A major motor sport player during the 1960s and 1970s, Jackie Epstein has died at the age of 74. Son of celebrated sculptor Sir Jacob Epstein, Jackie eschewed his father’s wishes to become an artist to pursue a career as an engineer. Combining this with his love of cars, in 1953 he began racing in a two litre Alta; the following year, the first in which the circuit direction at Brands Hatch changed to clockwise, and aged just 19, he was the first winner on the new layout driving the Alta in a sprint meeting.
Having gone on to race various cars, including Fraser Nash, MG and Jaguar, in 1963 he and Mike Eyre formed the Epstein-Eyre Racing Team, campaigning a Cooper Monaco, Cooper-Buick, BRM P48 and a Brabham BT8. 1965 saw Jackie running under the Epstein Enterprises banner, competing in classic long distance events with a Ferrari 250LM, Ford GT40s and Lola T70s, co-driving with Paul Hawkins, amongst others.
Epstein gave up racing in 1969 to concentrate on team management and became a highly successful F5000 entrant running Lolas based at Brands Hatch where he later managed the circuits ‘celebrity race’ Escort Mexicos. In 1975 he began a long period as manager of the Kent track and was responsible for the new pit/paddock complex built prior to the 1976 British GP; ten years later he joined the board of Brands Hatch Leisure, a post he held until 1990. Only last October Jackie, a BRDC Life Member, was one of many star drivers and owners who took part in a parade through Huntingdon celebrating fifty years of Lola.