the collapse of their marriage.

James Hunt retired from racing in 1979. A year later he became a BBC commentator on Formula One until his death in 1993. His fellow commentator, Murray Walker said of James Hunt to The Observer Sports Monthly:

"He wasn't my kind of person and I don't think I was his. James was a very mixed up, volatile sort of guy."


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